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Types of Foster Care (Generalist & Specialist)

Types of Foster Care

Lutheran Care Foster Care Services provide a range of care options that foster carers can choose from.

Both our Generalist Care and Specialist Care programs are therapeutic in nature. We exist to provide quality support to families and stable placements for children to help them heal, grow and thrive.

We provide various types of care including Short Term (Immediate Response), Short Term (12 months), Long Term and Respite Care. Many foster carers register for multiple types of care.

Generalist Foster Care provides various care options (Short Term, Long Term and Respite) for children and young people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Specialist Foster Care equips and supports families caring for older children and young people with significant and complex needs.

Regardless of the type of care you provide, as a Lutheran Care Foster Carer you are a key partner in the care team. We walk alongside you and offer personalized, 24/7 support to all Lutheran Care foster families.

Generalist Foster Care

General Foster Care provides various care options (Short Term, Long Term and Respite) for children and young people of all ages.

Generalist Foster Care

Generalist Foster Care includes all types of care for children of all ages and cultural backgrounds. All children and young people in care are impacted by their adverse childhood experiences. This includes any trauma and or abuse they have experienced prior to entering care. Generalist foster carers work with and are supported by their Lutheran Care Support Worker, the child's Department for Child Protection Social Worker and other professionals within the Care Team to meet the unique needs of the child, to access professional help and therapy where required, and to provide a safe and stable home environment in which the children and young people can heal, learn, grow and thrive.

Specialist Foster Care

Specialist Foster Care provides various care options for older children and young people with high and complex needs.

Specialist Foster Care

Children and young people eligible for Specialist Care are generally older (5+ years) and significantly impacted by their trauma experiences. They may have specific physical needs, medical needs or disability. Eligibility to become a Specialist foster carer is different to Generalist care. To become a Specialist foster carer, we are seeking unique individuals or couples who can demonstrate an experienced skillset in caring for children and young people with complex needs and challenging behaviour. Specialist foster carers receive support including advanced training to help equip you meet the children's needs, frequent home visits to support you in the role, ongoing Respite care and a generous financial reimbursement to support you in fulfilling the 24/7 nature of the Specialist carer role.

Respite Foster Care

Respite foster carers come from all walks of life to provide short stays for children and young people living with long term foster families.

Respite Foster Care

Respite Care is a highly valued type of care across both Generalist and Specialist Care programs. New foster carers often begin their fostering journey as Respite carer/s and grow into providing other care options down the track. Respite Care supports long term foster carers by offering a unique experience for children and young people to establish new connections and enjoy positive experiences with other nurturing adults. The period of care is usually overnight, and can be negotiated on a regular or once-off basis.
Types of Foster Care

Short Term Care - Immediate Response

Short Term Care may be urgently required at any time and on very short notice.

Children and young people may require an initial placement up to 90 days. This provides children and young people with safety and stability while their allocated Department for Child Protection Social Worker and the extended Care Team determine a longer term plan. There are a lot of unknown variables within this initial placement. In time, children and young people may be supported to reunify with their biological parents; they may be supported to live with extended family members in a Kinship Care arrangements; or there may be another significant adult who already has an established relationship with the child available to provide long term care. While these different options are explored, we acknowledge that children’s attachment needs are foundational to their social, emotional and cognitive development. We can best support them to develop healthy attachments by offering placement stability for as long as possible. This means that the children and young people may only stay with you for a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. Either way, we support Immediate Response Short Term carers to care for children and young people at short notice, with the flexibility to provide the care for as long as they’re needed.
Types of Foster Care

Short Term Care - 12 Months

Children and young people may require Short Term Care for up to 12 months.

This care provides children and young people with safety and stability while their Department for Child Protection Social Worker and the extended Care Team decide on a longer term plan. At the end of this time, a child or young person may be reunified with their birth family, or matched with a long term foster family. In our Short Term care film, Lutheran Care foster carers share how their family reacted to their decision to foster.
Types of Foster Care

Long Term Care

Long Term Care provides children unable to live with their family a stable home, safe environment, love and nurture in which they can learn, grow and thrive.

Long Term Care may be required until a child turns 18, or in some cases until the young person turns 21. In our Long Term film, a Lutheran Care foster carer shares why she enquired about foster care and how fostering has influenced her life.

"A lot of people talk about foster children and what you give to them, but they give a lot in return. I've been given a lot by having them in my life, it's been a real pleasure."

Types of Foster Care

Respite Care

Respite Care supports long term foster carers and provides a unique experience for children and young people to establish new connections and enjoy positive experiences.

Respite Care usually takes place over weekends and school holidays. This type of care provides foster families a break while the child or young person enjoys a positive experience building relationship with another caring adult or family. The period of care is usually overnight, and can be negotiated on a regular or once-off basis. In our Respite Care film, our carers share how Respite Care fits in with their work commitments and lifestyle.