Being in care

Find out what to expect if you are in care. If you are living away from home, it's because we want you to be safe and well cared for. We care about you and want the best for you.

Someone to talk to

If you are ever sad about living away from home or just need someone to talk to, call your social worker or anyone else at Child, Youth and Family. 

Call us on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) anytime. We're always there for you.

People who care about you

Even if you can't live with them right now, your family cares about you. There are lots of other people who care about you too, like your social worker and the people you are staying with.

Your social worker
This is the person who is helping you and your family to work out any problems they have, so that you can be safe and well cared for as part of your family.

You can ask your social worker as many questions as you want, questions like:

  • Why can't I live with my family?
  • How long will I be living with caregivers?
  • What if I don't like where I'm living?

If you have hobbies or things you like doing, tell your social worker, they want to help you do things that you enjoy.

Your caregivers
These are the people that are taking care of you if you are not at home. We choose special caregivers who want to give you a safe home and look after you.

Your caregivers want you to feel happy and safe, so talk to them if you ever feel worried or have any questions.

If there is something you don't like about where you're living, you can talk to your social worker about it.

"My social worker always tried to help me while I was in care and best of all she believed in me. She was the one who said I deserved a good life and should expect the best for myself." Young person

Why am I in care?

We want you to be with your family, so we'll only move you to another home if we need to make sure you're safe.

Most of the time you'll be part of a family group conference, where your whole family will make decisions about what's best for you. That way you'll know what's going on before everyone decides that it's safest for you to live away from home for a while. 

If your social worker or the police ever believe that you're in serious danger, you may be moved into care on very short notice.  This is so that you're protected and kept safe.  If you're moved into care on short notice, we'll talk to your family about what happens next.  We won't make any important decisions without talking with your family first.

What is a family group conference?

Your family will go to a meeting so that we can all help make a plan to keep you safe and well cared for.  We will help make changes so that your home is safe and secure.  We'll try to involve your family in every decision that has to do with your future.

"It was awesome to have everyone around me and wanting to help me." Young person

Can I still talk to my family?

We'll work out the best way for you to stay in touch with your family if everyone agrees that it's okay.  That could mean planning family visits, sending each other letters, cards, emails and talking on the phone.

You can talk to your social worker about keeping in touch with your family.

What does 'in care' mean?

When we talk about you being 'in care', it means that you are being looked after by Child, Youth and Family. We'll do our best to keep you safe and secure, whether you're living with someone in your family or with other caregivers who are not related to you.

Our goal is to work with you and your family so that it's safe for you to live at home.  We want to work together to make positive changes for you and your family.

If you can't live at home, we want to find you a safe place with people who will love you and take good care of you.

How will Child, Youth and Family take care of me?

We will do our very best for you while you are in our care.

We will give you a book called 'children and young people have rights', which is our promise to take good care of you. 

When you go into care you can bring stuff from home with you like a favourite game or things from your room.

We'll take care of your health, things at school, and make sure your caregiver knows what you need.

  • Your social worker will talk to your family about creating a special care plan for you so that the people you're living with know what you're used to at home, the things you need, your habits and your hobbies. This will help your caregivers get to know you, and be able to take good care of you.
  • You'll get a medical check-up so that we can work out your health needs, which may include a dentist, doctor or counsellor.
  • We'll talk with people at your school to make sure you get extra help if you need it. 
  • We'll also make sure that you have other stuff you need, like a school uniform and school books.
  • You will have a social worker to talk to.  They'll listen to you and make sure your needs are met.  Please talk to your social worker if you're ever worried or have questions.

"My social worker helped me to find out what I'm good at." Young person