Application Process

If you are interested in applying to become a foster carer with Five Rivers Fostering, or if you are interested in getting more information about fostering you can contact our office by phone, email or by using our Online Application Form.

When we receive this form a social worker will phone you back within the next working day.

If you would like to speak with a social worker to get some more information, please phone our office in Dublin or Cork.

You can also refer to our Foster Carer Frequently Asked Questions page, which provides some additional information about applying to foster.

Once we speak with you, we will send a more detailed application form for you to complete and post back to our office.

When we receive the completed application form we will contact you to arrange a time to meet with you (and your family/partner) in your home.

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 the following background checks:

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:

Each applicant will need to identify three people who are unrelated to them to provide character references. At least two of these will be met by your assessing social worker.


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 discuss the following:


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. 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.

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 and sign this report.

Your report will then be brought to a Fostering Placement Committee 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.