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Fostering Glossary


Here are some explanations of the most common words and phrases that people use when they talk about fostering. If you’re still unsure about the meaning of anything on our website, please visit our FAQs or contact us for more information.

Care order

A care order is granted by the courts if it is considered unsafe for a child to live at home or if they need enhanced care. The Tusla will then take partial or sole responsibility for key decisions about the child’s welfare and who they live with.

Children in care

This is the term used to describe children and young people between the ages of 0 -18 who are placed under the care of Tusla.


Fostering is a way of providing care and support for someone else’s child in your own home when they are unable to live with their birth family.

Fostering placements can be short term or long term and can last for days, months or years. Many children return home to their birth families, but others may receive long term support before going on to live independently.

Foster carer or foster parent

Foster carers (also called foster parents) play a vital role in caring for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families. They provide a safe, secure and stable home for these children and help them work towards a brighter future.

Fostering fees and allowances

Fostering fees and allowances cover the living costs of the child in your care and are also paid to reward your hard work as a foster carer.

Our fostering fees and allowances are very competitive and take into account the impact fostering can have on the lives of foster carers, their families and the children and young people they care for.


Tusla are the legal guardian of all children and young people in care.

When a child comes into care, Tusla will place them with a foster carer who is either registered with themselves or a non-statutory agency.


We’re a non-statutory fostering agency. This means that we work in partnership with Tusla to provide fostering placements for children and young people in care.


A placement is a contractual agreement between us and Tusla to provide a safe, secure environment for a child or young person within a foster family environment.

We currently have over 100 fostering families registered with us caring for over 100 children and young people.

Respite placements

Respite involves children staying with foster carers for an agreed short period of time to give them, their family and their main carers a break. This can last for a weekend, one week or two weeks.

Separated Children or Young People seeking Asylum

A separated child is someone who is under 18 years of age, separated from their family and applying for asylum in Ireland in their own right. These children have often fled conflict, danger and abuse, and are in need of foster carers who can meet their emotional, cultural and religious needs.

If you have any questions about fostering, simply click here and get in touch.