Pauline’s story, applying to become a foster carer.

I have known for a long time that I wanted to become a foster carer but had decided that I would wait until my children were older and had finished school so I could give this one hundred percent.

I contacted Foster Care Ireland and was sent out an information pack and then I had my first visit from Social Worker Vicky who gave me more information and answered my questions.

Then came the application form and my journey began. The forms required a lot of information about me and my family. Forms to be filled were family details, Garda vetting for family, medical check, financial checks and references etc. This may seem a bit daunting at first but in reality you are going to become a foster carer for another young person so it’s understandable that they delve into your life to see if you are suitable.

Then I was assigned a Social Worker, Lesa, to have about ten visits with me. This entailed Lesa getting to know me on a personal level and to gather information about my life for my application. I found I was more relaxed after a couple of visits and now I was more determined than ever to become a foster carer. Lesa made me feel at ease and answered the many questions I had.

Training was offered and I found this extremely beneficial. It gave me a better understanding of how a child in care might feel and how I might deal with situations that may arise. I advise anyone that is going to foster to take advantage of any training provided, it gave me a great insight and understanding of therapeutic parenting. After several months of training and meetings I was sent my completed assessment which made for interesting reading, reading a story about yourself.

This is also sent to the foster care committee (a committee on average of ten people) with whom you have your final interview. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I got approved and thus my journey continues as a foster carer. I found that I learned so much about myself during my application process and training. I also find that the continued support of my children has helped me and Foster Care Ireland are constantly there to support me in my journey.

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