In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Stepping up for kinship and foster carers


Helpful information for kinship and foster carers

Supporting children unable to live with their parents.

A Step Up for Our Kids

A Step Up for Our Kids is the out of home care strategy in the ACT. It guides the work of Child and Youth Protection Services when working with families whose children might be at risk of coming in to care and those who are in care.

Under A Step Up for Our Kids the priority is for children and young people to stay with or return to their families. If children can’t stay at home, they live with other members of their family or with foster carers. A Step Up for Our Kids aims for all children to grow up strong, safe and connected.

Out of Home Care

What is kinship care?

Kinship care is when a child or young person lives with a family member or someone they already have a relationship with because they can’t live at home.Children's artwork

In the ACT, kinship care often happens informally where someone might care for their niece, nephew or grandchild while their parents can’t look after them for a period.

Kinship care for children and young people in care refers to children and young people that have an ACT Care and Protection Order. In these circumstances, kinship carers undergo an assessment with Child and Youth Protection Services before they are approved as carers. Once approved, kinship carers are issued with a special authority and approval to care for the child or young person.

If a child or young person is in care and a family member or significant person in their life wishes to be a kinship carer they should get in contact with Child and Youth Protection Services on 02 6207 1069 or 02 6207 1466.

Child and Youth Protection Services will decide where a child or young person should live based on the best interests of the child or young person. Wherever possible, Child and Youth Protection Services will try to place children and young people with their family or someone who is known to them. Even if the child or young person doesn’t live with the family member, they can still be an important part of their life.

What is foster care?

Children's artworkA foster carer is someone from the community who is trained and approved to care for a child or young person who can no longer live with their family. The care might be for a short or long period depending on what is happening for the child or young person or carer. Child and Youth Protection Services prefers for children and young people to be with their family and so they are often placed with foster carers for a short period until family are found or ready.

Carer handbook

Child and Youth Protection Services and ACT Together have published a joint Carer Handbook. The Carer Handbook is a comprehensive guide for foster and kinship carers to help them navigate their involvement with Child and Youth Protection Services and ACT Together.

You can access the handbook online at Carer Handbook: The ‘Go-To Resource’ for Kinship and Foster Carers in the ACT.

For hardcopies of the guide speak to a Child and Youth Protection Services or ACT Together case manager or email CBRStepsUp@act.gov.au

Useful information

There is lots of information available for carers to help them with their role.

Other guides and reports that might be useful are:Children's artwork

There are also some great websites and resources available for carers such as:

Become a carer

Are you interested in becoming a foster carer?

There is always a need for more foster carers in the ACT to provide support and a home for children and young people in care.

ACT Together are the ACT’s foster care agency who provide people with support and assistance in relation to becoming a foster carer.

For more information or if you wish to apply to be a carer please contact ACT Together on 1300 WE FOSTER or via the ACT Together websiteExternal Link.

To understand more about the role of being a carer, please refer to a Carer Handbook which is a comprehensive guide for carers.

Supports and services

There are a whole range of supports and services available to kinship and foster carers in the ACT. You can find out about these, the services they offer and how to connect with them by visiting the Carer Handbook section ‘Supports and Services’.

Dictionary and publications

Head to our Dictionary to understand what different words mean in relation to child protection and family support matters.

You can also find various resources on our Publications page.