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When a child comes into care, little is known about the exact circumstances, but one thing is certain and that it is not safe for the child to remain where they are. Emergency carers provide immediate crisis care ranging from a single night to a few weeks. The duration of the placement depends on whether the risk at home can be removed or, until the child is placed with an alternative short-term or family carer if the safety concern cannot be resolved.


Short-term care can be as little as a few weeks or up to 24 months while a child’s matter is before the courts to determine whether or not a child can go back home safely, or an alternative family can be found. Carers will need to be able to support a child to transition either into a longer-term placement or back to their birth family if this plan is decided by court. Short-term carers will also be required to assist with the transport and supervision during contact visits and support children in their care with managing their emotional responses to these visits.


Long-term carers will care for a child until the young person reaches 18 years of age or is ready to move into independent living. CatholicCare expects that long-term carers commit to achieving this goal for the child in their care, with ongoing financial, emotional and practical support provided.


A respite carer is an individual or family who for one weekend per month or more often cares for a child in our program. Respite care provides a child’s full-time foster family with a break, and a chance to recharge. It also provides the child with the opportunity to learn more about living with safe, caring adults.

For more information:
P: (02) 9481 2600

Latest foster care News

Blake’s youth work story

Every few months, CatholicCare hosts a Youth Worker information night to attract prospective employees for the Permanency Support Program. Attendees come and go, with some deciding to apply for a Youth Worker position and others going on their merry way in search of the right career.

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Alice dreams of becoming a doctor

Moving 1½ hours away when you’re 16 years old is hard at the best of times. But for Alice and her sisters who live with CatholicCare foster carers, Julie and John, their move coincided with the beginning of a lengthy lockdown.

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In the news – the urgent need for foster carers

Up to 30 kids need emergency accommodation each night on the Northern Beaches, but many are forced to sleep in motel rooms due to a desperate shortage of foster carers. As many as 30 children — some aged just five — need emergency accommodation each night on the Northern Beaches.

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Adam’s embracing care & taking steps to a brighter future

A difficult start in life and added trauma along the way led young Adam to develop some challenging behaviours, disengage with school and use anger as a barrier against the world. But the supports he has received while living in one of our Intensive Therapeutic Care homes has seen a number of small breakthroughs which are helping him to identify his emotions, modify his behaviour and re-engage with education. 

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