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Responsibilities of relative, kinship and foster carers

Relative, kinship and foster carers have responsibilities to the child in their care and to agency staff. 

Provide care

  • Provide a caring home for the child, assuring safety, giving affection, fostering the child's self-esteem and providing as near as possible to a normal life. this means giving structure to the child's life and a consistent standard of care allowing for the child's individuality and growing maturity and helping to heal the impact of loss and trauma that the child has experienced. 
  • Treat the child in your care as you would treat your own child. 

  • Assist the child to cope with being a member of two families. 

  • Promote a positive view of the child's biological family and help maintain connections to the family of origin, the child's community and significant others in the child's life. 

  • Show respect for, and strengthen, the links to the child's culture, religion,  language and spiritual beliefs. 

  • Support the child in their transitions into, between, and out of care.

  • Where the child is placed long term with you, make a life long commitment to the child.

  • Assist in the development of a Life Story collection and help the child to understand why the child is in care. 

  • Treat information about the child and the child's family as confidential. 

  • Encourage the child to have an active life and to develop his or her potential. 

  • Encourage the child's learning and educational achievement. 

  • Promote and encourage participation in cultural activities so that the child's cultural identity is not lost. 

  • Safeguard the child's personal records and property. 

Work together

  • Work respectfully and cooperatively with families and agency staff as part of the care team. 

  • Be open and honest with the child, the caseworker and other agency staff as part of the care team. 

  • Allow workers to visit and support you on a regular basis to see the child or young person on their own. 

  • Inform staff of changes to the child's needs or your family circumstances. 

  • Comply with legal obligations.

  • Not act without approval on significant decisions.

Keep learning

  • Attend foster care meetings and training sessions. 
  • Contribute your perspective so that the alternative care system can continue to improve. 

Seek help

  • Make the child's needs known and tell you others on the care team of any difficulties
  • Ask for advice and help when you are not sure what to do. 
  • Accept help when it is needed.