What are the different kinds of foster care?

No two children, young people, or families are the same. When it comes to foster care, we offer a range of placement types to meet the unique needs of children who require a home to support their varied circumstances.

A child can be placed in care for a night, a week, several months or until they are ready to become an independent adult. The length of time a child stays with a carer is determined individually, according to their best interests.

Carers are encouraged to choose the type of care that fits in with their life and family. CatholicCare also has a comprehensive process to find the best match for children with a family, and you are an active participant in that journey.

Long Term

This type of care is more permanent, lasting longer than two years, and usually when restoration with the family is not possible. When a child or young person is on a long-term care permanency pathway other permanency goals can be explored such as restoration, guardianship or adoption.


This is when a child or young person lives with other family members or someone they already know, such as a grandmother or family friend. This is the preferred option when it is in the child or young person’s best interest, and where the child or young person is unable to be restored to their parents.

Immediate Care

Also known as crisis care, this type of short-term care is provided to children or young people who need an urgent place to stay because there are concerns for their imminent safety.

Respite Care

This is short-term care provided to children or young people with the intention of giving their regular carers a reprieve from caring duties.

Short to Medium Term/Restoration

This type of care can last anywhere from a few months to two years, and usually takes place while restoration with the child’s family is being explored.