Support and training
There's support and training available to caregivers, so you know what to do, and who to talk to when you need help. As we develop better support for caregivers, what's on offer will grow.
As a caregiver you'll be part of a team. You'll work with:
the child's social worker — This is the person you'll deal with most often. Talk to them about anything to do with the child and their needs.
a caregiver social worker — They’re here to support you. Talk to them about money, training, or anything you need to know.
other professionals — They might be teachers, doctors and counsellors, youth workers, or people working for NGOs or in the community.
the child’s family or whānau — Supporting the child or young person to stay connected with these people is a big part of caregiving.
your own family and whānau — Your own family and whānau play a huge role in making the child or young person feel welcome and loved, so it’s important they’re part of making decisions about providing care.
"It's about teaching a child how to receive love and how to give it."
24/7 Caregiver Guidance and Advice Line
Having someone to talk to about the challenges you’re facing as a caregiver can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve launched a nationwide 24/7 Caregiver Guidance and Advice Line.
The line is staffed by a dedicated team of trained social workers who understand what it takes to be a caregiver. They’re on the end of the phone to provide a listening ear, along with practical advice and support.
The phone line is available nationwide - 0508 CARERS (0508 227 377).
We run local support groups, where you'll be able to get together with other caregivers to share your experiences and talk with others who understand the challenges and rewards of foster care. To find the support groups near you, talk to your caregiver social worker.
How to access health and education services
The Hand in Hand Book for caregivers brings together information about universal health and education services. It’s structured around the age of the child - from birth to 18 years, and can be used as a type of checklist, so children and young people in care have access to all the services they’re entitled to.
It covers things like how to enrol with a family doctor, when immunisations are due, and how to enrol in education, from early learning services through to secondary school. It also has information about specialist support services.
New national standards for children and young people in care
The National Care Standards came into effect on 1 July 2019. They set out the standard of care every child and young person needs to be well and do well, and the support caregivers can expect to receive when they open their hearts and homes.