I’m interested what happens now
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, your first step is to contact the Child and Family Agency. You can use our online enquiry form or ring your region's foster team. A member of our foster team will then follow up with you by telephone at a time that is convenient for you.
There are two ways to contact the Child and Family Agency's fostering service:-
- Complete our online enquiry form
- You can make an enquiry by telephoning your region’s number
Dublin North East
Dublin Mid Leinster
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How does the process work?
Step 1. Your enquiry
You can make an enquiry by telephoning your region’s number or by completing our online enquiry form. A member of the fostering team will then follow up with you by telephone at a time that is convenient for you.
Step 2. Enquiry Home Visit
Once you have successfully completed the telephone interview a social worker will arrange to visit you at home to discuss fostering withyou in more detail. Based on the information exchanged on this visit, the social worker will put together a report which includes a recommendation on whether or not you will proceed to the application stage. The fostering team leader then makes a decision whether or not you proceed to the next stage
Step 3. Application Form
Following the successful completion of the enquiry home visit you will be sent an application form to complete which gives us information about you and your family. This will include consent forms to allow us to complete the necessary checks and enquiries to help us determine your suitability to foster.
Step 4. References and Checks
Following receipt of your completed and signed application form and all the required signed consent forms, we will complete the following checks:
- Garda vetting on all members of your household over 16 years;
- Social work checks;
- Child protection checks;
- School reports if you have children at school;
- A medical examination by your own GP with the report to be made available to our agency medical officer;
- A minimum of two personal referees who will provide written references and who will be interviewed;
- A reference from your current or previous employer if you are working with children;
- Enquiries to other agencies where necessary; and
- Other enquiries depending on individual circumstances.
Step 5. Assessment process
It is important to note that a fostering assessment will not commence until satisfactory Garda Vetting has been received. Once this is in place a social worker will carry out a full assessment. They will meet all the members of your household and will collect information about your skills and experience. A training course is provided which covers the tasks and responsibilities of foster care. This assessment process will take a minimum of four months to complete.
Step 6. Foster Care Committee
The assessment report, which has been shared with you, will be presented to the Foster Care Committee who then makes the decision as to whether or not to approve you as a foster carer. To help with the decision making process you will be invited to attend the committee meeting. You will be informed verbally on the day the outcome of the meeting. You will also be informed in writing and offered the opportunity to appeal the decision if you are not happy with the outcome.