happy young mother and her foster daughter playing card game at home

Centacare provides short-term, long-term and respite care for children from birth until adulthood. Many children within the program are cared for by foster families in short-term arrangements under a Custody Order of the Chief Executive, for placements of 6 to 12 months, as part of a planned reunification with their birth family. For children on long-term Custody Orders, Centacare foster carers can provide care until the child or young person reaches the age of 18.

The assessment process, including the training during this stage, is the same regardless of the type of foster care you wish to provide. For approved carers, training requirements can vary, depending on the type of care they are approved for (general or specialist) and training will be tailored to the carers needs.

Short-Term Care, Specialist

Children and young people who have experienced trauma or harm often have complex emotional and behavioural needs. Our short-term specialist care places children with foster carers who have undertaken specific training to enable them to best support these children to navigate life.  This type of care extends to carers who actively support children that have plans to be reunified with their birth families.

Short-Term Foster Care

Short-term care can be provided for any time frame – from 2 weeks to 2 years – always with the aim of meeting the child’s unique needs and best interests. Children come to require short-term care at a time of family crisis for a variety of reasons. This program strives to give the child or children’s birth family the space they need to work towards positive change.

If appropriate, our program will seek to reunite the child or children with their birth family. If this is not possible, a plan will be formulated to support the child or children being placed in a long-term care arrangement.

Long-Term Foster Care

For some children, reunification with their birth family is not an option, due to safety reasons and other challenges. In these instances, either long-term specialist or long-term general care is arranged as part of the Centacare Foster Care program until the birth family’s circumstances change or until the child is 18-years-old.

Careful consideration is given to the particular needs of the foster child(ren) to make the best match possible with their foster carer, or foster family. The success of this relationship results in a fulfilling experience for everyone. Maintaining contact with birth family is important for a child’s identity formation and the regulatory of contact will be determined by the Department for Child Protection, which is documented in the case plan.

Respite Foster Care

Juggling work and home life can be tricky without the support of family and friends. When life gets busy for foster families, respite carers can step in.

Respite carers host foster children for short stays such as on weekends, during school holidays and for one-off overnight stays.  This gives full-time carers an opportunity to nurture their own well-being, safely in the knowledge their foster child is being cared for by a familiar face.

For the children, it provides an opportunity to forge meaningful relationships outside of their foster home, as they share new experiences with other positive influences in their life.

Please contact Centacare to discuss any questions you have about the different types of foster care and how they fit your family’s circumstances.