What is Foster Care?

Foster care is the care of a child or young person who cannot live with their own family.

Woman holding younger boy smiling at camera

Children and young people enter foster care for many reasons. They can be any age – from newborn babies to 18 year olds – and they come from diverse backgrounds.

Children and young people may need care for different amounts of time.

The types of foster care in Australia includes:

  • Emergency care is for children who require a safe place to stay at short notice. It can be from one night up to one month
  • Respite care is caring for a child one or two weekends a month, usually to give full-time carers a break
  • Short-term care is from one month to two years
  • Long-term care is more than two years

MacKillop Family Services provides foster care in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. When you contact us, we can explain the different types of foster care, and discuss whether fostering will suit your family.

Foster care is an emotional and rewarding journey, but it is also challenging. MacKillop gives all carers comprehensive training so you know what to expect when a foster child joins your family, and how to handle different situations.

And once you’ve become a carer, you and the child in your care are supported by a specialist foster care team that helps you understand your foster child and respond appropriately to their needs.

Foster carers help create a brighter future for children and young people who may not have had the best start in life.

MacKillop is currently recruiting and training foster carers. Can you help give a child or a young person a brighter future?

Yes, I can help a child!


  • Foster Care Enquiry Line1300 791 677