Everyone needs a little help now and then no matter what age they are. Young people in care are just like young people everywhere and need people to lean on and turn to for support.
Whether you’re finding school a little rough going at the moment or are worried about someone in your family, there are people who are ready to listen and advise you. Maybe you or someone you know is being bullied or you’ve gotten into a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe your placement isn’t working out the way you had hoped or you just need to get something off your chest.
Here we talk about some people who will listen to you and help you. Remember that making sure you are cared for properly is their job so they won’t ever think your problem is stupid or not worth fixing.
Remember too that the most important thing about living in care is that it’s a place where you are safe and feel protected.
If anything you feel is wrong happens to you in your foster home or residential centre you should tell your social worker about it immediately, so that something can be done about it. You can also speak to your keyworker, a teacher, in fact any adult you trust and if they don’t sort it, tell someone else and keep telling people.
Your social worker will visit you to see how you are getting on in your foster home or residential centre and to answer any of your questions. He/she will be able to offer you support and help if you have any problems or need advice or information. If you are having problems with, for example, your care plan or have any questions, concerns or worries, speak to your social worker about it.
If you live in a Children's Residential Centre you have your own keyworker who has special responsibility to look out for your interests. Your keyworker can answer questions, support you and help to solve any problem you may be having.
Inspectors are employed by HIQA. They go around to different places where children and young people in care live to see how HIQA standards are being enforced and how things are going for the young people, foster family or staff. This includes inspecting foster services, children’s residential centres, special care units and children detention schools.
They are there to make sure that you are being looked after properly.
They like to hear from you about what it’s like to live there and what you would like to change.
All Children’s Residential Centres need to be checked out (inspected) every so often by a person called a monitor who works for the HSE. Their job is to make sure that the centre is up to standard and that the children are being properly looked after. The monitor is also told if a young person makes a complaint or if they are involved in a significant event.
There is also an independent monitor for foster care. Their job is to visit foster families to make sure that the foster children in care are being looked after properly.
They also like to talk to young people during their visits so they can understand what their lives are like and recommend changes to be made.
We are always here to provide information, advice, support and advocacy depending on what you would like help with. We work with young people of all ages in care, leaving care and in aftercare.
Young people, fostercarers and professionals can contact us to get information and or support.
We only ever agree to meet with a child or young person who wants to meet us.
Check out Who in EPIC will work with you
It has lots of info about the different ways we can support young people.
|You can phone the main number on 01-8727661 or text us on 087-9036598 and someone will ring you back. Anytime a young person contacts EPIC, we will always ring back, so that young people don’t have to use their own credit.|
The Ombudsman for Children's Office makes sure that the government and other people who make decisions about young people really think about what is best for young people. If you have a complaint about public services for children, the OCO may be able to help you. All complaints to the Ombudsman are taken seriously no matter what age you are.
Freefone: 1800 20 20 40 If you have a complaint you want to make and need more information about what to do click to check out our info on Complaints.
Here are some other numbers that all children and young people should know:
Freefone: 1800 20 20 40
If you have a complaint you want to make and need more information about what to do click to check out our info on Complaints.
Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Phone: 01 6767960
Call Childline on 1800 66 66 66
What you say to them will be totally confidential, and you do not need to give your name.
There are also lots of other organisations and services out there that can help no matter what’s going on for you. Maybe you’ve been affected by a problem drinker or have lost someone close to you?
Mental Health - ReachOut.com
Click to go to our Useful Links
You’ll find descriptions and contact details for a whole range of support services.