Carlow College, St. Patrick’s is proud to host the Irish National Centre for Therapeutic Residential and Foster Care. The International Centre for Therapeutic Residential and Foster Care is based at the Mulberry Bush School in Oxfordshire in the UK and considers Carlow College and the Masters in Therapeutic Child Care course to be a suitable home for the National Centre.


The MATCC course is recognised as leading a process of progressive change in Social Care and Foster Care. The course is currently the only of its kind in Ireland.


Carlow College share the same missions, aims and values as the Mulberry Bush School:


Our Mission:

To share knowledge about therapeutic residential and foster care for children and young people, and to support the use of reflective practice and research, in order to improve service quality, and ensure excellent outcomes.


Our aim is to achieve this by:

  1. Creating a forum for sharing, discussing, disseminating and testing models of high quality therapeutic residential and foster care.
  2. The sharing and dissemination of university research on residential and foster care and the needs of looked after children.

 Our core values; we support and promote:

  • Models of care that are relationship (attachment) based.
  • Models of care that promote ‘living together as a group or family’, where adults, children, and families use the lived experience to create ‘a way of living and learning together.’
  • Models of care that make conscious use of the culture and ethos of the psycho- social and physical environment.
  • Models of care where the culture is influenced by a ‘conscious use of self’ and shared responsibility.
  • Models of care that aim to develop a sense of belonging and promote resilience in children and young people.
  • Models of care that provide high expectations for children and young people, and authentic stability of placement.

 The ‘National Centre’ is a free alliance of like-minded organisations who recognise the importance of the role of residential and foster care, and who are committed to improving the lives of children and young people.