This report gives an overview of EPIC Advocacy cases in 2017.

It presents a profile of the young people who sought advocacy support, identifies the main
presenting issues and key actions taken by EPIC to address their concerns. The aim
of EPIC’s advocacy work is to empower children in care and young people with care
experience to have a say in issues that affect their lives. The nature of EPIC’s role
can vary from providing basic information, for example, in relation to social welfare
entitlements, to providing practical support, such as assisting a young person to find
an education course or appropriate accommodation. At the highest level of
engagement, one of the EPIC Advocacy team may be asked by a young person to
represent their views on their behalf, for example, by attending a care or aftercare
review meeting.

This is the ninth annual report on EPIC Advocacy cases, the first of which was in
2009. The number of Advocacy cases has increased substantially over these eight
years – from 61 in 2009 to 589 in 2017. During the year 2017, there were eight
Advocacy Officers in EPIC, two in each of the main regions: Dublin North East;
Dublin Mid Leinster; South; and West. Therefore, on average, each EPIC Advocacy
Officer dealt with 73 cases throughout the year, which has increased from an
average of 63 cases in the previous year 2016, when there was a total of 500 EPIC
Advocacy cases. In 2017, there were 434 Referrals to the EPIC National Advocacy
Service. Compared to the previous year 2016, when there were 370 Referrals, this
has increased by 17%.

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