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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 safe and up to date

Visit the NSW Government website to stay up to date with the evolving rules and restrictions, helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccinations

We encourage all carers to get vaccinated. Booster vaccinations are available for people aged 18 and over. Visit the NSW Government website for more information on eligibility.

From 10 January 2022 all children aged 5 to 11 years old will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Bookings for vaccinations open on 24 December 2021.

COVID-19 vaccinations have been available for all children aged 12 years and older since September 2021.

It’s important to support children to be vaccinated with these steps:

  • talk to children and young people about vaccines
  • make an appointment
  • if you can’t get an appointment straight away, be persistent
  • ask your caseworker for support with making the appointment, or finding more information about the vaccine 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 or Aboriginal Medical Service.

You may also like to check out the resources for kids on the NSW website about helping kids to get tested for COVID-19.

Fact sheet and letter to carers

Children aged 5 to 11 years old

Children aged 12-15 years old

Family time (contact) and home visits

Face-to-face family time (contact) should continue, where safe, when:

  • children are going to be restored to their parents
  • a child has recently been brought into care and the court has yet to make a decision about restoration
  • there is a contact order in place.

In all other circumstances DCJ suggest that family time occurs virtually or is postponed. Managers in your agency may decide that face-to-face family time continue because of the specific circumstances of a child.

If caseworkers are concerned about the safety of children in care, DCJ suggest that home visits should occur face-to-face.

DCJ suggest that all other home visits to children in care can occur virtually or be postponed.

Caseworkers will follow all health guidelines when visiting children, including wearing facemasks.

Respite

Respite can continue during COVID-19, where it is safe to do so.

Talk to your caseworker about respite if you have any concerns.

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

Read the latest for interstate and overseas travel advice:

Some states may require you and the child in your care to provide evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please speak with your caseworker well in advance of any interstate travel if you need a copy of the child’s vaccination certificate.

If the child is 14 or over, you can support them to access their vaccination certificate direct from the Medicare App. You can access the Services Australia website for more information.

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
  • Caseworkers must wear facemasks if visiting a child indoors at your home or supervising family time inside. DCJ encourages carers to wear a facemask if a caseworker is visiting.

Education

Read the latest advice for families and carers regarding school attendance on the Department of Education website. Students are expected to be at school unless they are unwell. Speak to your caseworker if you have any concerns about a child attending school.

All parents and carers, volunteers and providers who are permitted to come onto school sites must be fully vaccinated.

Children, young people and carers who have COVID-19

Visit the NSW Health webpage for advice about managing COVID19 safely at home.

Talk to your caseworker or their manager if you have any specific concerns not covered by the NSW Health advice.

Please notify your caseworker if you or a child or young person you care for has COVID-19.

Vaccination exemptions and advice for people who have had COVID-19 have changed

The 6 month vaccination exemption for people, including children and young people, who have had COVID-19 has changed.

In addition NSW Health advice around vaccination after having COVID-19 has changed to:

  • there is no need to delay vaccination if a person has fully recovered
  • talk to your doctor if you are unsure about when to get vaccinated
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Last updated: 12 Jan 2022