Foster Care

CAFS cares for children each night through our foster care program.  Our goal is to provide vulnerable children and young people with a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. 

Some children and young people cannot live in their homes because their families are struggling with managing varying life issues. Sometimes the children are at risk of harm because of family violence, or their parents are struggling with substance abuse, mental health issues, illness or financial concerns. Sometimes families just need time to sort through issues. Foster care provides care for children and young people aged 0–17 years of age when their families are struggling to manage their care and wellbeing.

The overall aim of foster care is that the children will return home to their families when their parents are ready to care for them again. While the children and young people are in foster care, they will feel supported, nurtured and connected and have opportunities for continued growth and development.

CAFS urgently needs more foster carers to help care for children and young people. If you are interested in promoting the care and wellbeing of children and young people in your local community, think about becoming a foster care family. A foster carer’s role is a challenging but rewarding one. The rewards come from knowing you have helped make a difference for a child or young person. Foster carers come from all walks of life. We need diverse carers to meet the diverse needs of children and young people.

Different types of Foster Care

Emergency care

Emergency care is providing a child or young person with somewhere to live for approximately one to five nights. Vulnerable children and young people are removed from their family home due to a range of issues and situations. They require a safe place to stay until their family issues have been sorted out.

Respite care

Respite care is caring for a child or young person on a short-term basis, such as the occasional weekend or during school holidays. Respite carers support full-time carers to have a short break when needed. Sometimes the full-time carers and the respite carers are matched and, together, they share the care of the child or young person, allowing for a consistent approach to the care of the child.

Short-term care

Short-term carers provide a child or young person with a stable place to live for anywhere from three weeks to two years. The aim of a short-term placement is that the child or young person will return home when their family issues have been sorted out. During this time the carer ensures the child is well supported, nurtured and cared for.

Long-term care

Similar to short-term care, the foster carer ensures the child’s or young person’s needs are met while they are in their care. Long-term care can be anywhere from six months to five years, or until the young person turns 18. Children in long-term care form strong bonds with their carers and can maintain connections into adulthood.

How do I become a carer?Register for an Information Session

Curious to know more?  

Phone: (03) 5337 3333

Text: 0455 027 027


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These advertisements were produced using quotes from CAFS carers. We thank them for their inspiration and commitment to helping kids and young people in need.