Carers provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail.  The type of screening required depends on the role/s the carer applicant is carrying out.  

Care of children

Carers for children may provide day to day care for children separated from their biological parents on an occasional, temporary or permanent basis and may be categorised as relative carers, kinship carers, foster carers and foster parents. 

Child-related employment screening is required for the following categories of carer:

  • foster carers
  • relative/kinship carers 
  • respite carers 
  • adoptive parents 
  • regular guests/frequent visitors
  • household members


  • Foster carer = a person applying to become a foster parent or renewing their foster carer registration
  • Relative/Kinship carer = a person who is a relative of the child in care, applying to relative carer for the child in care or renewing their relative carer registration
  • Household member = a person who is over 18 years of age and residing in the same home as the foster carer or relative carer applicant
  • Regular guest = a person who regular visits the home of the foster carer or relative carer applicant
  • Natural/birth parent = a parent who is seeking reunification or access with their natural child who has been removed from their care



For more information

Families SA Carer Assessment & Registration Unit

Screening applications for carers in South Australia are mostly submitted through the Carer Assessment and Registration Unit (CARU) within Families SA in the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD). 

The Families SA Carer Assessment and Registration Unit can be contacted by telephone on Ph:  8226 0695 or 1800 065 246.

Office for Carers

The Office for Carers administers the South Australian Carers Recognition Act 2005 and works with other State Government agencies to improve the focus and response of government to the issues of carers. 

Phone: +61 8 8413 8139    Postal address: GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001  Email: Office for Carers

If you work as a paid carer and wish to query the progress of a screening application, please contact the DCSI Screening Unit.

Foster care  

Foster carers need to be able to offer safe and secure home environment to the foster child.  Screening checks for foster carers include criminal record checks for all adults living in the home, and child protection screening. 

For information about becoming a foster carer, please contact Foster Care Services  on Ph: 1300 2 367 837. 

Caring for people with disability

Disability Services provides a range of specialist disability services to children and adults in South Australia with disability, their families and carers.  For more information go to:   Website:

Community support 

More information about community support services for carers is available on the South Australian Government's website.