You do not have to be married to make an enquiry to Foster Care Ireland to be assessed for suitability as a foster carer. You could be a single person, in a civil partnership or be a cohabiting couple. However, you must be over 25 and be able to provide safe and appropriate accommodation for the foster child. If your application is accepted Foster Care Ireland will assign a social worker who will assess your suitability. The assessment requires up to 8 interviews with you, and interviews with all members of the household. References, Garda clearance certificates and medical examinations are part of the assessment. Our job is to ensure that those selected as foster carers and foster families are suitable and safe.
Foster carers can come from all walks of life and can be:
- Couples or single people with or without children – married, cohabiting, same gender
- People with disabilities – provided the disability does not prevent them from caring for a child
- People who own their own homes, are in private rented accommodation or local authority housing
- Employed and unemployed people alike
- People from different cultures, ethnic or religious backgrounds – having carers from different cultures allows us to match children and young people with suitable families.
Foster carers must:
- Be able to provide a safe, stable, nurturing and loving environment for children
- Relate well to, and have respect for, children; and be able to demonstrate flexibility, openness and patience
- Not have a Garda record for violence, offences against children or other serious offences
- Provide evidence of being financially secure and be available to attend training courses to support ongoing learning and skills base.