Working together to care for kids

Past project

This study sought to increase understanding of the needs and experiences of formal carers of children who have been unable to live with their parents.


Formal carers provide ‘out-of-home’ care for children and young people who cannot live with their family due to circumstances such as risk of harm.

Formal carers are foster carers or relative/kinship carers (who may include grandparents, aunties, uncles, or other relatives). By providing a safe and secure home, these carers make a huge difference to vulnerable children and young people.  

Understanding the service needs of these carers is therefore essential for ensuring the development of effective policy and program initiatives.

About the survey

The information gathered through a telephone survey will help to improve policies and practices intended to support foster and relative/kinship carers and their families.

Eligible carers for this survey will be either the current or recent authorised carer of at least one child in out-of-home care who is living in:

  • a foster care placement household; or
  • a relative/kinship care placement household.

The nation-wide survey will seek the views of 2,000 formally registered foster and relative/kinship carers of children under the age of 18 years.

Eligible registered carers may be contacted by the Social Research Centre to ask whether they would like to participate in the telephone survey.

All potential participants will receive a letter about the survey before being contacted on the phone. It is estimated that the survey will take around 20-25 minutes to complete for those who choose to participate, and all information collected will remain strictly confidential. Carers who participate in the phone survey will be asked to talk about aspects such as their circumstances, experiences as a carer, and their service and support needs.

Please contact the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 (free call from landlines, mobile phone charges apply) if you would like to learn more or have further questions about this important study.


June 2015 - March 2017

AIFS news

Get the latest news about our publications, research and upcoming events.