Five Rivers Fostering provides foster families for children and young people in need of placements. Five Rivers Fostering provides intensive support to all of our carers. This includes weekly support visits and access to 24 hour on-call services. Five Rivers Fostering will accept referrals from all community care areas.

Under the umbrella of foster care there are a range of services available.

Parent & Child Placements

We have a number of families who provide foster care to young parents and their children. These placements can provide mentoring support, assessment of parental capacity and a tailored care package to meet the needs of the person and their child to enable them to grow and develop.

Emergency Foster Care

Five Rivers Fostering has a bank of foster families who provide emergency placements to children outside of normal office hours. These families are available to the Gardaí who need to invoke Section 12 of the Child Care Act outside of normal office hours. In addition Five Rivers Fostering has a number of families who can care for children at very short notice.

Long & Short Term Foster Care

We have a range of foster families across the country who are in a position to care for children of various ages. Many of our families are ideally positioned to care for sibling groups. Access arrangements are supported and facilitated by the foster families. Families work closely with the Tusla Child and Family Agency social workers, Five Rivers Fostering and other agencies to ensure that the care plan for children is supported and followed through.

Relative Carer Assessment / Support

Five Rivers Fostering continues to provide assessment, training and support packages for relative foster carers. We do this both in partnership with the Tusla Child and Family Agency and with Local Authorities in the UK who wish to place children with relatives in Ireland. There are a range of support packages available which can meet the different needs of children and young people being cared for.

Kilkenny Support House

We have a support house located in Kilkenny. This house is generally used for staff training, play therapy sessions, family days (see our Cuture Day video on the left) access as well as a respite for foster families.

This house can be used by Tusla for access visits.

Please contact the Dublin office on 01 8665290 for more information.

Specific Assessments or Support Work

Five Rivers Fostering has carried out some independent assessment work for Local Authorities in the UK. Some examples of this included; supervision, monitoring and assessment of access visits for children visiting relatives in the Republic of Ireland, Special Guardianship Order Assessments, support and assessment of foster families living in Ireland and preparation of reports for court. This may be useful where potential carers live outside of the community care area or where an independent assessment has been requested. The costings for such services are set on an individual basis.

Return Home / After Care Support

In Five Rivers Fostering we have an excellent record of supporting children and young people to return to the care of their own families, when this is possible. We have provided intensive support for foster carers and birth families to work together in the best interests of the child or young person. Support includes mentoring by foster carers and engagement with childcare worker to learn skills for managing challenges that they may face. Post placement follow up support is also provided with the aim of giving a reunification the best chance of success.

Enhanced Foster Care Packages

The costs of placing young people in residential services are high both in relation to financial costs and institutionalisation of the young person. Over the past two years Five Rivers Fostering has supported twenty five children and young people to make the transition from residential care into a foster family. We have also been able to provide highly supported placements to some children who would otherwise have been placed in residential care.

The Enhanced Foster Care Package has been developed with a view to supporting young people with more complex needs to be cared for within a family setting. This service is tailored to suit the specific needs of each individual child and as such the supports provided will vary.

For further information about this service, please contact Brian Dignam in our Dublin Office.


We recognise that Tusla Child and Family Agency Social Workers have high caseloads and are constantly under pressure to write reports & referrals. We have designed our referral process to take this into account and also to ensure that children's private information is respected.

To make a referrel contact the relevant Five Rivers Fostering office on the details below. A member of Five Rivers Fostering social work staff will ask a few questions about the young person being referred. While doing this they complete the Initial Referral Form. At this point you will be informed of any families that might meet the needs of the child / children being referred. Plans can then be made for the child’s placement to commence.

When a placement is required in an emergency, the basic information will still be required. Further paperwork should follow within two days of placement.

If a placement is identified, the child’s social worker will be asked to complete a more detailed Referral Form.


Five Rivers Fostering is acutely aware of the challenges that the Tusla Child and Family Agency faces in terms of managing budgets and the need to make best use of scarce resources available.

Five Rivers Fostering is a Social Enterprise and as such is committed to investing in foster families and young people whether through enhanced training opportunities, education support or access to specialist services.

Five Rivers Fostering has revised fees downwards to reflect the current climate. Placements can be purchased on a “spot purchase” basis or alternatively a contract basis for increased volume of placements. Where there is increased volume, reduced fees have been negotiated.
Full details of up-to-date fees can be obtained from either Deirdre McDonagh or Brian Dignam in our Dublin office or Michelle Kennedy in the Cork office.


Five Rivers Support House Kilkenny

Dublin Office

Five Rivers Fostering
Unit 4,
Block 8 Corporate Business Park 1,
Dublin 15

Tel: 01 866 5290
Fax: 01 897 6210

Cork Office

Five Rivers Fostering
First Floor Discovery House,
Unit 22 Airport East Business Park,
Farmers Cross,

Tel: 021 735 5977
Fax: 021 484 9049