1. Introduction To Fostering In Ireland
2. Requirements For Becoming A Foster Carer In Ireland
3. Types Of Foster Care Placements In Ireland
4. The Foster Care Process In Ireland
5. Challenges and rewards of fostering in Ireland
6. Resources And Support For Foster Carers In Ireland
8. Additional Questions
Fostering is a temporary arrangement in which a child or young person is cared for and supported by a foster carer or foster family. The child or young person is unable to live with their birth parents or other family members for one of a variety of reasons.
Foster care provides a safe and nurturing environment for the child or young person to grow and develop, and may be a short-term or long-term arrangement. Foster carers, who may be single or part of a couple, are trained and supported to provide a stable and caring home for the child or young person, and work closely with the birth family, social workers and other professionals to meet the child's needs.
In Ireland, the foster care system is managed by the national Child & Family Agency, Tusla, which is responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. Tusla works with a range of partners, including independent fostering agencies, such as Origins Foster Care, to provide foster care placements for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families. The foster care system is critical to fostering Ireland's most vulnerable children, giving them the support and stability they need.
There are several types of foster care placements available in Ireland, including emergency foster care, short-term foster care, long-term foster care, and respite care, explored in more detail here. Emergency foster care is provided on a short-term basis to children and young people who are in immediate need of a safe and supportive place to stay, while short-term and long-term foster care are more long-term arrangements. Respite care is a type of short-term care that is often provided to support foster carers in carrying out their responsibilities as caregivers by providing a break for the child and his or her primary caregiver.
Foster carers in Ireland are trained and supported by leading foster care agencies like Origins and other organisations like Tusla. In addition to training and support, foster carers receive financial support and other benefits to help cover the costs of caring for a child or young person. Foster carers work closely with the child’s birth family, social workers and other professionals to ensure that the child or young person's needs are met, and may also receive support from support groups and networks for foster carers.
Foster care is an important option for children and families who are unable to live together due to a range of circumstances, such as abuse, neglect, or other trauma. Foster care provides a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people to grow and develop, and can help them to heal from the trauma they have experienced.
Foster care is an important part of the child welfare system, and helps to ensure that children and young people who are unable to live with their families have a safe and supportive place to stay. It also helps to support families who may be struggling to care for their children, and can provide them with the help and support they need to overcome the challenges they are facing. Based on our experience and expertise, it’s clear to all of us at Origins that foster care is an important way to help children and families in need, and can make a real and lasting positive difference in the lives of those who are involved.
Becoming a foster carer in Ireland involves a rigorous assessment process to ensure that the child's needs are met and that the foster carer is suitable. Here are some of the key requirements you should be aware of:
Foster carers must be over the age of 25 and in good health. There is no upper age limit for becoming a foster carer, but the ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child is essential. The health requirements for foster carers are assessed on a case-by-case basis by medical professionals.
If you have children, the youngest child should be at least 3 years old. A minimum of a two-year age gap is required between a carer’s birth child and a child in care. Research has shown that this two-year age gap allows both the birth child and the child in care to have a clear sense of ownership over their position within the family structure and reduces any sense of displacement for the birth child.
Perhaps most importantly, we ask that you and all members of your household are committed to providing a safe, loving and respectful home to a child in care.
Foster carers must be financially stable in order for them to provide a secure and stable environment to protect the wellbeing of any children in their care. They must also have adequate housing to provide a safe and comfortable home for the child in their care, whether that’s their own home or they are renting. If renting, foster carers will need written consent from their landlord to welcome a child in care into their home. Financial assistance is available to help with the cost of caring for a child in foster care - you can find out more about the payments available in our FAQ section by searching ‘allowance’.
One of the most important requirements for becoming a foster carer is having a spare room in your home that can be dedicated to a child in care. This spare room is essential to provide the child with a safe, secure, and private space of their own. It is also a requirement of the Irish foster care system, as it is recognised as an essential component of providing appropriate care for a child. While it may seem like a small requirement, having a spare room is a critical aspect of becoming a foster carer and ensuring that you can provide a child with the level of care and support they need. Additionally, a child in care cannot share a bedroom with a birth child. This rule is in place to ensure that every child in care has their own safe, private space that meets their individual needs. Siblings under the age of 12 years old can share a bedroom.
We believe that having access to transportation is a critical component of providing appropriate care for a child in foster care. As such, we require that foster carers either have a valid driving licence and access to a car or live in a city with excellent transport links, such as Dublin. This requirement ensures that foster carers are able to transport the child to important appointments such as meeting with their birth family, medical appointments, and other events, as well as ensuring that they can access important resources and support services in their community.
