Press Releases

HIQA Dublin South Central Foster Care Service Report Identifies Serious Child Protection Issues

The latest HIQA report on the Dublin South Central Foster Care service only identifies one standard being met, 20 standards requiring improvement and significant risks under five standards: Safeguarding and Child Protection, Assessment and Approval of Relative Foster Carers, Review of Foster Carers, Management and Monitoring of Foster Care Agency and Training and Qualifications.

Although the service was meeting children’s education needs, and the children had developed warm relationships with their foster parents and all had an allocated social worker, persistent delays of several years in assessments and foster care committee decisions, as well as decisions to maintain children in the care of foster parents who had been assessed as being unsuitable and relative foster parents where known risks existed jeopardised the long-term safety of children in the care of the State.

Care Day 2017: Celebrations Kick Off Next Week!

EPIC is celebrating the second annual Care Day on Friday the 17th of February 2017 at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office in Dublin at 5.00PM. It is a special day to celebrate the positive experiences of children and young people in care. Young people and professionals have been invited to share their positive experiences of the care system. This event will be preceded by a creative workshop for young people.

Care Day 2017 is only 6 weeks away !

EPIC will celebrate the second annual National Care Day on the 17th of February 2017. This is a special day to celebrate the positive experiences of children and young people in the care of the State. EPIC will facilitate an event at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office in Dublin, which will include a creative workshop for young people and opportunities for them to talk about being in care.

HIQA Residential Care Centre Report Identifies Grave Child Protection Issues

The latest HIQA report on a Residential Care Centre described significant risks identified under four standards: Care of Young People, Safeguarding and Child Protection, Premises and Safety, and Management and Staffing. The inspectors found that although the centre was appropriately meeting children’s education and health care needs, and promoting good relationships in between staff and children, its failure to manage behaviour, risk, communication and supervision had resulted in some instances in children experiencing significant harm, and in children being frequently placed at risk of significant harm.

HIQA Ballydowd Special Care Unit Report: Healthy relationships and child-centred care

The latest HIQA report on the Special Care Unit in Ballydowd identified that a third of standards were being met, with the further two thirds requiring improvement and only one significant risk identified.

The inspectors found that Ballydowd was providing child-centred care, where children were involved in the decisions made about them. EPIC welcomes HIQA’s findings, especially since Ballydowd staff was found to promote the relationships between children and their families, and risk assessments were completed in children’s best interest.

The Importance of Children’s Voice Highlighted in the Ninth Report of the Special Rapporteur for Child Protection

EPIC welcomes the publication of the Ninth Report of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Prof. Geoffrey Shannon. The report highlights a wide variety of issues that children in Ireland face, and EPIC particularly supports Prof. Shannon’s recommendations on the necessity of children’s participation in formulating policies that affect them.

HIQA Special Care Unit Report: Encouraging results

HIQA’s latest report on the special care unit Coovagh House highlights that it was providing adequate care for children, despite the living environment not being fit for the purpose of providing effective care after damage had been caused to the unit. EPIC welcomes HIQA’s findings, especially insofar as children’s rights were found to be respected and that the children in Coovagh House had appropriate access to advocacy services as well as social workers and legal counsel.

Children in Care with disabilities need additional protection

EPIC welcomes the publication of senior counsel Conor Dignam’s report. This report was commissioned by the Minister for Social Affairs when it was revealed that “Grace”, a young woman with intellectual disabilities was left in an abusive foster care home despite evidence that it was unsafe. The focus of this report is two successive inquiries commissioned by the HSE, conducted by Conal Devine (2012) and Resilience Ireland Ltd (2015). His findings again highlight the exceptional vulnerability of the children in the care of the state, and the additional vulnerability of children in care with disabilities. EPIC believes that there are a number of key actions which would provide greater protection to children in care, and particularly to the most vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities.

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins pays tribute to Care Leavers on Care Leavers Day!                                                         

, 21st of October 2016

EPIC and Care Leavers Ireland today celebrate National Care Leavers Day hosting the third Annual Aftercare Conference entitled ‘Out On My Own’in George’s Hall, Dublin Castle.

The opening address of the conference was made by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.

The President paid tribute to all of the Care Leavers of Ireland, and to organisations such as EPIC and Care Leavers Ireland for empowering young people to vindicate their right to participate in debate and decisions about their future.

President of Ireland Opens Annual Aftercare Conference marking National Care Leavers Week!

EPIC and Care Leavers Ireland will host the third National Aftercare Conference entitled ‘Out on My Own’ in George’s Hall, Dublin Castle, Friday, October 21st 2016. The conference opening address will be made by President Michael D. Higgins. Speakers on the day will include young people with care experience, as well as a panel of experts who will be answering young people’s questions.

EPIC Welcomes Additional Funding to The Child and Family Agency

EPIC today welcomes the news that an additional €37 million will be allocated to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in today’s budget totalling the annual budget of Tusla to €713 million. The allocation of this funding will be used for the employment of Social Workers to unallocated cases, development of special care services and enhancing Tusla’s capacity to respond in the areas of aftercare and children first legislation.

A Duty to Care

Immediate Release: 30th August 2016

EPIC is gravely concerned about the impact the current industrial action in Oberstown Campus is having on children placed in the detention centre.

Speaking following the recent industrial action, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan made the following statement:

“EPIC is concerned about the impact the current industrial dispute is having on the overall well-being for young people residing on the campus. This is impacting on young people’s ability to attend recreational and educational activities and resulting in them being confined to their rooms for long periods.

EPIC believes that everyone, staff and management and trade unions must work together to resolve the current dispute in order to ensure the safety, welfare and protection of children and everyone on the campus.”

Tusla publishes Annual Report for 2015

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency have today published its annual report for 2015. The report contains key developments by the Agency in 2015 which includes: a 21% reduction of cases awaiting allocation to a Social Worker from 2014 to 2015 and a 65% reduction of high priority cases awaiting allocation to a Social Worker.

Service Shortages Continue to Put Children at Risk

The latest HIQA report in the Midlands again raises serious child protection and welfare concerns. The report found that only one national standard of 27 was fully met, 22 standards ‘required improvement’ and four standards were identified as having ‘significant risk’.

Latest HIQA Detention Report: Some Progress, Lots More to Do

The latest HIQA Inspection for Oberstown Campus identified only one standard being fully met.

The report highlights positives such as the promotion of children’s rights, as well as young people being aware of their right to complain. However, there were also a number of concerns outlined such as the ineffective management of children’s challenging behaviours, risks associated with restrictive practices, not addressing offending behaviour and poor placement planning.


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