This report gives an overview of the EPIC Advocacy cases in 2018.

This report gives an overview of the EPIC Advocacy cases in 2018. 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 educational course or 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 tenth annual report on EPIC Advocacy cases, the first of which was in 2009. The number of Advocacy cases has increased substantially over these ten years – from 61 in 2009 to 653 in 2018. During the year 2018, 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 82 cases throughout the year, which has increased from an average of 73 cases in the previous year 2017, when there was a total of 589 EPIC Advocacy cases. In 2018, there were 395 Referrals to the EPIC National Advocacy Service. This number had fallen slightly compared to the previous year 2017, when there were 434 Referrals. However, between 2016-17 there was an increase of 17% in the number of Referrals from 370 to 434 respectively.

The data presented in this report will help to inform the future development of EPIC’s Advocacy work. In addition, the issues raised will contribute to EPIC’s policy work by helping to track emerging trends in presenting issues being experienced by young people and individuals who receive support from EPIC’s National Advocacy Service.

Read the Executive Summary (PDF)

Read the full report (PDF)

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