Having a driving licence or living in a city with good transport links also enables foster carers to provide the child with opportunities for leisure and educational activities, which can be an essential component of their development and wellbeing.
Foster carers must undergo thorough background checks, including Garda Vetting and reference checks, to ensure their suitability for caring for a child.
While working full-time doesn’t necessarily prohibit you from becoming a foster carer, Origins carers will need some degree of flexibility in their schedule if they are working so that they can bring children in care to additional appointments that may be necessary.
At Origins Foster Care, we provide support and guidance to help potential foster carers navigate the assessment process and help applicants understand whether they meet the requirements for becoming a foster carer in Ireland. Our team of experienced social workers and network of foster carers will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you have the skills and resources you need to provide the best possible care for a child in need.
Becoming a foster carer in Ireland is a challenging, but rewarding experience. With the right support and guidance, you can make a positive impact on a child's life and provide them with a loving and stable home. Contact Origins Foster Care to learn more about the requirements for becoming a foster carer in Ireland and how you can take the first step towards transforming a child's life.
In accordance with our mission to empower foster carers, we are committed to making sure each of our foster carers has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the highest level of care and support to the children in their care. To deliver on this, we require all foster carers to attend the Origins’ Foundations For Fostering training course.
This three-day training course covers a range of essential topics related to fostering, including child development, attachment, trauma, and other issues that may arise when caring for a child in foster care. The course is designed to equip foster carers with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment for the children in their care. Foster carers will have the opportunity to connect with other would-be and existing carers in addition to professionals working in the area of fostering so they can begin to grow a support network and exchange best practices.
In Ireland, there are a range of foster care placements available to meet the varying needs of children in different situations. Each type of foster care provides a unique opportunity to make a difference in a child's life.
When children require a foster placement urgently we require foster carers to be in a position to take on the care of the child immediately. The child/ren may only stay for a short period of time when other arrangements for them are being planned. As an emergency foster carer, you'll have the opportunity to provide a safe and supportive home to a child during their time of need, and make a positive impact on their life.
Children come into care sometimes for anything from days to weeks or even months or years. Short term placements can be made for a variety of reasons, such as illness of primary carer, neglect, or substance abuse. Supporting children at this time of transition is a crucial part of short-term foster care.
Long-term foster care is a fantastic way to make a long-lasting impact on a child's life. This type of foster care provides a safe and stable home for children who need a permanent home until they reach adulthood.
It can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the child and the foster carer, as they can build a lasting bond and experience the positive impact of foster care.
Respite care is an essential type of foster care that provides short term care, provided to a child in order to support a child, his or her parent/s or foster carers by providing a break for the child and his or her primary caregiver.
As a respite foster carer, you'll have the opportunity to provide a safe and nurturing environment to a child during a short-term placement while also providing much-needed support to the primary foster carer or parent.
Becoming a foster carer in Ireland is a rewarding and life-changing experience. With the right support and guidance, you can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child in need. Contact Origins Foster Care to learn more about the different types of foster care placements in Ireland and how you can make a positive impact on a child's life.
The foster care process in Ireland is designed to ensure that children in need of care are placed with suitable and caring foster carers. At Origins Foster Care, we're committed to supporting you every step of the way, from application to placement and beyond.
The first step in becoming a foster carer is to get in touch with us at Origins Foster Care or to fill out our online application form. We'll provide you with all the information you need and guide you through the application process. We welcome applications from all walks of life, and we're here to support you every step of the way. This can include:
If after an initial conversation, you're interested in learning more about foster care and how you can make a positive impact on a child's life, we will then invite you to attend our free, live information session online.
During the session, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about the foster care process in Ireland and hear firsthand from one of Origins’ experienced foster carers about their journey and experiences.
You'll also have the chance to ask questions and learn about the different types of foster care placements. This is a great opportunity for you to get a better understanding of what's involved in fostering and how you can make a difference in a child's life. We hope you'll join us for this informative and engaging session we run on a regular basis. Visit our events page to find out when our next online information session is taking place.
After the information evening, if you would like to move forward with the application process for becoming a foster carer, we will then ask that you request a screening visit from a member of our team. We’ll share how you can make this request during the information session.
The screening visit is an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions that you may have. Visits are conducted in your home. If you are in a couple, we ask that you are both present for this visit. We recommend preparing for this visit by reading over the information given to you at the information evening.
