Home

The Public Sector Award 2014

  1. Can I work and foster at the same time?
  2. What if I am Single or Separated from my partner?
  3. I am in a same sex relationship, can I apply to foster?
  4. I do not have any children, can I apply to foster?
  5. I am not an Irish citizen, can I apply?
  6. What support can I expect?
  7. How long will the assessment take?
  8. I fostered for the Tulsa Child and Family Agency or another agency in the past, can I apply to Five Rivers Ireland?

 

 

1. Can I work and foster at the same time?

It is preferable that one foster carer is not working and can take on the role of being the main carer to the child or children. However we can discuss your individual circumstances with you during any initial enquiries. It may be possible for single carers to continue working while fostering if their employer or work is extremely flexible.

Given that many children and young people have experienced inconsistent care prior to coming into foster care, we believe that it is vital to restore this sense of security and stability for children. Through experience we have also noted that children who have one carer available to them at all times, thrive on this experience and they tend to have more successful outcomes in foster care.

2. What if I am Single or Separated from my partner?

We welcome applications and enquiries from both single applicants and from couples. The most important factor is that you have the time in your life to dedicate to a child who needs support and care.

During the assessment process we will discuss the people in your life who can provide you with support. When fostering, it is important that you can access our service for professional support, but it is also important that you have family and friends who can also offer you invaluable support in other ways.

If you are separated or divorced, you can also make an application to foster. If you have children with your ex-partner we will contact your ex-partner during the assessment to establish their views. However, we understand that some separations may have been difficult, and we can discuss any concerns that you have about this during the initial stages of your application.

3. I am in a same sex relationship, can I apply to foster?

Yes, we welcome applications from couples who are in same sex partnerships. If you wish to discuss this further you can complete the online application or ring our office where a social worker can answer any further questions that you may have.

4. I do not have any children, can I apply to foster?

Yes you can apply to foster if you do not have your own children. However it is important that you have some experience of caring for children. This could be in a professional capacity or through caring for family member’s or friend’s children. It is also important to have some understanding of child development and how children’s needs can be met by their foster carers. Further support, advice and training can be offered to applicants during the enquiry and assessment process.

5. I am not an Irish citizen, can I apply?

Children who are in need of foster families are from a variety of nations and backgrounds. Therefore we seek to recruit foster carers from various nationalities so that we can provide culturally appropriate families to children. Once again, we welcome applications from non-Irish citizens, once you have the ability to remain in Ireland indefinitely and can provide a long term commitment to remaining in Ireland so as to care for a child.

6. What support can I expect?

We offer a range of support to our foster carers. We provide on-going training on relevant issues to foster carers. This training is offered at various locations around Ireland.
If you are approved to foster, you will be allocated a link social worker who will visit you on a regular basis to discuss your experiences and to offer practical advice and information on any challenges you may experience.  We can also share information on what has worked for other carers and what additional needs children in foster care may have. Visits from your link worker will be in your home and at times that are convenient. Visits will be as frequent as is necessary to support you and the child placed with you. This could be weekly visits, but visits will not be less than every three weeks.

You can also access our on-call social worker 24 hours per day, if you have any queries, or if you need urgent support and advice.
Through attending training courses you will also meet other foster carers and can get valuable advice and support directly from them.
We have a skilled team of social workers and social care workers who have a variety of interests and skills. 

In certain situations we can offer additional supports such as:

  • Play therapy
  • MarteMeo support programmes
  • Direct work with a child on a particular issue (life story work, anger management, sexual health awareness, social skills development)
  • Individual training on issues specific to a difficulty arising in your home
  • Finally there is also an allowance provided to families to cover the costs of providing food, shelter, transport, clothing and education to a child in your care. This allowance is not considered as an income for tax purposes and should not affect any social welfare entitlements or tax credits that you are currently claiming.

7. How long will the assessment take?

Each assessment is individual to the applicant or applicants. A general time frame for assessment, from initial enquiry to final approval is about six months. This can be shorter or longer depending on matters that need to be covered as part of the assessment.

8. I fostered for the Tulsa Child and Family Agency or another agency in the past, can I apply to Five Rivers Ireland?

If you are currently fostering or have fostered for another agency in the past, it is best to discuss this with a social worker in Five Rivers Ireland over the phone.  It is also important that you discuss any intention that you have with your current fostering agency.  Five Rivers Ireland will seek a report from your previous fostering agency in relation to how this went for the agency and any child placed with you. Five Rivers Ireland will still need to complete a comprehensive assessment even if you have been approved to foster with another fostering agency.