Hundreds express interest after public appeal for foster carers

Tusla grateful such a large number of people have got in touch

There are currently 4,254 foster carers in the Republic of Ireland, but there are shortages in many places, particularly in the greater Dublin area.  File image: iStock

There are currently 4,254 foster carers in the Republic of Ireland, but there are shortages in many places, particularly in the greater Dublin area. File image: iStock

 

A public appeal for potential foster parents to come forward has resulted in 350 inquiries from interested people.

It followed Tusla’s first National Fostering Week recently which sought to increase public awareness about fostering and recruit new foster carers.

Tusla’s service director Patricia Finlay said the child protection agency was “deeply grateful that such a large number of people have got in touch with Tusla requesting information on how to become a foster carer”.

There are currently 4,254 foster carers in the Republic of Ireland, but there are shortages in many places, particularly in the greater Dublin area.

Tusla has made it easier for potential foster parents by providing insurance cover from the State to cover their role. It is also now providing an emergency out-of-hours phone line to support foster carers.

Foster parents are paid €325 a week for children under 12 and €352 for children aged between 12 and 18 and they also receive child benefit entitlements. Each child in foster care will have their own medical card.

Ms Finlay added: “ Tusla is very keen to ensure that existing, and a new generation of foster carers feel rewarded and valued for the hugely important and positive influence they have on the lives of children in their care.

“It is essential that we provide them with optimum support, guidance, training and encouragement in the course of their family life.”

Members of the public wishing to contact Tusla about fostering can call freephone 1800 226 771, email tusla.fostering@tusla.ie or visit fostering.ie.