Become a Foster Carer



  • Are you looking for a new challenge?

  • Want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people?

  • Want to work as part of a professional team? 

You can really make a difference to the lives of our young people by becoming a foster carer

This role is a critical part of our therapeutic programme to bring about change in a young person’s life.  We provide you with support in implementing the programme with a  troubled young person, while they live in your own home for up to a year. We are a specialist treatment provider operating with some of the most challenging young people in Aotearoa, often with a history of foster placements that have broken down. Our programmes provide a unique opportunity for these young people to learn new skills and make changes in their lives.

Got questions? Click here for some FAQs

This role would be ideal if you:

  • Have experience in caring for young people through being a parent, grandparent or working with youth
  • Are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people
  • Have no young children living at home
  • Have a spare bedroom 

As a foster carer for Youth Horizons, you will receive:

Comprehensive training

We provide you with comprehensive training including training in the foster care programme, non violent crisis intervention training, first aid, policies and procedures, incident reporting, abuse recognition, and suicide prevention training. This will all held at the nearest Youth Horizons office in your area. Our most common foster care intervention programme is the international, evidenced based Teaching Family Model. This is a leading therapeutic programme with extensive research supporting the outcomes it achieves.

Cultural support 

We have Kaumatua and cultural advisors who provide you and the young person placed in your care with cultural support as needed. Our organisation is on a bi-cultural journey so an understanding or a willingness to learn tikanga is an important part of how we operate.

Clinical support

We provide you with regular group support sessions with other foster carers and will have daily phone calls with you throughout the week. We also operate a 24/7 on-call system for clinical support should you need assistance (all calls go directly to someone qualified to assist).

Days off and holiday breaks

We have respite foster carers to ensure you have valuable days off and holiday breaks.

Working as part of a skilled clinical team

Our clinical leaders, social workers and the programme practice leader work with you to create and deliver specific and tailored interventions designed to help address the young person's behavioural needs. A plan is developed and agreed in partnership with you. You'll then be supported by the team in working this plan through with the young person in your care.

Financial payments

Our payment to you is classified as a 'reimbursement', covering the costs of having a young person living in your home. The payment covers all the usual expenses in raising a child such as food, electricity and water. It also recognises the effort you put into helping make changes in the young person's life. All other expenses such as school fees and clothing are additional and are covered by Youth Horizons. In some cases your mileage will also be reimbursed. 

Respite foster carers

Respite foster care placements allow young people who are living with a foster carer to have a short stay with another foster carer, giving them and their main carer a break. Our respite foster carers receive the same training and support as our full-time carers thereby maintaining continuity for the young person.


We have opportunities for live-in teaching parents in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and the Hawke's Bay.

Teaching parents care for up to five young people aged 12-16 years in a supervised group home. Young people referred to the home are usually in the care of Oranga Tamariki and will have challenging behaviour. You are responsible for the day-to-day household management of the house and manage designated staff members in the provision of direct care for young people.

The role of the teaching parents is to teach appropriate behaviours (consistent with our model of practice), display Youth Horizons values and exercise sound judgment when working with others. Teaching parents live in the home with the young people and have a separate bedroom and bathroom. We provide 24/7 support including active, on-site support from the practice leader, in-home staff support and full training and mentoring. Our skilled clinical and cultural team will work with you to address each young person’s needs.

Each young person will need:

  • Your well-honed parenting skills so they can thrive
  • A place they can call home for 6 to 9 months, to learn new social, academic, and life skills
  • To be safe and secure, accepted for who they are and treated with respect

Our homes utilise the Teaching Family Model (TFM), an evidence-based therapeutic model widely delivered overseas and in many of our services here in New Zealand. It is very effective in helping young people to learn pro-social skills to enable them to successfully live in the community. Full training in TFM is provided.

The remuneration package includes a salary for both teaching parents, food and normal household expenses (including rent) for the couple along with a vehicle for work related travel.

Alternative teaching parent

The role of an alternative teaching parent is a permanent full-time position (40 hours per week) responsible for supporting the teaching family parents in their vital role to support and empower the young people within the home to undertake their daily activities, meet their goals and work to bring about real change.


For more information please contact:

Free phone: 0508 CARED 4 (0508 227334)