Key information

  • Some children and young people may not be safe at home.
  • We look after you until it’s safe to go home again, or safe to live somewhere else (like another family member).
  • Being in out of home care means living away from home with another family, like a foster carer or one of your relatives.
  • It’s not the child or young person’s fault if they come into care.

Being in care

If a child or young person is unsafe at home, they may need to live with a trusted friend or family member, or with a foster carer. This is called ‘out of home care’ or being ‘in care’.

Children and young people come into care for lots of different reasons. Their parent might be having problems, or it might not be safe for them to be at home. It’s not their fault if they come into care.

What happens in care?

If a child or young person is in care, they can:

  • talk to their family and other people who matter to them, if it’s safe to do so
  • spend time with brothers and sisters if they don’t live together
  • choose not to see anyone, if they don’t want to
  • spend time with their Child Safety Officer and care team to and have a say about what happens to them.

When can I go home?

Sometimes you can be in care for a very short time, or longer. It takes as long as needed until it’s safe to go home.

Some children and young people stay with their carers until they’re adults.

Your care team will be there to support you.

If your child is in care

If you’re a parent of a child or young person in care, you will be treated with respect and fairness.

You can:

  • request a family group conference
  • participate in your child’s care team and care planning
  • work with your child’s Child Safety Officer so we can understand your goals and needs, and how we can help you.