Hosting family visits

A practical way to support family restoration.

Family visitations are an important part of the process of working towards restoration for families who have been separated.

Where decisions are made to facilitate contact between children in care and their families, a safe and consistent space is needed to host visits. The nature and frequency of this is determined on a case-by-case basis by the department and courts and the visits are facilitated by the organisation responsible for managing the child’s placement.

These visits don’t come without various challenges for everyone involved. The Out-of-Home Care sector only exists because things aren’t as they should be. These visits can often involve confusion and triggered trauma for children. They can create disruption in carer’s households and a huge emotional load. There are almost overwhelming barriers for parents to try to overcome, whether due to addiction, low social support, mental health challenges, or generational cycles of trauma. There can be seemingly contradictory goals of protecting the child while maintaining the important connection with their family and there will usually be varying opinions about what is in the child’s best interest.

The ideal goal of reunification might not be realised. But it might be.

We can hope and believe for the best. We can support people in the messy in-between of what should be and what is.

Offering your church facilities (where suitable) is a simple but significant opportunity to play a useful and supportive role in the out-of-home care space within your community. It is an offer of hospitality that shows the department and organisations that you value the role they play. It is an opportunity to communicate to the children and families involved in the system that you support them. It also creates a volunteer opportunity for members of your church.

Download the Hosting Family Visits resource below to consider if this is something your church can do.

If your church runs a playgroup or other similar activity open to the community, this provides another potential option for agencies to consider utilise for supervised visits between kids in care and their family.

Other Resources


  • Foster Care Sunday

  • God’s ability to turn brokenness into good. Eva’s story

  • Foster Care: Leaving a legacy

  • Beauty from ashes. Tina’s story

  • A vision for God’s people

  • Birthday in a box.

Your Church and the Homeward Project

Help transform Out-of-home Care in your community.


Churches Community Foster Care Kinship Care Supporting Carers Trauma Volunteer

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