Application Process

Starting Your Fostering Journey

How to Apply for Fostering: Application, Assessment and Training

Fostering Application Process

Where to Start?

If you are interested in becoming a fostering Carer you can contact us by phone at one of our Offices. Alternatively, you can email us at info@fiveriversireland.ie.

You can use our Schedule a call facility and one of our Social Workers will phone you at your convenience. We can discuss the process with you and answer any questions you have. We can where appropriate also visit you in your home to have a further discussion about fostering.

Assessment Process

What Checks Are Done to Be a Foster Carer?

Five Rivers Fostering is fully committed to Children First and Safeguarding. Children and young people who require care are vulnerable and have already experienced trauma and disruption in their lives. It is essential that people who are trusted with the care of children and young people are safe and have the capacity to do what is expected of them.

All Five Rivers Fostering foster families must have participated in a comprehensive assessment and training process. This includes a very detailed overview of you, your background and your experiences. In addition there is vetting process.
If you decide to proceed with your application to foster you will be allocated a social worker who will work with you and your family to complete your assessment.

All Five Rivers Fostering foster families must have participated in a comprehensive assessment and training process. This includes a very detailed overview of you, your background and your experiences. In addition there is a vetting process.

If you decide to proceed with your application to foster you will be allocated a social worker who will work with you and your family to complete your assessment.

First the Paperwork!

Fostering is such an important task that there must be some checks carried out to ensure that people who may pose a risk to children in care do not become foster Carers. Your assessing social worker will guide you through the documents that will be required.

Five Rivers Fostering will seek your permission to undertake some background checks:

  • Garda Vetting Form
  • Child Protection Area Checks with Tusla (for each area you have lived in)
  • Tusla area fostering service
  • School Checks
  • Public Health Nurse (PHN) check

You will also be requested to complete a full medical with your local GP which in turn will be sent to our independent medical advisor for review.

Your assessing social worker will also need to view the following documents:

  • Birth certificates of all family members
  • Marriage Certificates (if applicable)
  • Divorce Certificate (if applicable)
  • Car and Home Insurance Certificates
  • Proof of household income and expenditure

Each applicant will need to identify three people who are unrelated to them to provide character references. This should be someone who knows you personally. Eg a close friend.

Assessment Meetings

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.  These take place in your home.  This is an opportunity for your social worker to learn all about you as individuals and and a family.   It is a two way process and will provide lots of information about fostering.

  • 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 assessment process is a two way discussion which will help you and your family consider all of the aspects of fostering and to think about how you can prepare to welcome a child. It is important that there is honesty throughout the assessment process as this will help us to guide you when it comes to considering the types of fostering that will best suit you as well as considering how your family will be able to meet the needs of particular different children.

The National Standards for fostering recommends that assessment is completed within a 16 week time frame. This is our aim with fostering assessments. However, it is also essential that the preparation for fostering is thorough. Sometimes the assessment can take longer if you cannot be available to meet very regularly. Also sometimes people need more time to learn about fostering and your social worker may need more meetings to finish the assessment.

Training

All prospective foster families must complete the Foundations for Fostering training weekend. This will be scheduled with your assessing social worker as you are coming to end of the assessment.
Throughout the assessment it is open to applicants to decide to withdraw from the process. If your social worker is concerned about anything which may impact on your capacity to foster this will be discussed with you first. It might be that some additional training, preparation is required. Ultimately it is essential that we always keep the needs of children and young people in care at the centre of the process.

Need Help?

Our team will be happy to hear from you and answer your questions

Approval Process

When your assessment meetings and training are coming to an end, your social worker will compile your fostering assessment report. This is based on the standard template used nationally for foster care applicants. Your social worker will make a recommendation about your approval as a foster carer. This document presents you and your lifestyle and information about why you can be considered for approval as a foster Carer/family. You will be able to read this and make comments/amendments. The document is signed by you, your social worker and their team leader. This document along with the background checks and references, are sent to the Tusla Foster Care Committee. You and your social worker will be invited to attend the Foster Care Committee. It is the Foster Care Committee that makes the decision about the approval of applicants to foster. This process will be discussed with you.