An ACT Government Website

Support for kinship and foster carers

Help to look after a child in your care, including money, wellbeing check-ups, training and government and community support.

Kinship and foster carers play a very important role in helping Canberra children grow up safe, strong and connected.

When you're a kinship or foster carer, you'll get support from teams that include:

  • case managers
  • carer liaison officers
  • therapeutic services
  • cultural services
  • community support organisations.

You'll also get:

  • financial support
  • training to support your carer skills
  • invitations to events like morning teas to connect with other carers.

Carer handbook

The Carer handbook [PDF 6.8MB] is the guide for approved kinship and foster carers in the ACT.

It will help you understand:

  • your role and responsibilities
  • decision-making, relationships, finance and legal matters
  • what the child’s care team is and your role in it
  • how to look after yourself
  • what to do if you have concerns about the child in your care
  • what happens when it's time for a child to return to their family.

Financial support

You'll get financial support from the ACT Government and can apply to the Australian Government for other payments and services.

ACT Government payments

You'll get financial support to help cover the costs of caring for a child. This includes:

  • a carer payment every fortnight, called the Foster and Kinship Care Subsidy.
  • payments for approved costs.

If the child needs anything extra, you can talk to your case worker about other support payments.

Carer subsidy rates

For current Foster and Kinship Care Subsidy rates, read the 2023–24 Subsidies and financial support guide for kinship and foster carers [PDF 410kB].

The guide also explains the other costs we may pay, including:

  • how to get approval for purchases
  • how to get reimbursed for agreed costs.

Australian Government payments

Carers can also apply for financial support from the Australian Government through Services Australia.

We can write a letter to Services Australia to let them know you are a carer for a child in out of home care.

You may be able to get other Australian Government payments and services including:

  • Child Care Subsidy
  • Child Wellbeing Subsidy
  • Family Tax Benefit
  • Carer Payment
  • Child Disability Assistance Payment

For more payments and to apply, check Services Australia payments for non-parent carers.

Help to access financial support you're entitled to

Contact Services Australia's Grandparent, Foster and Kinship Carer Advisers.

Call them on 1800 245 965, Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Paid or unpaid leave from your employer

Your employer may provide paid or unpaid parental leave if you're a foster or kinship carer.

Check with your employer to find out how they can support you.

Carer support contacts

Kinship carers

For children with case management

Your main support will be your Child and Youth Protection Services case manager.

Contact your case manager:

For children on a short-term or interim order

You can get support from Child and Youth Protection Services, Kinship Assessment and Support team.

Kinship Assessment and Support team
Carer Liaison Officer

For day-to-day advice and help resolving concerns.


For questions and advice on finance, including reimbursements.

Foster carers

For children with case management

Your main support will be your ACT Together case manager.

Contact ACT Together:

ACT Together – Carer Support team

Emotional and practical support, advice and advocacy.

ACT Together – Therapeutic Services team

Will advise you through your case manager on the therapeutic needs for the child in your care.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers or children

You can contact one of our dedicated teams that support kinship carers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families.

Cultural Services team

Kinship Assessment and Support team

Carer advocacy organisations

Carers ACT

You can get help or support from the Carers ACT – Kinship and Foster Carers Advocacy Service to:

  • to communicate or resolve issues with CYPS and ACT Together, including writing letters, phone calls, attending meetings
  • to care for children with a disability or chronic illness.

Foster Care Association of the ACT

You can get information, referrals and advice through the Foster Care Association of the ACT.

Parenting and family support

Child and family centres

Carers can visit or call a Child and Family Centre for:

Gugan Gulwan Aboriginal Youth Centre

Young people and their families can get support from the Gugan Gulwan Child, Youth and Family Support Program.


CREATE is the Children and Young People Engagement Support Service. Children in care can get support and connect with other children in care through CREATE programs and events.

Help to understand childhood trauma

It helps to understand how childhood trauma can affect a child’s development, relationships and identity. This is called ‘being trauma informed’. Being trauma informed will help you support the child in your care.

When you start looking after a child, you’ll meet with a therapeutic assessor to identify the child’s challenges and the support they need.

You can also get information and tips in our therapeutic guides about:

  • calming strategies
  • relational healing
  • positive behaviour support
  • therapeutic care
  • trauma and the body
  • young people’s behaviour.

Learn more in Help to understand childhood trauma.

Training and carer events

Training helps you gain and share knowledge and skills about caring for a child. Our morning teas and other events are a good way to meet other carers.

For bookings or questions, email or

Training and workshops

First aid training

This first aid training covers the most common first aid injuries and illnesses. It will help you confidently manage emergency situations and provide first aid.

Training options:

  • Monday 22 April from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm at Gungahlin Child and Family Centre
  • Thursday 7 November from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm at Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre.

Restoration training

This training helps kin carers support a child to transition home to their parents. You learn new creative parenting techniques and learn from the life experiences of other kin carers in the group.

Starts May and runs from weeks 2 to 9 of term 2. Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Child Development Service.

Orientation training

This training is for new kinship carers. It will help you understand the words, processes and teams you will experience as kinship carer with Child and Youth Protection Services.

Training options:

  • Thursday 6 June from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre.
  • Thursday 28 November from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at West Belconnen Child and Family Centre.

Connect training

This group program supports kinship carers of children and teens aged 8 to 16. Each week you will cover a core principle of caregiving, attachment and trauma in kinship care. Role plays and discussion exercises will help you explore the principle and apply it in your relationship with the child. You will meet for 1.5 hours each week, in groups of 8 to 12 carers with 2 trained group leaders.

Starts October and runs from weeks 2 to 9 of term 3. Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Child Development Service.

Morning teas, BBQs and special days

Morning teas

Morning teas are casual and allow kinship carers to come together and hear from a range of professionals on key topics.

  • April: theme PACE, Thursday 4 April from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Gungahlin Child and Family Centre
  • July: theme Centrelink & money minded, Thursday 25 July from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Gungahlin Child and Family Centre.


BBQs are a relaxed and fun get together for kinship carers. They are an opportunity to meet other kinship carers with similar experiences.

  • Easter family BBQ: Thursday 28 March from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at West Belconnen Child and Family Centre
  • Bloke’s BBQ, Friday 26 September (time TBC) at Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre or a park
  • Christmas Family BBQ: Friday 20 December from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Gungahlin Child and Family Centre.

Special days

Children’s Day: Family fun day, Sunday 4 August (all day, times TBC) at Boomanulla Oval.

Our biggest event of the year! National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is a chance for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, language and the rich cultures of all First Nations Australians.

Indigenous literacy day, Friday 6 September from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm at Yarramundi

This fun event for children helps celebrate the Aboriginal culture of storytelling and promotes Indigenous language.

Read more

This page is managed by: Community Services Directorate