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Fostering comes in many different forms, and there are lots of ways you can get involved. In this post, the team at Compass Child and Family Services has written a short guide to the various types of fostering placements in Ireland. 

Read below to learn more about fostering placements – from short term and long term to emergency fostering. If you have any questions about fostering in Ireland, please contact us via the details at the bottom of this blog.

Emergency Foster Care

Emergency foster care is a type of placement that is only provided for a particular amount of time for a child or young person in emergency situations. An emergency foster placement can occur at any time, for instance – outside of office hours. This type of fostering placement is typically only provided by experienced carers who have a long history of providing respite or long term care.

Short Term Foster Care

Short term foster care is a placement whereby temporary care is provided to a child or young person who is unable to live with their own family at home. A short term arrangement can last anywhere from just a few days to weeks, months or as long as a year. 

Ultimately, a comprehensive assessment needs to be undertaken to determine if the child or children are able to return to their own family, or if they require long-term foster care. A major part of short term fostering is regular contact and access with significant individuals such as the birth family. 

Long Term Foster Care

As opposed to short term foster care, long term foster care is when a child or young person is unable to or unlikely to return to live with their own family, and so will need to live with foster carers for an extended period of time. This is usually until the individual reaches 18 years of age or older if they are being supported through education. 

Respite Foster Care

Respite foster care is a fostering placement that involves providing care to children and young people in an organised way for regular periods of time – for example, every other weekend. This type of placement provides support to birth families and other foster carers, giving them an opportunity to rest away from fostering duties. 

Respite foster care can also be provided to a child or young person if they’re struggling in a placement. A break away from a placement can have a hugely positive impact on all involved. 

Considering Fostering a Child in Ireland?

Should you be thinking about fostering a child or young person, then Compass Child and Family Services can help you. We are a charity providing out of home care arrangements for children in the care of the Irish state. If you have any questions about fostering a child in Ireland and would like to speak with a member of our team, then please call us today on +353 (0) 61 622040 or email us at We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.