Family homelessness is emerging as an additional factor when it comes to keeping children in foster care, according to the Child Care Law Reporting Project.
The project provides information on the operation of the child care system in the courts, without naming those involved.
CCLRP Director Dr Carol Coulter said homelessness is emerging as a problem and it is causing problems for family reunification.
She said it is not a case that children are homeless and the Child and Family Agency is intervening, but is in cases where drugs, alcohol or chaotic lifestyles, including domestic violence, are involved.
Dr Coulter said previously once these problems were settled children usually went home, however now they are finding parents who are homeless so children cannot go home and they cannot join their parents who may be living in emergency accommodation, hotels, hostels or shelters.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said the project is beginning to see more instances of where children cannot be returned home and while social workers from Tusla can advocate for families, the agency is not a housing agency.