Foster care can really benefit kids. Photo: Sigmund

Foster care can make a huge difference

The difference that foster carers have and continue to make in the lives of children and young people in Ireland is amazing

Fostering First Ireland (FFI) have carers all across Cork who come from a range of different backgrounds who are united by their passion and drive to help the young people in their care reach their full potential. Claire in Cork city explains her reasons for becoming a carer. “When I made the decision to become a foster carer, I had mixed expectations and I knew it would be full of wonderful and possibly hard moments. I wondered how a child would adjust to me and my home?

“Being a realistic person, I knew it would not be all sunshine and roses, they may have experienced a level of trauma, could I cope with this? The unknown can be more daunting than reality. All I can do is to offer them a positive experience and give it my all,” she explained.

“My first foster child came to me 9 months ago - a 16 year old girl from Botswana. While fostering is different for everyone and no two placements are the same, my experience so far has been a positive one that makes me feel good because I know that I am helping her.”

Sarah and Katy from Mallow have been fostering over two years.

“When we made the call to FFI, we spoke with the fostering advisor and he was so welcoming. There is always that bit of worry being in a same sex relationship about how you will be received. Everyone in FFI were so nice and put us at ease immediately. Shortly after the initial call, we had our home visit and this answered lingering questions we had at that stage.

“We currently have a sibling group placement of two young children. It has had a huge impact on our lives. There is nothing that could prepare you for it really,” they said.

Their calm life was transformed from one with lots of weekends away, nice holidays, meals and nights out, lazy mornings and entertaining friends to being the busy parents of two young children who have varying levels of needs overnight.

“Seeing the children discover their talents and develop their skills and confidence in our care brings us so much joy. Experiencing new activities with them and going through many firsts with them has been both an honour and a privilege.”

There are almost 6,000 children in care in Ireland and not enough foster carers to offer a safe and caring home. If you have a spare bedroom, a driving licence, are over 25 and have a passion to help a child reach their full potential, Fostering First Ireland would love to hear from you. Contact them on 01-4171944 or visit