Out of Home Care in the ACT
Child protection and out of home care services remain open
Keeping children safe and supported is an essential focus for the ACT while we all work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) are continuing to operate. You can find information specific to how CYPS is continuing to work to support children, young people, their families and their carers in the ‘Children and families’ section on the COVID-19 community service information web page. It also includes information on continued support for young people involved with the youth justice system. We will continue to update our information to keep you informed of what we are doing so please bookmark the page and visit it regularly. Go to COVID-19 community service information.
Foster carers and kinship carers are the backbone of our out of home care system. Carers open their hearts and their homes to our most vulnerable children and young people. Making this very important decision requires considerable commitment and brings significant changes, challenges and joys as part of the foster or kinship care experience.
Kinship care is the most common form of out of home care available in the ACT for children and young people in the care of the Director-General. Since 2010, it has increased beyond all other forms of out of home care. This form of care is of particular importance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as it usually means cultural ties remain in place.
Under the ACT Government’s five year out of home care strategy, A Step Up for Our Kids – One Step Can Make a Lifetime of Difference, out of home care organisations will provide support for kinship carers with children and young people on long term orders.
Child and Youth Protection Services employs a Carer Liaison Officer. This role serves as a central point of contact for support and liaison with carers to access information, advocate on their behalf and work to strengthen relationships between carers and the Directorate. The Carer Liaison Officer can be contacted on 6205 8357 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following links provide useful information, news and updates for carers to assist you in your caring role and to navigate the child protection and out of home care systems.
Carer Handbook: The 'Go-To Resource' for Kinship and Foster Carers in the ACT
A handbook for carers has been developed to provide valuable information and support to kinship and foster carers caring for Canberra children.
It includes loads of information to help carers be informed about their role and responsibilities, understand different aspects of care such as decision-making, relationships and finance, and where they can go for help and support. It is designed to be a one-stop reference guide to answer carer questions when they come up.
The Carer Handbook has been developed by Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) in partnership with ACT Together and Carers ACT.
If you are a kinship or foster carer working with CYPS or ACT Together, then check out your Carer Handbook
CYPS Carer liaison
Phone: 02 6205 8357
After hours crisis service: 1300 556 729 (emergency or serious incidents only)
Web: Community Services
Phone: 02 6110 2200
Web ACT Together
After hours crisis service: 0402 036 254 (emergency or serious incidents only. Voice calls only)
Carers ACT - Kinship and Foster Carers Advocacy Service
Phone: 0447 632 067
Web: Carers ACT