Foster Care


Samaritans provide foster care in Newcastle, the Central Coast and Mudgee through our Permanency Support Program.

Samaritans provide foster care in Newcastle, the Central Coast, Mudgee and regional NSW. Foster carers provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people who are not able to live with their family.

Some children and young people are in need of care for a few days, others for months and others stay in care with their foster family until they turn 18.

“We fostered a young man for ten years; there were lots of challenges but also lots of laughter and love. As a family we would not change that experience for the world – we all grew as people and this special young man will always be in our hearts as one of the family.” – Long Term Foster Carer

We operate foster care in:

  • Central Coast
  • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
  • Mudgee
  • Central Western NSW

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is providing a secure and safe home for children who can’t live at home. Children need foster care for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s because a parent is sick. Other times it could be because of serious abuse or neglect. Whatever the reason, these kids all need safe and caring environments for however long it takes to sort out the problems in their families.

The full roll out of the Permanency Support Program from July 2018 is one is one of the most significant changes made to the NSW child protection and out of home care systems in decades. The program is a government and sector-wide reform to child protection and foster care practice and culture and supports the safety, well-being and positive life outcomes for children and young people in the child protection system in NSW.

Types of Foster Care

Emergency or crisis care– is needed when there are concerns for a child’s immediate safety. Emergency carers need to be able to provide care at short notice, after-hours and on weekends.

Respite care- is needed when parents and carers need a break. Respite carers help for short periods of time, such as school holidays, weekends or for short periods during the week. Respite care is usually planned and scheduled well in advance.

Short to medium-term care– lasts for up to six months and has a strong focus on reuniting the child with their birth parents or extended family.

Long-term or permanent care- is needed when the child is not expected to return to their family.

Relative or kinship care is when a child or young person lives with a relative or someone they already know.

 Who Can Become a Foster Carer?

Foster carers come from all walks of life, single, in a relationship, working, studying or retired – what they have in common is that they believe every child and young person deserves a loving supporting home and want to contribute to our community achieving this.

All our foster carers receive financial assistance, ongoing training and support is available 24/7 from our team and our on call service.

Those who are already foster carers can move under the Samaritans umbrella after taking part in our short workshop, Sharing Stories, Sharing Lives. Please see below for the steps to take to get on board.

Hear from one of our carers on our YouTube channel. 

Next Steps

  1. Register Your Interest through the form below.
  2. A member of our team will be in contact and will send you an Information Pack.
  3. Attend one of our obligation-free information sessions to have all of your questions answered.

Foster Care Resources

Caring for kids: a guide for foster, relative and kinship carers- An online resource with great information on day-to-day caring, supporting education, staying connected to culture, decision making, online safety, gender identity and the impact of trauma. It is fully searchable meaning you can find the answers to questions, and the support you need, quickly and easily. Click here to access Caring for Kids.

Contact Details

Phone Number
(02) 4014 9306
Contact Email