At Foster Care Ireland we have a dedicated and committed team of social workers to help you every step of the way. Our aim is to provide the best possible foster experience for the child and carer family. Our range of professional services and programmes assist in accomplishing this goal. We provide you with a wrap around package to support the child in your care and help you with the necessary skills to meet their needs.
Once approved with Foster Care Ireland you will have access to the following:
- A support fostering social worker to work with you.
- Access to a tailored training programme to enhance your skills and experiences.
- Out of hours support to help foster carers in emergency situations. Foster carers are informed in writing how to access this service.
- Membership of the Irish Foster Care Association.
- Fostering allowance for each child in placement.
- A customised professional service to support the child and equip you the skills needed.
- Access to Foster Carer Support Groups in the local area.
Fostering Social workers
A fostering social worker, is assigned by Foster Care Ireland to provide you with information, advice and support. Child and family social workers and link workers visit the foster carer’s home together to make arrangements for any new placement and draw up a placement plan. Link workers meet with foster carers on a regular basis. A record of all contact with foster carers, including the issues discussed, requests for additional support and the response to these requests is maintained by the link worker. Foster carers have right to access all records pertaining to them.
In addition, your link social worker will be there to:
- Organise training for you or your family.
- Provide regular supervision and support for foster carers and their children.
- Ensure that foster carers understand, accept and operate within all relevant standards, policies and guidance of the health board.
- Ensure that foster carers receive all relevant information and advice about the children including: background history, health, education, cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual development issues, vulnerabilities and risks, and information regarding neglect or abuse the children may have suffered.
- Provide foster carers with specific written information on, and explanations of procedures should a complaint or allegation be made against them and the supports available in such an event.
- Provide the procedures to be followed should a child go missing from their care.
- Ensure that counselling is available to foster carers and their children where a placement breakdown has occurred, or after other critical events.
Once you are approved to be a foster carer with FCI you are expected to participate in training that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to provide high quality care.
- FCI has an annual training programme in place to accommodate the training needs of our carers.
- All training will take account of current child care policy and practice, research, inspection findings and best practice
- FCI will evaluate and review its training on an ongoing basis
- Where necessary individual foster carers will receive training on key areas relevant to the specific needs of the child in their care
- The fostering social worker will record all training undertaken by each foster carer
- Foster carer reviews will include an appraisal of their training needs to form the basis of their training programme for the following year.