Students who completed their Certificate in Foster Care course at the Wexford Campus of Carlow IT have been presented with their awards.
The course, which is now in its third year, is unique in that it's the only one of its type in the country.
The Deputy Head of the campus, Dr Jeanette Davies, said the aim of the programme is to develop very specific skill sets - in the areas of attachment, child development and intervention.
'The aim of this course is to develop the skill set of our foster carers in the areas of attachment, trauma and brain development as this knowledge base is essential for providing care to some of our countries most vulnerable children,' said Ms Davies.
'We do this through our partnership with TUSLA and the HSE and by providing a friendly learning environment for foster carers,' she added.
She also said the feedback from the graduates is used to enhance the course for the next intake of students.
The course coordinator Anne-Marie Stafford, who is also a Principal Social Worker, said the role of foster carers is rewarding but challenging.
'Without such committed individuals we couldn't provide this positive family experience for our children in care,' she said.
Ms Stafford went on to comment: 'Through the joint partnership IT Carlow and TUSLA are committed to continuing the provision of this essential training into the future.'