Easy English fact sheets for parents dealing with the child protection system. Advice from parents with experience.

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What is foster care?

Out of home care means your child does not live with you.
We will write OOHC when we talk about out of home care.
OOHC is when your child lives with a
  • different person in your family
  • with a foster family.
Community Services take your child to live with
  • a different person in your family.
    This is called kinship care.
  • a foster family. You do not know this family.
    This is called foster care.

Kinship care

Your child lives with a different person in your family.
Like their aunt.
Community Services checked your child will be safe there.
You will know where your child lives.
You will have rules about
  • when you can see your child. Like
    every Saturday for 3 hours.
  • what you can know about your child. Like
    • how your child is going in school
    • when they need to go to the doctor.

Foster care

Your child lives with a foster family.
You do not know this family.
Community Services find a family for your child.
Community Services checked your child will be safe there.
You may not know where your child is.
Foster families can have
  • 1 woman
  • 1 man
  • a women and a man
  • 2 women
  • 2 men
Foster families may have
  • their own children living with them
  • other foster children with them.
You will see your child at contact visits.
The visits are also called Family time.
Read our fact sheet Seeing your child.
The Court says when your child can come home.
This can take
  • 6 months
  • 12 months
  • not at all.

Who decides what is best for your child?

The law says the Minister for Families, Communities and Justice is
  • in charge of your child
  • in charge of Community Services.
The Community Services staff do what the law says they must do.
Read our fact sheet
Who are NSW Community Services?
The law says Community Services choose
  • where your child lives
  • who sees your child
  • when you can see your child
  • what to do about your childs health.
They choose the school your child goes to.
The foster carer chooses day to day things.
Like your childs
  • clothes
  • food
  • activities.
They will take your child to the doctor
  • when they are sick
  • in an emergency.

What can you do?

You are the parents. You can
  • go to care plan meetings
  • have a say about your childs future at that meeting.
You can have a support person when you
  • go to a care plan meeting
  • talk to your childs caseworker.
You can also
  • ask to have phone calls with your child.
    Community Services will tell you when this is ok
  • ask to send a
    • card
    • photo
    • gift.
You can only send it to your childs caseworker at Community Services.

What can you know?

You are the parents.
There will be rules for you.
Your child has a caseworker.
They can be from
  • Community Services
  • a foster care agency.
You can ask about
  • what your child can do now.
    Like is my child walking now?
  • your childs health.
    Like has my child had all their baby needles
  • how your child is going at school.
    Like they will go into grade 2 next year.
You can only ask your childs case worker about your child.
You can not ask the foster family.
What can you know about the foster carer?
You can ask for
  • the carers first name
    not their last name
  • the area your child lives
    • not the street name
    • not the house number
  • sort of family. Like
    • a woman only
    • a man only
    • a woman and man
    • 2 women
    • 2 men.
Other things you may not be told
Other private information about the foster care home. Like
  • anything about other children in their home
  • the school your child goes to.
Each family and child is different.
Rules can be different for your family.
Check with your childs caseworker about
  • what you can know
  • what you can ask about your child.

More information

The Ability Rights Centre made a fact sheet.
See IDRS website www.idrs.org
Read Your child has been removed what happens next?
This fact sheet is general information.
It may not be the same for you.
Talk to a lawyer about
  • your own child
  • your family.
This fact sheet was made by
  • The WASH House
  • The Ability Rights Centre. A service of IDRS
  • a Parent Advisory Group, 2020.
It is based on
  • the experience of parents
  • IDRS Making Sense fact sheets 2018
  • Kids in care booklets– Legal Aid NSW 2013
We have used images from
  • ChangePeople
  • Inspired Services
  • Mayer-Johnson
  • Participics
  • Picto-Selector
  • TheNounProject
  • Pinterest
  • Social Buzz.
Access Easy English helped The WASH House write the Easy English.
March 2020.


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