Key information

  • Family based foster care settings provide children with a family environment for as long as needed until they can return to their families or until they exit care, generally at 18 years of age.
  • Foster carers are individuals, couples and families that open their homes and hearts to children and young people when they are unable to live at home.

“Whether it is for one weekend a month or for longer it will make a difference in the life of a child.”

Types of family based care

Children and young people come into care for as long as needed. This can be from a few days to a few weeks or longer.

Emergency care

Emergency care is provided for a short period, usually a few days, when children or young people need urgent care to ensure their safety or following a family crisis.

Emergency carers need to be prepared to support children and young people who need extra comfort and reassurance because entering care can be an uncertain time for them.

The period of emergency care may be busy with many appointments and meetings to attend.

During this period, Child Safety may be seeking a family member to care for the child or young person in a kinship placement.

Respite care

Respite care is provided for children and young people for short periods of time on a regular basis, for example, one weekend a month. Respite placements provide the child or young person and primary carers with a network of support.

Wherever possible respite carers are identified to provide regular respite for the child or young person.

Respite carers are an important part of the child or young person’s Care Team. They ensure consistency of care and routine when the child or young person is not with their primary care giver.

Kinship care

Kinship care is a formal arrangement, similar to foster care and is provided by members of the child or young person’s extended family or an adult who is known to the child and their family (e.g. a close family friend).

Wherever possible, an Aboriginal child must be placed with kin or kith within the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

Short-term care

Children and young people may need care for a short period of time prior to being restored to their families or while a longer-term care arrangement is being organised.  

Carers may be asked to:

  • attend appointments
  • support the child or young person to spend time with their family
  • support the child or young person to attend school and stay involved in existing activities, like sports or hobbies.  

During this time, children and young people may feel anxious about their families, pets, toys or want to return home and need flexibility and patience.

Long-term care

If children and young people are not able to be restored to their families, they may need a long-term carer. This provides them with a stable, supportive home in which they can feel included and valued. This may be until the circumstances of their families change, or until they exit the Out of Home Care system, as young adults.

Therapeutic care

Specialist therapeutic care is provided to children and young people with high needs, such as disabilities or complex medical or developmental trauma needs. Carers who are experienced in these areas may be asked to look after a child or young person with more complex needs.

Intensive supported foster care

Intensive supported foster care provides a child or young person the opportunity to live in a family home while receiving therapeutic support. It provides them with the chance to build real and meaningful relationships within the family home, in an environment that supports stable connections and responds to their complex trauma needs.

Are you interested in providing family based foster care?

If you are interested in providing family based foster care, we encourage you to read through our list of frequently asked questions. These will provide a great overview of what is involved.

Our foster care providers page gives an overview of each of the organisations which provide family based foster care in Tasmania and their contact details. We encourage you to give the provider who most appeals to you a call today and start the process of becoming a member of our foster care community.

You can also contact us for further information on:

Phone: 0492 227 971