Foster care

Foster care is provided to children and young people who are unable to live with their own families.

The need for foster carers from a broad range of backgrounds has never been more critical. Find out more about becoming a foster carer.

Foster carers take on the responsibilities of a parent for a period of time, to provide a safe, nurturing and secure family environment for children and young people needing care.

If you are in care yourself, see our section for young people in care.

Children and young people enter care because they are at risk of harm or neglect or because their parent or carer needs periodic relief. It is a very serious decision to place a child away from home. If your child is in care, find out more about your rights and how the process works.

Foster care could be short term or long term — for one or two nights, a few weeks or months, or even years. Read more about types of foster care.

One of our main goals is for contact to be maintained between all children and young people in care and their birth family. Foster carers are often in contact with the parents of the child in care, and all are involved in decisions and planning.

If you are a current Community Services carer see our section for current Community Services foster carers.

Foster Care resources - see our quarterly newsletter for foster carers, the Foster Carer Resource guide, fact sheets and other practical information for carers to support you.

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To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)