Following this visit, a decision will be made on whether or not you will proceed to the next stage. Sometimes, we require further checks or information at this stage. If a decision is made not to proceed with your application, then we will inform you of the reasons for this.
After having had a positive screening visit, the next step is to attend our Foundations For Fostering 3-day training course. This course is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to provide the best possible care for a child in your home.
The course covers a range of topics, from child development to communication skills and managing challenging behaviours. You'll also have the opportunity to meet and connect with other potential foster carers and learn from experienced professionals in the field. The Foundations For Fostering course is an essential step on the journey to becoming a foster carer, and we're here to support you every step of the way.
Following the Foundations For Fostering training you will be sent an application form to complete if you still wish to proceed with becoming a foster carer. Once we receive your completed form, we can then move on to the assessment stage.
When you begin the assessment process to become a foster carer with Origins Foster Care, you will be assigned an assessing social worker who will work with you throughout the entire process. This will involve several visits from the assessing social worker at your home. It's important to note here that the assessment process should be completed within 16 weeks, and that we strive to make the process as straightforward and supportive as possible.
During these sessions, your assessing social worker will cover a number of different topics with you and you will also be required to share information about all aspects of your life so that the social worker can build a comprehensive picture of your life and what you can offer to a child. They will also establish what your matching considerations will be for a child in regard to age, number of children and needs of children,
Once they have completed their assessment sessions, they will write up their findings into a written report known as the full assessment report. This will then be given to the Foster Care Committee (FCC) to read and consider before they make their recommendation on your suitability to foster. The FCC is independent and consists of people who have experience in fostering either professionally, personally or both.
We work closely with our team of social workers to ensure that each child is matched with a foster carer who is best suited to meet their individual needs. We carefully consider the child's background, interests, and needs, and take the time to get to know each foster carer to ensure a successful match.
Our experienced team works diligently to find a foster carer who can provide the best possible environment for the child to thrive. That’s why during the assessment process, we take the time to really get to know each foster carer and their family to ensure that we make the most appropriate match. Through our careful matching process, we aim to provide the best possible outcomes for both the child and the foster carer, given their unique circumstances.
In addition to the three-day Foundations For Fostering training course prospective foster carers must undertake, all Origins foster carers have access to a range of ongoing supports which help them stay up to date on the latest tools and techniques so they can continue to provide the best possible care for the children in their care. These supports include access to training opportunities, financial assistance, in addition to guidance and assistance from social workers and other professionals being provided on an ongoing basis.
Apart from the initial Foundations For Fostering training, Origins provides carers with monthly training workshops where they can learn more about relevant topics including. If a foster carer wishes to have training on a relevant subject Origins Foster Care will always support this. Examples of some training courses:
Foster carers in Ireland can also access supplementary support from organisations like the Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA). IFCA is a charity that aims to promote and support foster care and which provides a range of services and support to foster carers, including training and education, counselling and emotional support, and advocacy and representation.
IFCA also hosts events and social activities for foster carers and children in care, allowing foster families to connect with one another and build a sense of community. By accessing the many resources available to foster carers, including those provided by IFCA, foster carers can build a strong support network and create a stable and nurturing home for the children in their care.
Fostering a child can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it's not without its challenges. As a foster carer, you'll need to be prepared for the emotional and physical demands of fostering, which can be taxing at times. This is why Origins has a robust package of support for our foster carers which we hope provides them with support when required. However, the rewards of fostering are immeasurable, and you'll have the opportunity to make a positive difference in a child's life, providing them with the love, support, and care they need to reach their full potential.
Children in foster care may have experienced trauma or other challenging situations that can make it difficult for them to form attachments and trust others. As a foster carer, you'll need to be patient, understanding, and willing to work through these challenges with the child, and with the support of the Origins, you won’t be alone in facing these challenges.
Our team at Origins Foster Care is available 24/7/365 to support you every step of the way, and we'll provide you with the training and resources you need to help a child in your care overcome any trauma and attachment issues they may face.
Fostering a child can be incredibly impactful for both the foster carer and the child in care, providing a valuable service that helps shape the life of a young person. As a foster carer, you'll have the opportunity to make a real, tangible, and positive difference in a child's life, providing them with a safe and nurturing environment to thrive in. At Origins, we believe that there is truly nothing quite like seeing a child in care grow and flourish – it’s the very reason we do what we do. Fostering Ireland's children in need is not only a moral obligation, but also an investment in the future of our great nation.
