The need for Foster Carers is at an all time high warns Tusla

The campaign aims to address the shortage in Foster Carers across Ireland

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Now in its 4th year, Tusla National Fostering Week aims to encourage people from all walks of life and all communities across Ireland to consider fostering to provide a loving and stable home environment for vulnerable children and young people.

The campaign highlights experiences from Tusla foster carers, whose stories will both touch and inspire you to consider fostering.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste officially launches Tusla National Fostering Week at Dublin’s Mansion House today. The week long campaign includes a calendar of events that will take place across the country to promote fostering awareness and to provide more information to people considering fostering.

Ireland is among world leaders in foster care, and across Ireland 3,866 foster carers currently open their homes to 5,067* children. In 2022, 228 new foster carers joined Tusla, and 556 children entered foster care for the first time.

Commenting on National Fostering Week Mr. Roderic O’Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said “The work of foster carers is of great importance and value not only to the state but to over 5,000 children who are cared for by foster carers. Approximately 90% of children in care are placed with foster carers, which compares extremely favourably with other countries.

Foster carers play a vital role in the care of our most vulnerable children. The placement of a child in foster care is the preferred option for children who cannot live with their family of origin, offering them a safe, secure, and stable home environment.”

Clare Murphy, National Director of Services and Integration (Interim), Tusla stated, “Tusla’s National Fostering Week provides an opportunity to find out more about how to start your fostering journey and provide a safe family environment for a child or young person in need of a caring home. Each child is different, and each foster carer is different. Tusla is looking for foster carers from all walks of life to care for vulnerable children and young people in a time of increasing demand, to help keep children in care connected with their local communities and friends.

Tusla’s National Fostering Week also allows us to celebrate the work and dedication of all of our foster carers and extend our sincere thanks for their commitment and exceptional care, helping children and young people in care to feel safe, to grow and to flourish. I would encourage anyone considering fostering to find out more at the many events taking place over the course of the week. Join Tusla foster carers around the country who currently open their homes to vulnerable children and help make a real difference to a child’s life.”

Speaking at the launch of National Fostering Week, Róisín Clarke, CEO, Irish Foster Care Association said: “I am delighted to be part of the launch of Tusla’s National Fostering Week, which comes at such a critical time for foster care in Ireland. Foster Carers are the lynchpin in our care system, and we need them now more than ever. We must work together to support the fostering community in Ireland, it is only with this collaboration between all agencies involved that the fostering community can be truly supported and heard.”

Currently there are not enough foster placements available for children who require them. In contrast to this the demand for fostering services has increased, in the context of wider societal issues such as the housing crisis, global movement, poverty, domestic and gender-based violence, drugs, criminality & exploitation.

Somewhere in Ireland today, there is a child in need of a nurturing foster care placement. Tusla is looking for people from all walks of life to consider if fostering is something they could do. Tusla welcomes applicants from Ireland’s new communities and applicants from different cultural and religious backgrounds across Ireland. Tusla also invites applicants from the LGBTQ+ community to consider fostering.

This year Tusla is also highlighting relative foster care which is care provided by friends or family of a child who needs to live in a foster home. If you have a child in your life who cannot remain at home did you know you can become their foster carer? There are many different types of foster care that you might not be aware of such as respite, day fostering, emergency and pre-adoptive fostering. You can find out more about the different types of fostering at our information sessions, held online and in person.

Anyone wishing to inquire about fostering during Tusla National Fostering Week can visit for more details, phone 1800 226 771, email [email protected] or follow #Tuslafostering on Tusla’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels.

It only takes one person to change a child’s life.

*Note figures are correct for end Q2 2023 and figures do not include unaccompanied minors / separated children seeking international protection

Featured image: Foster carer Roddy Collins and his foster niece, Lauren Boyle Hanney (left) care experienced Emily Hanbridge, Representative from the youth council EPIC (Empowering People in Care)

Picture: Mark Stedman

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