When children / young people cannot live with their birth families due to abuse, neglect, addiction or other circumstances, Tusla will look for alternative care for these young people. In Ireland, foster care is the preferred option for children and young people in care. Foster families open their homes to a child or young person who comes to live with them. This can be for a short time until the birth families are in a position to provide safe care for their child, or in some circumstances children / young people will need to be in care for a longer period of time.
Children / young people in care vary in age, from very young children to 18 years old. In Five Rivers Fostering our families care for Irish children and for children from different countries. The needs and personalities of the children are all different. However, all share some basic needs in a warm family environment where physical and emotional needs are met.
All of the children / young people we work with have been through some form of trauma and have suffered loss in their lives. They often tell us how they are feeling by their actions. This can include some challenging behaviour. Foster families help the young people to understand their circumstances and give them the confidence to develop their personalities, skills and talents.