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Types of Foster Care

We need Foster Carers who can meet the differing needs and situations of each child who comes into care. Some children come into care for a very short time and other children require a family placement until they become independent or move towards a permanent placement. There are a number of types of foster care. These include:

  • short term
    Short to Medium Term Foster Care

    Short to Medium Term Foster Care can be from a couple of weeks up to 2 years. Short to medium-term care provides a safe and stable environment for children while arrangements for long-term care are being made or we are working towards the child returning to their parents or their family's care.

  • respite care
    Respite Foster Care

    Respite Foster Carers give long term foster carers a short break particularly when they care for children with high needs. Respite Foster Carers usually have the children one or two weekends a month or for other short periods of time. Respite care is usually planned and scheduled well in advance but can sometimes be required at short notice.

  • emergency
    Emergency or Crisis Care

    Emergency, Crisis or Immediate Foster Care is needed when there are concerns for a child's immediate safety. Emergency care is usually from one night up to a few weeks. Life Without Barriers foster care programs often receive requests for emergency care placements from state child protection services and Foster Carers able to provide immediate care are highly regarded. Immediate foster carers need to be able to provide care at very short notice, after-hours and on weekends.

  • kinship
    Kinship or Family Care

    Kinship and Family Care refers to the care of children by relatives or, in some circumstances, close family friends. Before Foster Care placements are considered the Child Protection department investigates options for Kinship placements because it maintains the children's connections with their family and community. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, kinship care may include another Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander who is a member of, or compatible with, the child’s community or language group.  

  • long term
    Long Term Foster Care

    Long Term Foster Care is required to give children a safe and supportive home until the circumstances of their family change or they reach independence. Often, children in long term care are not expected to return to live with their family on a full time basis. Foster Carers who provide long-term care commit to parenting children toward adulthood. They experience all the challenges and rewards of guiding a child as they grow and develop. Long-term Foster Carers are pivotal in helping children and young people maintain a connection with their family, form a strong sense of identity and develop all the skills and knowledge needed as they transition into independence.

  • guardianship

    Guardianship is for a relative or kinship carer (or sometimes an authorised Foster Carer), who is considering seeking long-term full parental responsibility for a child or young person through an order of the Children’s Court. Under a guardianship order, a guardian takes on full parental responsibility of the child or young person, making all decisions about their care until they reach 18 years of age.

  • foster care to adoption
    Foster Care to Adoption

    Foster Care to Adoption is approved for children who have long-term orders and will not be returning home to their families. This is not an option in some States and Territories. Children who are adopted through foster care usually have ongoing contact with family and community to ensure their sense of identity and heritage is preserved. For further information into Foster to Adoption in NSW, please go to: