Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Types of Foster Care

There are many types of Foster Care and many types of Foster Carer.  Below you will find details of the different types of foster care, some of which may suit your current circumstances, and you can read stories from some of our Foster Carers. 

Foster Care Type


Type of person who could offer Care

Hear from our Foster Carers

Emergency CareIs where a child needs a safe place to stay in an emergency. Emergency care is time limitedYou may want to help but are not in a position to commit long term

Short-term foster care provides temporary care for a child who cannot live with their birth family. The child may, after a period, move back to their family or move on to a long-term family or an adoptive family. Short term can be up to six months

You may want to help but are not in a position to commit long term 

Short-term care provided toa child in order to support the child, his or her parent(s) or foster carers by providing a break for the child and his or her primary caregivers

You may want to help but are not in a position to commit long term

Ann's Story

To provide care for babies who have been placed for adoption. This may involve attendance at a maternity hospital and the subsequent care of the child until they are 18 months

Support a young child to move onto a permanent family homeKathryn and Ken's Story

Long term foster care is needed for children who are unlikely to be able to return to live with their birth family. Long term requires a commitment on the part of the foster family for a number of years and is usually required when it is decided by the social worker that it is unlikely the child/young person will return to live with their own family. Many children in long term care become such a part of their foster family that they continue to live with them as young adults.

You may have the time and commitment in your lifeSinead and Stephen's Story
Placements for brothers and sisters

Placement for brothers and sisters requires special consideration, balancing the foster carer’s experience of caring for children and the benefits of keeping family groups together. The aim of this type of placement is to keep families together as much as possible once it is in the child’s best interests

You may want to help to keep brothers and sisters together 
Care for 16 and 17 year olds

Understanding and compassionate people with space in their home to become approved carers for 16 and 17 year olds. This could be an opportunity for you to guide and prepare a young person for independent living.

You may want to support older children 16 and over in their journey into adulthood 

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