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The information on this page relates specifically to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and carers. This includes:

  • foster carers
  • relative/kin carers
  • short term carers
  • emergency carers
  • respite carers

As a carer, it’s important you stay safe and healthy – for yourself, your family and the child in your care. To help, stay up to date about COVID-19 rules and other associated activities here in NSW by reviewing the following information.

Stay at home orders

Visit the NSW Government website for the COVID-19 rules that apply to you.

COVID-19 vaccinations

For information about vaccines visit our Get vaccinated page.

We encourage all carers to get vaccinated.

Children under 12 are not currently eligible for a vaccination.

All 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for vaccinations.

The following groups of children aged 12-15 years are eligible for the Pfizer vaccines:

  • children with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, including severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, neuro developmental disorders, epilepsy, immuno-compromised and trisomy 21
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • all children aged 12–15 years in remote communities.

There may be some difficulties when booking an appointment. Please be patient and keep trying, as all issues are being resolved.

Get children in these groups vaccinated:

  • talk to children and young people about vaccines
  • make an appointment
  • be persistent as more vaccines become available every day
  • ask your caseworker for support with technology if needed
  • ask your caseworker for support if the child or young person in your care is hesitant or worried
  • discuss any vaccination worries with a health practitioner such as your local GP.

For more information about vaccines, visit our Get vaccinated page.

For practice help, visit Aboriginal cultural, multicultural, LGBTQIA+ or Casework Specialist consultation.

Fact sheet and letter to carers

Family time and home visits

There are changes to family time (contact). If you are in the Greater Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Central Coast and Shellharbour:

  • If there is a case plan goal of restoration or contact orders in place, face-to-face family time should occur in a COVID-safe manner, wherever it is safe to do so. Your caseworker should advise you about whether this will be the case for your child.
  • Over the ‘stay at home’ period, all other family visits should happen virtually or be postponed.
  • Families should be aware that exceptional circumstances outside of the above situations need their agency’s delegate to approve it, along with a completed risk management plan.

Caseworkers should call you beforehand for face-to-face family contact visits with other people who live in the same region.

Most home visits should be virtual.

There will be some situations where because your caseworker is worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child you care for that they will need to visit face-to-face.

Caseworkers will follow all health protocols when visiting children, including wearing face masks. Where possible, these visits will be outside.

Respite

Respite can continue during COVID-19.

However wherever possible, keep children at home.

Talk to your caseworker about respite and whether it should go ahead.

Where do I go for current information?

It’s important to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 advice and restrictions. Below are key NSW Government links to help you.

Travel

Interstate and overseas travel advice is changing constantly. Read the latest below:

Face masks

Please follow NSW Government advice on wearing face masks. You’ll find information on:

  • when to wear a mask
  • what type of mask to wear
  • hygiene tips for mask wearing and disposal

Education

A letter from the heads of education and the Department of Communities and Justice has been distributed to all carers. The letter thanks you for the incredible work you are doing and informs you if children can be sent to school, if needed.

If you don’t have a copy of the letter contact your caseworker.

Children, young people and carers who have COVID-19

NSW Health will provide advice directly to you about what to do in your situation.

If you or someone in your home has tested positive, but are yet to be contacted, NSW Health advises the following:

  • try to isolate from the rest of the family
  • have the whole family isolate from anyone else
  • begin contacting anyone you have been in contact with in the last week to let them know
  • wait for NSW Health to call
  • if symptoms become worse but are not serious contact your doctor
  • if you or the child is severely unwell phone 000.

Call your caseworker for support.

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Last updated: 20 Sep 2021