What is Policy?
Policy is a plan or course of action intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, legislation, strategies and other matters.
This could be in relation to the work of the Government, in terms of legislative developments, or strategic plans or frameworks or it could be in relation to influencing the development of standards for inspections, for example.
EPIC is committed to influencing change in policy, legislation and practice to ensure better outcomes for children in care, in aftercare or with care experience. Sometimes this is done in conjunction with other organisations.
The role of research in policy
When EPIC is making any recommendations for change especially in relation to government policy, it must be backed up and based on research. Sometimes change can be slow and it may take many papers, meetings, and reports all saying the same thing before change happens.
It is very important that EPIC carries out its own research as well as keeps up with related research nationally and internationally. Information gathered through EPIC’s research informs EPIC’s policy work, which campaigns for change in current practice and government policy affecting young people in care.
What does the Policy Officer do?
- Raises awareness of issues and concerns affecting children and young people in care or with care experience and help inform key decision makers in this area.
- Uses research findings and experiences shared by young people in care or with care experience to speak credibly on their behalf for changes at a local, regional and national level.
- Works in partnership with other relevant agencies or organisations (such as the Children’s Rights Alliance) to influence change for children and young people in care or with experience of being in care.
- Lobbies for change and improvements in the provision and quality of care services at a local, regional and national level in Ireland and where possibly internationally, whilst continuing to develop effective partnerships with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and other agencies, departments, organisations working in the best interests of young people in care.
- Keeps informed about developments related to children in the care system nationally and internationally.