Conference and Booking Information

Children's and Young People's Programmes are now booked out.

Irish Foster Care Association

The Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA) is the representative body for foster care in Ireland. Child-centred and rights-based, IFCA promotes excellence in foster care. We aim to accomplish this by providing information, support and learning opportunities for all those involved in foster care through our direct work in Advocacy, Branch Development, Support, and, Learning and Development.
IFCA seeks to build a culture of learning that values the accumulation of knowledge, skills and experience by all those with an involvement in fostering, in the development of best practice. The annual conference is one of a range of opportunities in IFCA’s learning programme which also includes training, seminars, and a biannual journal on foster care practice, policy and research, ‘Foster’.

IFCA Conference 2017

The Irish Foster Care Association National Conference brings together all those with an interest in foster care, including general and relative foster families, health and social care practitioners, academics, students, teachers, policy makers, and members of the community and voluntary sector to learn together, engage in dialogue, and share their experiences and best practice. We run three parallel programmes for children, young people and adults. This year’s conference theme is Realising potential in foster care. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises that all children, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, parentage, sexual orientation or other status have the right to develop their potential in all situations and at all times. This applies to the spheres of health, education, family life, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living, and protection from abuse and harm. Due to the circumstances which lead to children being received into care they may have specific vulnerabilities. Furthermore, they have been identified by the Ombudsman for Children as facing multiple obstacles to the enjoyment of their rights. The conference will offer an opportunity to explore ways in which practice and policy in respect of children and young people in care can support them to realise their potential. It also allows scope for consideration of how the potential of all those with an involvement in foster care can be realised. We have planned the conference programmes based on what participants from last year’s conference said they would like and also on feedback from other relevant consultations.

Extended adults’ programme

IFCA is excited to offer you a wealth of topics within the adults’ programme all of which are relevant to the theme, Realising potential in foster care. Due to its great success last year, we will continue to offer an optional, extra set of thematic workshops during the day on Friday. Friday’s workshops will offer perspectives from practice and research of relevance to the overall conference theme. Participants may choose to attend Friday as a stand-alone day or to combine it with other parts of the weekend. We have also increased the number of workshops on offer to participants on Saturday. Package fees are outlined at the back of the conference brochure. Fees to members are subsidised by IFCA.

Conference venue

Mount Wolseley Hotel, Tullow, Co. Carlow.

Tel: 059 918 0100

If you wish to arrange a free transfer from Carlow train station to the Mount Wolseley please contact the hotel directly. Please remember to quote your Eventbrite conference ticket order number when booking your accommodation.

Organising committee

The conference is organised by the IFCA office in conjunction with local volunteers and EPIC. If you have any queries please contact the IFCA office.

Tel: 01 459 9474
Address: Unit 23, Village Green, Tallaght, Dublin 24.


Key booking information - please read in advance of booking!

We kindly ask that you read the following before you book to ensure that you are aware of the conference format and understand the booking system.

How to book your conference ticket

You can book your conference ticket and accommodation by following the two steps below:

Step 1: Book your conference place online with Eventbrite

Click here to book online with Eventbrite

You can book your place by clicking the conference page on the IFCA website, From here, you will be redirected to Eventbrite to complete your booking. Once you have completed your booking and payment, Eventbrite will email you your conference ticket with an order number that you will need to quote when booking your accommodation with the hotel. (See Step 2.)
As your booking is being processed by an external system, the full conference payment is required. Please phone the IFCA Office on 01 459 9474 if you wish to discuss an alternative way of paying. Early Bird rates are available until Wednesday, 27th September. The Early Bird rates apply to adults only. Closing date for booking: Friday, 13th October.

What if I don’t have access to the internet?

If you don’t have access to the internet, please complete this PDF booking form and return it to the IFCA Office by Wednesday, 27th September to avail of the Early Bird rates. IFCA staff will send you your conference ticket with an order number. Once you receive this, you will then need to book your accommodation with the hotel. (See Step 2.) NOTE: Student rate applies to Social Work/Social Care/Psychology/Psychotherapy/Counselling/Play Therapy students.

Step 2: Book your accommodation directly with the Mount Wolseley Hotel quoting your Eventbrite conference ticket order number

Once you receive your conference ticket, please phone the Mount Wolseley Hotel on 059 918 0100 to book your accommodation directly with the hotel. Please quote the Eventbrite conference ticket order number when booking your accommodation. You will already have made the full payment in Step 1.

Cancellation policy

100% refund up to 27th September, 50% refund up to 13th October – no refund possible after 13th October. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to IFCA.

Conference booking checklist

Before sending/submitting your completed conference booking form, please check that you have...

1. Selected your conference package
2. Given payment details
3. Let us know your workshop choices for all adults attending – 1st and 2nd preferences
4. Provided all contact information
5. Provided names of all children and their ages
6. Told us of any participation needs for each adult and child
7. Phoned the hotel to book your own accommodation quoting your conference ticket order number.

Please note the different weekend packages and dates on page 27

Friday – conference programme, lunch, evening buffet and entertainment
2 nights B&B
Saturday – conference programme, lunch and gala dinner
Sunday morning programme

Friday evening buffet and entertainment
2 nights B&B
Saturday – conference programme, lunch and gala dinner
Sunday morning programme

Lunch, coffee breaks and conference programme on Friday or Saturday

Should you wish to lengthen your stay, the Mount Wolseley is offering special rates for Sunday night, 29 October:

€85 single room B&B
€136 double/twin room B&B€155 family room B&B
€160 self-catering houses B&B.

Please book and pay directly with the hotel.



Acknowledgement IFCA wishes to express its thanks to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for its fi nancial assistance to support the Children’s and Young People’s conference programmes, and the JP McManus Charitable Foundation for its donation towards the conference. Our thanks also to all the businesses, organisations and individuals, too many to mention, which kindly donated spot prizes.