The first preference is to try and place the child into the care of a relative or a family member. The assessment process is similar to the general one used for Foster Carers, although in rare cases, children can be placed with relatives living in a different country.

In April 2015, there were almost 6000 children living in foster care in Ireland according to Tusla and 31% of the children in foster care were living with their relatives.

If however, a suitable relative or a person the child knows cannot be identified, general foster care options are considered. On a long term placement, children can live with their Foster Families for most of their lives, whereas short-term placements are usually offered in cases of emergency.