Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some commonly asked questions about fostering. You may have lots more questions of your own though – so please reach out to us as we would love to answer any questions you might have.

Yes. Many foster Carers do work but it is important that foster Carers have time to care for a child. If you are a single Carer, or if both Carers in a two parent family work this may impact on who you can foster and the type of fostering you can do. Babies and young children who have shorter school days will need to have at least one person available to care for them. They will need your attention and care while you get to know them and help them to develop. Fostering children of school going age or teenagers who may be in school longer can work really well for people who want to work during school hours. If there are two Carers in the family shift work may be possible if the adults can work together to provide consistency and stability for the child or young person. It is also important that you have enough flexibility in work to allow for sickness, school holidays and to avail of training. For other people who work it may be that respite fostering would be a good option.

Yes.  We have lots of excellent foster Carers who are single/separated or divorced.   The most important thing is that you have the time in your life to dedicate to a child or young person in care. It is a good idea to speak with your friends and family also who may be able to provide some practical informal supports which can be invaluable alongside all of the support that Five Rivers Fostering provides.

Yes. Lots of people who foster have blended families and have been in previous relationships. If you have had children from a previous relationship we are required to contact your ex-partner. This is part of our safeguarding procedures. This is will be discussed with you in advance. If you have concerns about this they can be discussed, especially in circumstances where there are concerns about domestic violence or safety.

Yes. Five Rivers Fostering already has a number of foster families who have same-sex Carers.

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.

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.

Five Rivers Fostering provides a broad range of supports to our families.

We provide on-going training on relevant issues to foster Carers. This training is offered at various locations around Ireland as well as online.

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 month.

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.

On approval,  you will receive membership to Irish Foster Care Association which includes insurance.

Five Rivers Fostering foster Carers can benefit from our social care and multi-disciplinary team supports.


Please follow the links to learn more:

Multi-Disciplinary Team supports


There is 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.

Yes. If you have fostered before, 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 Fostering fostering over the phone or if you prefer we can arrange a meeting via Microsoft Teams or a visit to your home. If you decide to proceed we will need to make contact with your previous agency.
If you are currently an approved foster Carer it is also important that you discuss any intention that you have with your current fostering agency. There is a process to follow and special consideration needs to be given if you can have children placed with you currently. Five Rivers Fostering will still need to complete a comprehensive assessment even if you have been approved to foster with another fostering agency.
If there is any serious concern, complaint or investigation pending it is best to wait until this has been completed before considering transferring.

The National standards for Foster Care states that an assessment should take approximately 16 weeks. This is dependent on the full engagement from the applicant and assessing social worker. Sometimes things take a bit longer as more information is required.