Children and young people can require care for differing lengths of times.
Foster carers can look after children and young people for a few nights, a few weeks, months or until a child reaches adulthood and beyond.
The Benevolent Society’s Fostering Young Lives program provides foster care placements across Sydney for children and young people from birth to 18 years of age.
“We are constantly seeking foster carers who can provide safe and nurturing homes for children and young people who cannot live with their own family right now,” says Vanessa Thambyah - Deputy Manager, Family Partnerships at The Benevolent Society.
What are the different types of foster care?
There are different types of foster care options available to suit different situations.
Immediate or crisis care
- Emergency placements are for children who need urgent care because there are concerns for their immediate safety.
- These placements can occur after-hours and on weekends. It can be for a few nights up to a few months until a child can return home or until a more suitable placement is identified.
- These placements are usually required at short notice.
Short to medium-term care
- From a few months up to two years.
- Often the focus is on providing a home for a child while their parents receive support to resolve issues. Some children will return home or move in with extended family and others may need long term care.
- These are placements for longer than two years.
- Long-term or permanent care usually occurs when the child is not expected to return to their family.
- In some circumstances, carers can apply to become legal guardians or adopt children who have been in their long-term care.
- From time to time, carers need a break from their caring role.
- Respite care is for short, usually pre-planned periods of time.
- Respite carers might care for a child one weekend a month or for a few weeks during school holidays.
- Respite carers offer a child the opportunity to develop additional positive relationships.
Children are at the centre of our service, and it is our priority to keep them safe.
“Often children will return home once it is safe for them to do so,” Vanessa added. “Some children will need carers to provide them with a permanent home. No matter how long a child stays with you, as a foster carer you’ll make a positive difference in their life in a way that stays with them forever.
“We offer a carer allowance to assist in the day to day needs and ongoing coordinated support services to best meet the needs of children and their carers.”
To register your interest in becoming a foster carer, call The Benevolent Society’s Support Centre on 1800 236 762 or click here for more information.