In order to help you make a more informed decision about whether or not fostering is right for you, we've devised a selection of fostering FAQ's.
If you can't find your answer here, please call us on 1850 211593 - we'd love to help.
Non-statutory fostering agencies such as Fostering First Ireland (FFI) work in partnership with the HSE to provide fostering placements. We have our own Foster Carers, Link Social Workers, Therapists and Education staff who work to a high standard and without delay.
The Local Health Offices (HSE’s) are ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of all children in public care. They need to find the best way of looking after these children to make sure that they receive the best possible standard of care.
Note: Non-statutory agencies perform a vital role in helping to address the shortage of foster carers in Ireland.
Anyone can be a foster carer. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, co-habiting, divorced, gay, lesbian or heterosexual. FFI also has carers from many different religions and a variety of ethnic groups. However, you will need to satisfy 5 requirements:
- You must have a spare bedroom
- You must be over the age of 25
- As the main carer, you must able to commit to fostering on a full-time basis. (Exclusions may apply. Contact an FFI fostering advisor on 1850 211593 or complete our enquire online form for further information)
- You must carry a Full Driving License
If you are fostering as a couple, that you have been in your relationship for at least 5 years
A previous criminal conviction would not necessarily disqualify you from fostering; it would depend upon the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. It is standard for us to check Garda records at an early stage in the application process so we would need you to discuss any convictions with us as soon as possible so that we could decide whether or how it might affect your application. This information would remain confidential at all times.
As part of the assessment process we carry out Garda Clearance as well as checks with the Health Service Executive (HSE). We would also need to carry out a standard safety check on your home.
We regard all couples living together as partners in the fostering process so we would require that you both have the necessary checks and training and that both take part in the assessment process. Even if you are the main carer, anyone sharing your home will have some involvement in and influence on the fostering task.
We will also need to carry out checks on all adult members of the household.
Please note that if you are fostering as a couple, you must have been in your relationship for at least 5 years.
Can a child I foster share a bedroom with one of my own children?
At FFI, we will only place a child in a home where he or she will have their own bedroom (unless they are a young sibling group).
At FFI, we believe that the high quality care, which we consider every one of our children and young people need, can only be achieved by having one carer at home full time.
However, if your working arrangements are highly flexible and you feel that you could provide the care and attention that a foster child in your required while working part-time then
Please call us on 1850 211593 and speak to one of our fostering advisors for further information.
As part of the assessment process, Social Workers will discuss with you the different types of fostering and help you to decide which type of placement would suit you best. However, you do need to be aware that it isn't always possible to know at the beginning of a placement exactly when a child will move on.
Yes, you can.
However, you need to bear in mind that the majority of children referred to FFI are in the 8+ age group and we tend to have more boys than girls. You are far more likely to have continuous placements if you are willing to take teenagers as well as younger children.
We discuss every placement with our carers and it’s your decision as to whether to take a young person. We will provide you with as much information about the young person and their background as possible, including any difficult behaviour and how to manage it.
You do need to be aware that sometimes we have very little information, especially in an emergency. We would always, however, seek to find out quickly as much as possible.
We would normally expect carers to undertake these tasks. Occasionally, if you have a particular problem, your social worker would endeavour to make alternative arrangements.
No form of corporal punishment is acceptable under the regulations governing fostering; this would include any form of smacking, slapping or shaking.
We provide training to all our carers on alternative and effective ways to cope with any difficult behaviour.
If a child has on-going medical needs, this will be explained to you before the placement is made and you will receive all the assistance necessary. Our role is to support you and this may include providing specialist equipment or training.
The statutory fostering allowance is €352 per week per child fostered.
Sometimes, enhanced payments are made (if, for example, a child has particularly challenging behaviour and the HSE Office has requested that they are a 'solo placement' with no other children in the household). The allowance is only paid when a child is placed.
Your weekly allowance for each child fostered is intended to cover living costs such as food, clothes, school clothing, school books, basic travel, household bills. Occasionally, extra contributions can be made.
FFI foster carers work on a self-employed basis. Foster carers receive very favourable tax treatment on income derived solely from fostering. Currently, foster carers do not pay tax on allowances received for fostering.
We usually start the assessment once your statutory checks have been received. From the beginning of the assessment until the end can vary between 4-6 months depending upon the complexity of your personal circumstances, and the availability of assessing, independent Social Workers.
Once your assessment (the 'Form F') is completed, it will be presented to our Foster Care Committee.
Shortage Of Carers
Foster carers needed for older children & young people - FFI needs more foster carers for children and young people aged 10-18 across Ireland...
Content © Fostering First Ireland 2013