Care Day was established in 2016 as a day to celebrate the positive achievements and contributions of children and young people in care or with care experience, and on Friday 17th February, EPIC was delighted to celebrate its 8th national Care Day in partnership with Tusla and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth – both of whom EPIC thank for the continued support of this important day!
The #CareDay23 theme, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover, embrace our stories instead!’, was developed by children and young people from the EPIC Care Community and Youth Council and it aims to address stigma and challenge negative stereotypes about being in care. Through their theme, they encouraged people to learn about children in care, 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.
To kick things off, on Care Day eve, some of the children and young people from EPIC attended a special event at the CHQ Building in Dublin with friends and supporters to launch Embrace Our Stories.
Check out the launch night video by Veronica Vierin – www.veronicavierin.com
Embrace Our Stories is a new photography exhibition by children in care and young care leavers. Through their images and voice recordings, they invite people to learn about their stories of hope, courage, talent, and achievement. Everyone was incredibly excited to have Minister Roderic O’Gorman open the event, which also had contributions from EPIC Youth Council members Clara and Kai, Minister Joe O’Brien, interim CEO of Tusla, Kate Duggan, and the Ombudsperson for Children, Niall Muldoon.
On the night, Kai from the EPIC Youth Council shared a few words about the exhibition and process of developing it and why Care Day is important for him. You can read his full speech here.
You can take a virtual tour of the collection here 🙂
EPIC want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who played a part, got involved, or showed their support on Care Day 23. It takes a village, community spirit, partnership and lots of creative, talented children and young people to celebrate being #CareAware. EPIC will be busy bringing the #CareAware message and Care Day 23 theme to new communities and localities this year. So, if you are interested in hosting the Embrace Our Stories Photography Exhibition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.