Recent messages to carers
- Carers and vaccination (19 November 2021)
- COVID-19 school vaccination days (4 November 2021)
- COVID-19 vaccination information for carers (16 September 2021)
The Australian Government is committed to providing all Australians with access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, to those who wish to vaccinate against COVID-19.
All South Australians over the age of 12 are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. See our message to carers
Information regarding the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in South Australia, including how to book an appointment, is available on the SA Health website.
General information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine national rollout can also be found on the Department of Health website.
Coronavirus is a respiratory illness with symptoms ranging from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get sick very quickly. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
See the SA Health website for information on:
- What is COVID-19 and how is it spread
- How to get tested for COVID-19
- What is social/physical distancing
- Face masks: who needs to wear a mask and safety tips
- How to use the COVID-SAfe Check-In
- Your wellbeing during COVID-19.
Translated coronavirus fact sheets are available in a wide range of languages.
Visit the South Australian Government's COVID-19 website for the latest updates and health advice.
The Department for Child Protection is following the medical advice issued by SA Health and the federal Department of Health. SA Health has produced a decision-making flow chart that outlines when and how to seek medical attention.
As a carer, you can consent to routine medical treatment for children in your care, such as visiting your GP (make sure you call in advance). See Who can say ok? for more information.
If you need to seek testing for the child in your care, take your foster and kinship carer ID card, along with your photo ID and the child or young person’s signed verification of a child in care card. As coronavirus testing is not routine medical treatment, you must also immediately notify the child’s case worker.
You should also notify your child’s case worker if any member of your household is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Practising good hygiene is the first step in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with paper towel or a hand dryer. Alternatively use alcohol based hand sanitisers.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Stay home if you’re unwell to avoid making others sick.
For more information on what you can do to reduce the risk of getting sick or passing infections, see the SA Health's Stop the spread in SA page or the Department of Health’s protect yourself and others advice.
Face masks are an additional physical barrier and help to stop the spread of COVID-19. At this time face masks must be worn in public spaces in South Australia.
Children under 12 years of age do not need to wear a mask, as they may not be able to handle it safely. Masks or face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
See SA Health’s face masks webpage for more information.
Physical distancing is another way to stop or slow the spread of the virus.
Physical distancing in public means people:
- keep 1.5 metres away from others wherever possible
- avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
- practise extra care if you are using public transport
- avoid crowds – if you see a crowded space do not enter
- avoid large public gatherings
- practise good hygiene
- stay at home if you have any cold or flu symptoms - seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19.
See SA Health’s What is social/physical distancing webpage for more information.
Visit the SA COVID-19 website for up-to-date information about current travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements.
Please talk to your child’s case worker immediately if you, a household member or a child in your care is planning or returning from overseas or interstate travel.
Talking to children in care about coronavirus
Visit this information page for more specific information about talking to children about coronavirus. This includes preparing yourself for the conversation and some resources to help you.
Managing the impacts of coronavirus
Colby Pearce, a private Clinical Psychologist, has developed a handbook and a series of short videos for foster and kinship carers to help them to manage the impact of the current outbreak on the children and young people in their care and themselves. If you would like a copy of the handbook, please email DCPPsychologicalServicesPanel@sa.gov.au.
Our Learning SA website
The Department for Education’s Our Learning SA website supports children to continue learning from home during social distancing. It includes advice on how to set up your home for learning, and age-targeted resources that complement their classroom education.
Learning Potential website
The Australian Government’s Learning Potential website provides practical guidance for carers to support a child’s learning and development at home using regular household objects and simple techniques.
ABC Education provides educational resources for primary and secondary school students that align to the school curriculum. This is complemented by televised weekday education programming for school aged children on ABC TV Education.
During the coronavirus young people have been spending more time online to stay connected, and have been helping other household members to do the same.
This is likely to continue to be part of life, which increases the chance of young people being exposed to negative online behaviours and inappropriate content. It is important that we help young people to navigate online environments safely, and encourage them to get support when they need it. DCP has developed an online safety webpage with resources to assist carers to have important conversations about online safety with the children in their care.
To help young people adjust to the ‘new normal’, the eSafety Commissioner has put together some advice about online safety and wellbeing. Their 6 tips include:
- stay connected with friends
- manage your mental health
- know how to deal with cyber bullying
- don’t fall for fake news
- balance your time online
- be cautious about online relationships.
Visit the eSafety Commissioner’s website for more details.
Activities for children and carers
Open Your World, the state's new wellbeing website, has a great range of activities for kids.
We've also created the following information sheets specifically for carers:
- Activities for children at home (PDF, 1.6 MB).
- Activities for Aboriginal children and young people (PDF, 573.1 KB), including links to teach traditional Aboriginal games, colouring-in pages, music, podcasts, story-telling videos and more
- Information for carers of children with a disability (PDF, 519.8 KB), containing a list of fun and engaging activities that you can do with children and young people at home. Where possible we have included resources which have been prepared specifically for children with disabilities and their carers.
In addition, Nature Play SA has produced an online guide to support families during social distancing and self-isolation.
Looking after yourself
We know that the coronavirus is leading to increased stress and pressure for many families. It is important that you take care of your mental health during this time. Remember to talk to your carer support worker if you are struggling – they are here to help. If you think the child or young person in your care may need extra support, please talk to their case worker immediately.
The Wellbeing SA website is full of great resources to support your physical, social, mental and community wellbeing during this time.
The Department of Health’s Head to Health COVID-19 Support page has information and resources to help look after your mental health during this difficult time. It includes information about how to maintain good mental health and how to access mental health services. This SA Health fact sheet also contains useful information and a list of service providers who can provide support.
Our carer fact sheet lists a number of ways carers can look after themselves at home (PDF, 677.9 KB) including arts and culture, relaxation and mindfulness, and movement and exercise.
Aboriginal carers and families
Aboriginal people and people living in remote communities are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus, particularly Aboriginal people over 50 years old. During this time there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe and healthy. Please visit the Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and remote communities for information on how to protect yourself and your community, and stay in touch during this period.
If you have concerns about your health that may impact your caring role, please talk to your support worker.
It is important during this time that Aboriginal children and young people remain connected to, and strong in, culture. The carer information sheet for Aboriginal children (PDF, 573.1 KB) includes links to teach traditional Aboriginal games, colouring-in pages, music, podcasts, story-telling videos and more. Please share this valuable resource with carers in your networks.
If you need support as a carer, please contact your carer support worker in the first instance.