Becoming a Host
Everyone who arrives in Ireland seeking refuge will be placed in accommodation. In our experience, coming into a home is the kindest option. Housing a new arrival in an Irish home is the ideal from the point of view of integration, as local people can support people to adjust to their new circumstances.
Hosting is a fantastic thing to do. Thank you. Your pledge will help give someone a soft landing and hope for the future.
Whatever happens, it will be ok. We are here for you when you need us.
Before you take the leap, take some time to consider the points below
Discuss it with your family
Speak to all members of the household about hosting. Making sure everyone understands the process as best they can. This includes children, who absorb far more than we realise but are fantastic at ignoring the nervousness that everyone gets when meeting new people. Be realistic and clear about the space that you can provide.
Talk to other hosts
Speak with others who are hosting or who are supporting people hosting. This will give you a better understanding of how it works and may give you some more information on things you may not have considered.
Ask yourself why
It’s normal to feel a little anxious about it. As hosts, we have all felt that too. Just ask yourself the questions: why am I doing this and what are my expectations?
Don’t overthink it
But don’t think too hard! This is a once in a lifetime chance for us to make a direct impact on the lives of people who really need it and to enrich our own communities by helping Ukrainian people to integrate and be valuable additions to Irish society by giving them that soft landing that allows them to feel safe and welcome.
So, consider all of the above and …
Make the decision and become a host 😊
A Note on Unaccompanied Minors
If a child (under 18) arrives in Ireland on their own, Tusla will take them into their care and the child will be provided with certain financial and other supports.
If the child arrived with family or a guardian and has subsequently left in the care of someone with the parent's consent, they are not Tusla's concern and will not be provided with financial or other supports. Their care is the responsibility of the person the parents have authorised.
If a host wishes to care for an unaccompanied minor, they should request a letter from the child’s parent / guardian clearly stating they are placing the child in the host’s care and detailing:
Host Name, address, Garda vetting number(s)... confirming to take in:
unaccompanied minor name, DOB, PPS number
detailing the Guardian Name, DOB, PPS number & reason for leaving minor in the care of the host
The Host should approach the Irish Red Cross to petition Tusla (Contact the migration support team 01 6424600) and will need to follow up actively with the Red Cross for updates. Note that the host will not receive any financial assistance even the Accommodation Recognition Payment.
Helping Irish Hosts never place unaccompanied children under the age of 18 in the care of a Host. They will always be accompanied by a legal guardian, usually their mother.
How it works
The state is facing challenges to find emergency temporary accommodation for all newly arrived Ukrainians as the hotels and other facilities they were originally accommodated in are now full. Housing a new arrival in an Irish home is the ideal from the point of view of integration, as local people can support people to adjust to their new circumstances
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth (DCEDIY) oversees the accommodation of diplaced Ukrainians in pledged and emergency accommodation. Activation of pledges is undertaken on the state’s behalf by a Consortium of Partners comprising Helping Irish Hosts, The Irish Red Cross (IRC), Peter McVerry Trust and IOM.
You can pledge accommodation via the Irish Red Cross Register of Pledges.
Since April 2023, we are all working in close partnership and we are learning from each other as we go.
Pledge with us
We have facilitated and supported the placement of more than 1,600 Ukrainians in over 650 Irish homes since March 2022. HIH offers dedicated support to our hosts; you're never on your own.
We have a robust process to onboard and support hosts, guests and make matches - safely and sustainably, with proven policies and procedures in place to safeguard all parties, including Garda Vetting and Child and Vulnerable Persons Safeguarding Policy.
You can register by completing the form to Pledge your accommodation here. This form asks questions about the space you can offer, your expectations of hosting and why you want to do it. We use this info to figure out a potential match for you.
We will walk you through the entire process when we speak with you, but here’s an overview of how it works. The picture below gives you an overview of the process.
Once you’ve made the decision to host, our team will contact you directly with some questions about your residence and location. This is a good time to raise any specifics about your hosting journey and talk through what kind of guest you could host in your home.
When we think we have a suitable guest for you, one of our MatchMakers will contact you for a chat.
Once the host and guest are happy to proceed, your MatchMaker will introduce you both. You can then agree on a timeframe to welcome them.
We’ll move at your pace, answer any questions and make sure you feel comfortable hosting before the match is made!
We invite all hosts to join our national and regional host support groups on Facebook and WhatsApp, where we support each other and share practical tips and info. All hosts are welcome to join. Our Facebook is a private page and screening questions are asked prior to joining in order to keep it as a safe space for Hosts.
Garda Vetting for Hosts
If someone under 18 is coming to stay with you, everyone in your household over the age of 16 is legally required to be Garda Vetted by Helping Irish Hosts or whoever is matching you. This applies even if you have current Garda Vetting from your employer or a Community Group.
It is a statutory requirement that all individuals, volunteers or paid, working with Children and Vulnerable Persons have completed Garda vetting clearance before engaging with an Organisation or services.
Anyone hosting children will be Garda vetted by Helping Irish Hosts through our vetting partner, Dublin South Volunteer Centre (DSVC). If a Garda vetting applicant is aged 16 or 17, the relevant documentation must be accompanied by a Parental/Guardian Consent form (NVB 3). Don't worry, we will send you all the information you need when we speak to you about hosting.
When the relevant checks have been completed, a Garda vetting disclosure will be returned to Helping Irish Hosts by our vetting partner, DSVC. HIH will then follow the procedures outlined in our Child Welfare and Safeguarding policy
You are not required to be Garda vetted if your arrangement is a private agreement between you and a friend or family member. If you’ve made an arrangement in this way, it is not possible or required to seek to be vetted retrospectively.