COVID-19 coronavirus: Out of Home Care

Whether you are a child in care, a carer or a parent who has a child in care, we understand that you may have questions or concerns about the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this is impacting on you or the people you care about.

Please be assured that the Department of Communities will continue to work with you through these challenging times and will continue to prioritise the safety of children and families. We will provide updates on the pages below as new information becomes available and you can contact your caseworker if you have any questions.

For more information, FAQs and updates about the COVID-19 outbreak, please call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit:

Information for foster carers

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The situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to progress in Western Australia. We recognise this is impacting foster carers both personally and professionally, and we thank you for your continued efforts in supporting children and families in WA.

We understand that ongoing announcements about COVID-19 may cause some confusion, particularly around essential services. Services for vulnerable children, families and individuals are essential and we will continue to provide these services during this pandemic, however they may just look a little different to what you may be used to.

We will continue to work with you during this challenging time and realise that this may require flexible and different approaches to keep you, your families and the children you care for safe.

We will continue to provide you with updated information.

Contact for children in care

Contact between children in the CEO’s care and their family and significant people is still important at this time. Maintaining safe and healthy contact must be the priority for everyone involved.

There are many different ways children can stay connected to their family, culture and community: 

  • face-to-face
  • FaceTime
  • video calls
  • telephone calls
  • text messages
  • letters
  • sending photos or other mementos. 

We know that foster carers and families want what is best for their children, and we are regularly reviewing our guidance during this uncertain time. We will bring you further updates as soon as they are available. 

Intrastate travel

Children in care and their carers are bound by the regional travel restrictions. Information about exemptions for travel across regional boundaries is available. Please speak to your case worker if you have any questions.

Dealing with isolation

Children and young people in care may experience extra stress at this time, and they may feel more isolated from their birth families and support networks.

There are a number of practical ways you can help. Physical distancing does not mean we cannot stay connected. It does not mean we stop thinking about the wellbeing of children.

You can consider:

  • checking in on the children that you care for or know that may be vulnerable. They may be very worried about their biological families if they cannot see them in person
  • talking to a child’s case manager about ways they can have contact with their family if they can’t see them right now, for example telephone calls, text messages or via social media
  • organising family members to:
    • read a story to the child over the phone
    • help a young person with their school work online
    • listen to any worries they may have
  • seeking support from your case manager
  • contacting the Foster Care Association of Western Australia for support on (08) 9242 4222 or visit the FCAWA website.

Information for parents of children in care

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The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to progress in WA. We understand that ongoing announcements about COVID-19 may cause some uncertainty or worry for parents and families with children in care.

Services for vulnerable children, families and individuals are essential and we will continue to provide these services during this pandemic, however they may just look a little different to what you may be used to.

We will continue to work with you during this challenging time and realise that this may require flexible and different approaches to keep you and your families safe.

We will continue to provide you with updated information.

Contact for children in care

Contact between children in the CEO’s care and their family and significant people is still important at this time. Maintaining safe and healthy contact must be the priority for everyone involved.

There are many different ways children can stay connected to their family, culture and community:

  • face-to-face
  • FaceTime
  • video calls
  • telephone calls
  • text messages
  • letters
  • sending photos or other mementos.

We know that families want what is best for their children, and we are regularly reviewing our guidance during this uncertain time. We will bring you further updates as soon as they are available.

Intrastate travel

People in Western Australia, including children in care, are bound by the regional travel restrictions. Information about exemptions for travel across regional boundaries is available. Please speak to your case worker if you have any questions.

Dealing with isolation

Children and young people in care may experience extra stress at this time, and they may feel more isolated from their birth families and support networks.

There are a number of practical ways you can help. Physical distancing does not mean we cannot stay connected. It does not mean we stop thinking about the wellbeing of children.

You can consider:

  • talking to a child’s case manager about ways you can have contact with children in care if you can’t see them right now, for example telephone calls, text messages or via social media
  • connecting through different ways such as:
    • reading a story over the phone
    • helping with their school work online
    • listening to any worries they may have
  • seeking support from your case manager
  • contacting the Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia (FinWA) for support on (08) 9328 6434 or visit the FinWA website.
Page reviewed 30 June 2021