What are the different types of foster care?
In NSW and ACT, children and young people enter foster care if they are at risk of significant harm and cannot live safely at home. They may be placed with kinship carers or short-term foster carers before decisions are made by the Children’s Court about where they can live.
Each child has individual needs, but long-term plans may include: being able to live safely with their parents again; placed with relatives or kinship carers; or transitioning to a permanent foster care, guardianship arrangement or open adoption.
Short-term foster care
Ranging from a few days or months, even up to a period of two years, short-term foster care provides temporary care for a child in order to return them safely back to their birth family or to find them an alternative permanent home.
Permanent foster care
When a child cannot return safely to their birth parents or family members, they need a permanent family who can give them a safe, secure, and safe environment up until they reach the age of 18 years or are ready to move on to independent living.
Respite foster care
Caring for a child one weekend every month
(or more during school holidays), respite foster care provides a foster child with additional positive relationships and experiences, plus allows their foster families a little time out.
Children live with, and are cared for by, relatives, family friends or community members with the same cultural ties. Kinship carers are usually grandparents, aunties or uncles who have taken on a full-time carer role.
When the Children's Court rules a child cannot safely return home or to kin, open adoption provides a child with a sense of belonging, stability and security. They become a legal member of their new adoptive family, but also remains in contact with their birth family which helps to strengthen their sense of identity and culture.
Foster care gives children a second chance at childhood
Meet Dalal - Barnardos foster carer
Why foster with Barnardos?
We know that deciding to become a foster carer is one of the biggest decisions someone can make in their life, and the choice of who to foster with is just as important.
Barnardos is a trusted organisation with a long history of helping children. Our carers receive training, allowance and dedicated case worker support. We also pay a higher carer allowance to our specialist carers in recognition of their dedicated role.
Unlike other foster care organisations, we don’t believe in a “one size fits all” care model. Instead we have different types of foster care to allow our carers to specialise their skills and receive targeted support.
We openly embrace equality and diversity and have carers from all walks of life. Carers are welcomed from all faith backgrounds, and we don’t impose an upper age limit. We have accepted many people in their 40’s and older to be foster carers or adoptive parents who have been turned away from other agencies due to their age.