We don't just offer a fostering service at Origins, we offer a fostering family. One of the most rewarding things our foster carers get to experience is becoming a part of our close-knit community of foster carers who are always there for each other, providing support, guidance, and friendship. Our foster carers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with one another, creating a supportive network to empower foster carers in their everyday lives. Fostering with Origins can be a life-changing experience for both you and the child in your care so fill out the application form today to get the application process started.
At Origins Foster Care, we understand that fostering in Ireland can be a challenging but rewarding experience. That's why we provide a range of resources and support to help you provide the best possible care for a child in your home.
We know that foster carers need a strong support network in order for them to succeed in their role, so we offer a range of support groups and arrange a host of networking events throughout the year for foster carers to connect with other carers. These groups offer a safe and supportive space to share experiences and challenges, as well as to connect with other foster carers and professionals in the field.
Fostering should be a positive and rewarding experience for both the child and the foster carer. That's why we provide opportunities for fun days out and activities, such as day trips and excursions.
We believe that these activities are an essential part of fostering, providing an opportunity for the child to have fun and make happy memories, while also providing a chance for the foster carers to meet other carers, children in care to meet other children in care, and birth children to meet other birth children.
In addition to day trips to amusement parks, we also provide opportunities for other fun activities, such as sports days, picnics, and arts and crafts activities. Our goal is to provide a range of activities that cater to the diverse interests and individual needs of each child, while also providing a supportive and engaging environment for foster carers to connect with each other and share experiences.
At Origins Foster Care, we understand that fostering can be a significant financial commitment, and we're committed to providing financial support and benefits to our foster carers to help ease this burden.
One of the primary ways we provide financial support is through the weekly fostering allowance, which is designed to cover the costs of caring for a child in your home. This allowance is tax-free and is intended to cover the cost of food, clothing, activities and other essentials for the child in your care. The amount of the fostering allowance will depend on the needs of the child and the type of fostering you are providing, but our team will work with you to ensure that you have the resources you need to provide the best possible care.
Ensuring our foster carers have access to training and support is an integral part of how we facilitate foster carers to provide the best possible care for a child in their home. In order to achieve this, we provide a range of professional support and training opportunities to our foster carers not just during the initial application process, but on an ongoing basis. See the section above titled 'Ongoing Support Provided to Foster Carers' for some examples of training courses offered. These opportunities include access to training courses, workshops and webinars, talks and consultations with professionals. At Origins, we believe that the provision of high quality training and resources for foster parents is essential to fostering Ireland's children in a way that nourishes them and promotes their wellbeing, growth and development.
In addition, foster carers with Origins get 24/7/365 support from our team of dedicated social workers through our on call system,, access to our network of experienced foster carers, and regular review meetings to assess and discuss the child's progress and needs so the child’s individualised care plan can be updated.
In addition to the support provided by Origins Foster Care, there are a range of other resources and support available to foster carers in Ireland. These include access to counselling and therapy services and respite care. Our team at Origins Foster Care will be happy to provide you with information and guidance on the various resources and support available to foster carers.
The decision to become a foster carer can be life-changing, both for you and for the child in your care. We encourage you to take the first step and attend our free information session or explore our website to learn more about the process and how we can support you on this incredible journey.
Foster carers in Ireland are typically paid a weekly fostering allowance to cover the costs of caring for a child in their home. This allowance is designed to cover the cost of food, clothing, and other essentials for the child in their care. The amount of the fostering allowance can vary based on the needs of the child and the type of fostering being provided, but our team at Origins Foster Care works closely with foster carers to ensure they have the resources they need to provide the best possible care.
While there are many foster care agencies in Ireland, we believe that Origins Foster Care is the best choice as one of the leading private fostering agencies in Ireland for foster carers and children alike. Of course, we may be a little bit biassed, but we're proud of the work we do at Origins Foster Care and the impact we've made on the lives of the children and families we serve.
As a foster care agency, all our team are committed to providing the best possible support and resources to our foster carers, including ongoing training, professional support, and a range of benefits and allowances to help ease the financial burden of fostering. We also believe in putting the needs of the child first, providing personalised care plans and support to ensure that each child in our care receives the best possible care and support.
Foster care is not typically considered a permanent solution for children who are unable to live with their birth families. Instead, it is intended to provide temporary care and support for children until a more permanent solution can be found, such as reunification with their birth family, adoption, or long-term foster care.
However, in some cases, long-term foster care can provide a stable and nurturing home environment for children until they reach adulthood or are able to live independently. At Origins Foster Care, we provide a range of foster care options, including short-term and long-term care, and respite care, to meet the unique needs of each child and family we serve.
Reach out for any questions and enquiries. A member of our fostering team will get back to you as soon as possible.