Empowering People in Care

Giving a Voice

To what young people in care are saying

Explaining Rights

..of young people in care

Helping those working with young people

..to involve them more in decisions being made about them

Advocating Nationally & Locally

..for the rights of young people in care

Providing Aftercare advice and support

for young people leaving care

Producing relevant research

..that makes a difference

We provide independent advocacy and information for people with care experience. This includes those living in care, in residential care, foster care, hostel, high support & special care. EPIC also works with young people preparing to leave care and in aftercare.

For media queries phone 087 216 2496 If you need an advocate call your nearest EPIC office Dublin 01-8727661, Galway 091 395 605, Cork 021 242 8434 or Limerick 061 514518 .

If you are a young person in care at the moment, are leaving care or have experience of living in care in Ireland, or work with young people in care, we really hope you’ll find something on this site that will be of help and of interest. Please  feel free to contact us or phone any of our offices with a queries


EPIC has been set up to…

  • Give people with care experience a voice
  • Highlight the rights of young people in care
  • Provide information and support to young people with care experience
  • Help people who work with young people in care to involve them more when decisions are being made about them.

We do this through…

  1. Advocacy
  2. Engagement
  3. Policy

We do this by…

  • Working directly with people either in care or with care experience through our advocacy service
  • Listening to your care experiences. Have your say by getting involved on our Youth Boards
  • Working with other organisations that work with people with care experience

You can read more about our work in About Us

Life in Care

What is State Care?
State Care means you are placed in care after a Judge decides that this is in your best interests.  This can happen if that your parents are unable to give you the care you need to keep you safe and protected at home.

If you are taken into care you could live in:

  1. Foster Care- This is living with Foster Parents that care for children and look after you in their home
  2. Relative Care- This is living with a family member such as a Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle or another member of your family where they will care and look after you in their home.
  3. Residential Care– This is living in a house with other young people in care and residential care staff.
How can I be taken into care
A decision can be made your parents or by a Judge that it is not safe for you at home and therefore State Care is the best option for you.

Voluntary Care: Voluntary care is when your parents agree with The Child and Family Agency (Tusla) that the best option for you is to be taken into care.  In some cases parents are unable to cope due to illness or other problems, and they may agree to their children being taken into care. In such cases while The Child and Family Agency has care of the children, it must consider your parents’ wishes as to how your care is provided. The CFA must provide you with care as long as it’s required.

Care Orders: There are a number of ways that the CFA (Tusla) work with children.  The CFA may apply to the courts for a child to be placed in care. There are a number of different care orders:

Emergency care order - maximum of 8 days in care

Interim care order - maximum of 29 days in care but may be extended

Full Care order - can continue up to age 18

Interim special care order - maximum of 28 days but may be extended

Special care order - maximum of 6 months but may be extended.

Who will look after me while I am in care?
While you are in care you will be looked after by either your foster family or by the staff in a residential home. Your social worker will discuss big decisions about your care with you while you are in care. You should always be entitled to be a part of any decision made about you while you are living in care.
Can I choose where I live when I go into care?
The decision about where you will live will be made by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). Your social worker will talk to you about this. Your social worker will try and find someone in your family first before they decide to place you anywhere else.
What are my rights if I am taken into care?
You have a number of rights if taken into care. The Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has a duty to make sure that all decisions about your care are made in your best interests. You have the right to have your views heard when decisions are being made about you being in care.

See also: Your Rights

Should I be allocated a social worker when I go into care?
Yes. All young people in care should have a social worker allocated to them from The Child & Family Agency (Tusla).
What happens if I don't get a social worker?
If you don’t have an allocated social worker you can contact The Child & Family Agency (Tusla) on 01 6352854 or info@tusla.ie or you can contact us here in EPIC on 01-8727661, www.epiconline.ie
What is a Care Plan?
A care plan is a plan is the plan about your care that your social worker prepares. It includes your care placement, your access arrangements made between you and your parents and your educational arrangements. It will also look at your health and emotional needs. You social worker should talk to you about your care plan.

Need Help Now?

Talk to someone

Want to Help?

Donate or Fund-raise to help young people in care

I really enjoy the work with EPIC, because the young people that we meet are inspirational often despite their difficult situations. It’s fantastic to see how with encouragement and someone listening and believing in them how much young people have to say about their lives, and what they are capable of achieving…


Advocacy Officer - EPIC Cork

Children & Young People in Care in Ireland*

* Source - TUSLA Child & Family Agency Statistics at March 2015

Total in Care

in Secure Care

Residential Care

Other Care

Foster Care

without an allocated social worker

Relative Foster Care

without a written care plan

In Care

Check out this section to have your Care questions answered, find out about your rights in care, about leaving care and aftercare and much more!

Aftercare information and support


There is life after care, and we can help with your questions about leaving care and getting support to get on with your life when you turn 18.

What we do

Find out about what we do, and can do for you, in the areas of Advocacy, Policy, Engagement with Young People in Care.

We’re here for YOU - get in touch

EPIC Dublin

EPIC Dublin 

7 Red Cow Lane Smithfield Dublin 7

Ph: 01 872 7661



Millerd Hall, Millerd Street,   Cork

Ph: 021 242 8434

EPIC Galway

EPIC Galway

Westside Resource Centre Seamus Quirke Road Galway.

Ph: 091 395 605

EPIC Limerick

EPIC Limerick

Limerick Social Services Centre, Upper Henry St., Limerick

Ph: 061 514518


Pin It on Pinterest

Positive SSL