EPIC 20th Anniversary Article Series


A Reflection on Care Day and what it means to me as a Care Leaver

                                                    By Katelyn Kelly


Care Day is a day that is celebrated each year on the third Friday of February. It looks at the positives for those who are currently in our care system and those who have left the care system, who are known as “Care Leavers.” Care Day is very important, as our society tends to focus on the negatives of the Irish Care System, rather than looking at the positives for those currently living in care and care leavers.

Care Day is important for those both in care and for care leavers because it is a day where all of our achievements are acknowledged. We as a society tend to forget that people in care and those who are care leavers have achievements, just like people who do not have care experience, and they need to be recognised and celebrated for them. This day is not only celebrated by those in care or by care leavers, but also by those who support them to achieve their successes such as Foster Carers, Aftercare Workers and Social Workers.

Care Day is not only celebrated in Ireland, but all over the world!

Care Day shows those who are in care and care leavers that they are not alone, there are others who are going through the same thing as them or have gone through the same thing. Care Day means a lot to me for many reasons. It is a day where those who are around me acknowledge and celebrate all of my achievements for example that I am in my second year of college and dream of becoming an SNA and that I am happy in my life, despite some of the negative stereotypes we often hear in the media about those with Care experience.

It also allows care leavers to meet those who are currently in care, which is important to me because I can give them advice for when they leave care, but also show them that care leavers are not what stereotypes portray us as. This day is also important to me because when I was in care, I never knew about Care Day, and I am glad that we now have a day we can call our own, where only good things are spoken about. It means so much to me to be able to meet up with past Social Workers who I have had during my time in care and show them what I have accomplished since I have left the care system. Care Day to me is like another birthday where I am the centre of attention for the day and I like that. It means a lot for me to have this special day each year.



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