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What to expect

Generally, children and young people stay in care until they are able to safely return home. Therefore, children and young people can stay in care for varying lengths of time. This may be anything from a few days or weeks to allow the birth family to get 'back on track', or for months or even years. Where a return to their birth parents is not possible, every effort is made to locate a member of the child’s extended family to care for them. We call this kinship care. For some children it takes longer to achieve this goal and they need to remain in care for a longer time, occasionally until they are 18 years old.

The following sections provide further information on what to expect as a carer, tips on how you can help a child settle into your home and ways to connect children to family and their culture.