To foster, you don’t need to be living a perfect life. You don’t need to be married, or have a partner, or own your own house, or be an Irish citizen.
To foster, you don’t need to be living a perfect life. You don’t need to be married, or have a partner, or own your own house, or be an Irish citizen. However, powerful beliefs, many outdated or mythical, put people off fostering
Attracting new fosterers is a challenge, especially in the capital. Yet, there are many fostering opportunities.
“In Dublin, the pool of people who feel they have the capacity to foster is decreasing,” said Jacqui Smyth from Tusla Fostering.
Throughout the year, Tusla is looking for people who are in a position to open their homes and hearts and look after a child who cannot live with their family.
It is worth knowing that people who have struggled in their own lives should not think of themselves as unable to foster.
As Tusla says: “You can apply to foster If you have faced challenges or adversity in your own childhood or adulthood, once you have effectively dealt with them and have the ability to provide care for a child/children.”
‘Changing Ireland’ readers may make some of the best foster parents. Studies in the UK found that people who become foster parents are often altruistic, community minded people who like to live a little outside the box. Does that sound like anyone you know?
5 Facts About Fostering
1. FOSTER CARERS CAN WORK FULL TIME.
You can be single and work full-time and still foster – for example, by fostering semi-independent older teenagers. Full-time workers can also consider providing respite fostering care – for example, where you foster a child for one weekend a month.
2. OLDER CHILDREN ARE OFTEN EASIER TO CARE FOR.
People gravitate towards younger children because of a false belief that older children are harder to care for. However, older children are often able to communicate better and look after themselves. All children however need the same loving care.
3. PEOPLE WITH (MINOR) CONVICTIONS CAN APPLY.
Having a conviction, for example for a minor traffic offence, does not automatically rule out an applicant.*
* Applicants, however, with a record of violence and/or domestic abuse are always rejected.
4. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE AN IRISH CITIZEN.
Being resident here may be sufficient. Applications are accepted from people who have residency permits, who have refugee status or leave to remain, from EU citizens and those who can establish that they have permanent residence in this country.
5. AGE IS NOT A BARRIER.
You can foster at any age once you are relatively fit and healthy to care for a child.