EPIC 20th Anniversary Article Series
Care Leavers Journey of Participation with EPIC
By Members of the EPIC National Youth Council
Why I joined EPIC
I joined EPIC last year because I am currently in care and EPIC works with people in care and in aftercare. I really wanted to contribute to making positive changes in the care system and EPIC is the right place for that. Since I joined EPIC, it has been like a second home for me. It is really welcoming, friendly and loving. We have done lots of great stuff, like meeting the minister, organising Care Day, and having our own monthly meetings.
How I became Involved with EPIC and my Experience of working with EPIC
I first became aware of EPIC when my aftercare worker asked if I would like to participate in a new national group that was being set up to make changes within the HSE. EPIC was going to be facilitating the group called TAG. I worked with EPIC staff for a few years preparing for conferences, giving consultations with HSE and Tusla staff at various levels and doing research into different projects. The EPIC staff were always great at making sure that everyone’s needs were met and that everyone in the group felt safe and supported, even when discussing topics that were quite personal and could have been upsetting for members. As TAG became less active, I was asked if I would like to participate in the National EPIC youth council and so far I have really enjoyed it, both locally and nationally.
Outside of this, I have also had the support from EPIC in a couple of areas where I had difficulties in my life. During this time, the staff was great at listening to me and helping me with practical solutions to my problems. I had help getting copies of important documents that had been lost, and I had great support in finding accommodation when I moved counties. Even when I was unemployed, I volunteered with EPIC by attending IFCA conferences, and by spending time in the Galway office working on pieces for TAG and other projects. From the seven years of experience I have had from working with EPIC, I feel that they all really care about the young people they work with and how each person is personally doing. They all look forward to hearing our opinions and celebrating our achievements like getting into college, and not just focusing on our care experience.
For all media enquiries, or to arrange an interview please contact:
Terry Dignan, CEO of EPIC
Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 087 2370269
EPIC Empowering People In Care is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered at 7 Red Cow Lane, Smithfield Dublin 7, D07 KX52.