The foster care system in Ireland is "besieged" according to a child welfare expert.
The head of TUSLA, the agency responsible for the service, will appear before the Oireachtas later.
Fred McBride is expected to answer questions over high-profile failings, including the 'Grace' case which saw a vulnerable women left in an abusive home.
Child welfare expert Kieran Mc Grath is worried that money is being wasted.
"The whole care system is under tremendous pressure and TUSLA is under tremendous pressure in terms of it's quite a besieged agency at the moment," he said.
"One of the issues that'll probably come up at the committee is the whole question of private foster care.
"The reason private foster care exists is because statutory provision wasn't able to keep pace with the demands - the costs are three times as much and the question would be: 'Is it three times better?'."