The Public Sector Award 2014

Application and Assessment Process

Application Process

If you are interested in applying to become a foster carer with Five Rivers Ireland, or are interested in getting more information about fostering with Five Rivers Ireland you can contact our office by phone or online. To complete the online application form, click on the link below. When we receive this form, a social worker will phone you back either that day or on the next working day.
However, if you would like to speak with a social worker first to get some more information, please phone our office in Dublin or Cork. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
You can also refer to our Foster Care Frequently Asked Questions on this website, which provides some additional information about applying to foster.
Once we speak with you, we will send on the more detailed application form for you to complete and post back to our office.
Once we receive this form we will contact you to arrange a time to meet with you (and your family/partner) in your home. At this stage we are happy to give you information about fostering and will discuss the assessment and approval criteria with you.  After this initial meeting we will inform you if you are suitable to proceed to the assessment stage.

Assessment Process

The fostering assessment involves three main parts, paperwork, interviews and training.  The first part of the assessment involves completing background checks and witnessing paperwork.  Your assessing social worker will complete background checks with the Gardaí, and the  Tusla Child and Family Agency Foster Care  area where you currently reside in addition with a local Tusla Foster Care check on addresses that you resided in the past. We also ask you to complete a medical check with your GP. We provide a particular form that your GP will fill out. We will request the names of three referees that know you well, but are not related to you, and we will meet with at least two of these referees during the assessment. We will also need to witness certain documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, details of household income and details of car and home insurance as part of the assessment.
The second part of the assessment is the interview and information gathering stage.  A number of meetings will be scheduled between you and your family, and your assessing social worker. In these meetings we will cover areas such as your family background, your relationship history, your family lifestyle, your parenting experience or experience with children and your views on how you can offer care and support to young people in care.  Your assessing social worker will also give you information on the needs and circumstances of children in care, and discussions will occur regarding how you can manage these needs.
The final part of the assessment process is completing a training weekend. This will be scheduled with your assessing social worker as you are coming to end of the assessment.
It is important to note that not all families or applicants who begin the assessment process will complete the assessment.  Sometimes applicants decide to withdraw their application or sometimes, some information may come up that may put the assessment on hold for a period of time. We will be clear with you at all stages of the assessment about your progress as it is important to keep the lines of communication open at all times.
An average length of time to complete the assessment, gather the necessary paperwork and get to know you over a period of time is six months. Some assessments can take longer and some assessments may be a little bit shorter.

Approval Process

Your assessing social worker will complete a report called a Form F, which contains all of your information. You will be given the opportunity to read and to sign this report.
Your report will then be brought to a panel within your local Tusla Foster Care area, where a final decision will be made as to your suitability to foster. Once you have been approved you can begin fostering straight away. For some applicants, the placement committee may require further information before approval, or a decision may be made not to give approval at this time.  If there are reasons why you may not be approved to foster, this will be discussed by your social worker with you during the assessment process.