Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Can I foster?

Fostering is caring for someone else’s child in your own home, providing family life for a child or young person, who for one reason or another cannot live with his or her own parents. Foster care is only considered for children in situations where they are assessed to be at risk. 

Tusla currently work with foster carers who are in a same-sex relationship, are Travellers, are of African or Eastern European origin, are Muslim, have a disability,  who don’t have a job currently, who rent, who are single, who are over 40, and with parents who both work. 


Foster carers are a diverse group of people who come from all walks of life. 

Foster carers can be: 

  • Couples – married, co-habiting, same gender 
  • Single people – widowed, separated, divorced 
  • People with disabilities – provided your disability or medical condition does not prevent you from caring for a child 
  • People with or without children 
  • People who own their own homes, are in private rented accommodation or local authority housing 
  • Employed / Unemployed people 
  • Those over 40 years of age 
  • Those who smoke 
  • People from different cultures, ethnic or religious backgrounds – having carers from different cultures allows us to match children and young people with suitable families 

However in all cases, it is very important that: 

  • You can provide a stable, nurturing and loving environment for children 
  • You relate well to and have respect for children 
  • You do not have a Garda record for violence, offences against children or other serious offences 
  • You can demonstrate flexibility, openness and patience 
  • You are willing to attend training courses to support your ongoing learning and skills base. 
  • For more details on our fostering requirements click here
  • You must also abide by our national fostering standards.   

What you need:  

You can foster if you have the time and energy to make a positive difference to a child’s life. We will help equip you with the skills you will need, and provide support when you require it.  See below frequently asked questions from prospective foster carers:

Do I need a spare room?

Can I work and foster at the same time?

What will I know about the child before they are placed in my care?  

What if I can’t manage a child’s behaviour?

Can I choose the type of fostering I want to do, such as age group, gender, short stay or long term?  

What contact will I have with birth parents?

Can I choose the age group or gender of child I wish to foster?

Will training be provided?

What does the fostering allowance cover?

Are there any medical conditions which prevent me from fostering?

Would previous convictions prevent someone from fostering?

Get in touch, the first step in becoming a foster carer is to contact us. You can contact us by phone or e-mail

freephone 1800 226 771


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