Introducing Care Day 2023!

We are excited to announce the theme for Care Day 2023 which was developed by children and young people from the EPIC Care Community and Youth Councils. Care Day was established in February 2016 as a day to celebrate the positive experiences and contributions of children and young people in care or with care experience. The next Care Day will be celebrated across the world on Friday 17th February 2023 and our theme is: 

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover, embrace our stories instead!’

For the coming #CareDay23, the EPIC Care Community and Youth Councils want to address the stigma children and young people can face while they are in care, and challenge negative stereotypes.

To celebrate Care Day 23, they are inviting people to learn about children and young people in care and embrace their diverse stories of hope, courage, talent, and achievement. We want communities across Ireland to listen to children and young people themselves, to look beyond the surface, and to see that every care-experienced child and young person is an individual with their own unique story, ambitions, and dreams for the future.

There are a range of activities in keeping with our theme that you might like to organise! Some suggestions are:

Design a #CareAware bookmark using our bookmark template and include your five #CareAware tips! Even the simple things like listening, talking or encouragement can be #CareAware tips. You can add your own handwritten note to your bookmark too. If you send your bookmark into EPIC, we will post it on our social media channels on #CareDay23, as part of our Virtual #CareAware Exhibition. All bookmark designs sent in will also be entered into a special competition and three winning bookmark designs (U12 | U18 | 18+) will become new EPIC resources for children and young people in care or with care experience. Scan and send your bookmark design to participation@epiconline.ie with #CareAware Bookmark in the subject line, or post your design to EPIC, Empowering People in Care, Northside Youth Space, Ballynanty Rd, Ballynanty, Co. Limerick before Friday 3rd February 2023.

Get together with a friend to photograph an object and write a short story (300-word max) or record a voice note about your photograph and its meaning. The photograph you take can be something that inspires you or that is connected to your future hopes and dreams. For example, Sadhbh will be photographing a little pig ornament because she wants to swim with pigs the Bahamas one day! You can do this activity at school or where you live and send them into us to be included in our virtual exhibition! Send your image and story or voice note to participation@epiconline.ie with Care Day Photography Exhibition in the subject line by Friday 3rd February 2023.

Have a Book Sharing Day where you share a book with a friend that has a character you admire.

We also want to develop a Care Community Booklist of recommended reading about and from care-experienced children and young people and invite you to send us in your recommendations! This can be fiction or non-fiction, as care-experienced poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay reminds us, Harry Potter was a foster child, Superman was adopted, Cinderella was an orphan. Send your book recommendations to participation@epiconline.ie with Care Community Booklist in the subject line to have your book recommendation included.

As usual, we will run a number of competitions for Care Day and will share the information with you closer to the date. You can expect the Best Decorated Care Day Space and Scavenger Hunt to make a return. We are also super excited about our brand-new competition which was recommended by a young person – the Stick together, Stand Together Lego Competition!! If you have a suggestion for a competition or Care Day activity, send them into us at participation@epiconline.ie with Care Day Idea in the subject line.

Lastly, we encourage people to organise their own #CareDay23 events and activities and also invite people to celebrate Care Day with us by sharing a message of support on February 17 – and remember to use the hashtags #CareDay23 and #CareAware. If you are organising a #CareDay23 event in your locality and would like us to promote it for you, please send a brief summary and link to carolinereid@epiconline.ie and we will add it to our #CareDay23 events pages.

For #CareDay23, be a #CareAware champion, as every journey, no matter how long, starts with the first step!

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