The Minister for Children and Youth affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, has welcomed the success of Tusla’s first ever National Fostering Week. On foot of the event Tusla has received 350 enquiries from members of the public interested in becoming foster carers and the level of interest continues to this day.
During fostering week, in mid-October, Tusla hosted events nationwide to introduce people to the diverse nature of fostering and to share real-life stories of foster carers and foster children.
In a recent HIQA inspection of foster care in Dublin North, children told inspectors that they liked helping on the farm, their pony and dog and that the food was amazing. They said they liked their friends and contact with their family with one child saying they would like to see their Mam more.’
Minister Zappone said:
Currently there are 4,254 foster carers in the Republic of Ireland. Foster carers are supported by social workers including a new out of hours phone support services, are entitled to insurance cover and receive an allowance for their caring work.
Members of the public wishing to contact Tusla about fostering can do so by visiting www.fostering.ie.
Freephone: 1800 226 771
Tusla is Ireland’s statutory provider of fostering services to children. Tusla fostering teams across the country recruit, assess, train and support foster carers. Tusla recruits general foster carers who are not related to the children they foster, and relative carers who care for a child of an extended family member. Tusla also contract fostering services to private fostering companies when the agency does not have capacity to place a child in need at a given time with Tusla carers. The number of Tusla general foster carers has fallen from 2,955 in 2015 to 2,631 in Q2 2019. The number of relative carers has fallen from 1,194 to 1,104 in the same period, nationally. Tusla provide carers with a weekly allowance of up to €352 per week per child. Each child in foster care will have their own medical card.
Tusla - Child and Family Agency is five-and-a-half years old and was established on 1 January 2014. It is the dedicated State agency responsible for improving well-being and outcomes for children and families. There are approximately 4,400 staff working in the agency, which has an operational budget of €786 million.
The Irish Foster Care Association is the national organisation that supports foster families and the wider fostering community. It advances and promotes best practice in foster care through support, learning and advocacy. IFCA’s vision is a society where the importance of fostering is recognised, valued and supported - where every child can grow up in a safe and caring family. IFCA values the rights of the child, the role of the family in a child’s life, respect, compassion and kindness, effective partnerships and open communication and innovation and research. IFCA can be contacted on www.ifca.ie or (01) 459 9474.