Types of care

There are a number of ways you can make a difference in the caregiving community. Here are the main paths you can take:

Respite care – respite caregivers take on the role of a surrogate relative, providing care for a short period of time to give the regular caregiver a break. This is a great opportunity to have a positive influence on a child’s life, even if you are not able to commit to full-time caregiving.

Emergency care – emergency caregivers provide safe havens for children and young people who have been removed from their home, often suddenly because of an imminent risk. Emergency caregivers need specialist skills to help the children and young people process what has happened to them.

Transitional or short-term care – sometimes it is not immediately possible for social workers to determine the long-term plan for a child or young person. In those situations, high quality short term care is needed. Transitional or short-term caregivers need to provide stability, love and understanding during what is an unsettling time for the child.

Family home care – Oranga Tamariki owns homes around New Zealand where two adult caregivers live with and take care of up to six children within a home environment. Caregivers who perform this role need a high level of expertise dealing with traumatised children and young people up to the age of 16. The caregivers live rent free and are paid an allowance for the children in their care.

Permanent care – when it is determined a child will not return to their birth family, social workers look for other permanent options. Permanent caregivers provide a ‘Home for Life’ for children who need one. This involves a legal process which results in the child or young person transitioning out of the care of the State, and into the care of the permanent caregivers.

Want to learn more?

Listen to stories from our members and experts in the field here:

Find out about agencies which recruit caregivers in your area here.