EPIC- Empowering People in Care congratulate the Child Care Law Reporting Project and welcome their report published today. This project provides invaluable insight and important focus on some of the difficulties that children in care and their families face when going through court proceedings.
Terry Dignan, CEO of EPIC, speaking about the report said:
“EPIC has on many occasions, and over a period of years raised the importance and urgency of ensuring we can properly care for all our young people in care with complex needs and mental health issues, in Ireland. It’s simply not acceptable that we continue to send children and young adults abroad for specialist intervention that should properly be available to them in Ireland and we must cease this practice and instead focus on developing our own services and facilities to provide appropriate support to those children and young adults who require it. Furthermore, it is unacceptable that some children must be made wards of court in order to receive out of state care and our mental health legislation must be reviewed as a matter of urgency to ensure this requirement is removed. The next Government should make this a principle focus.”
Special Care can be a highly effective intervention and therefore it is necessary that efforts be increased to ensure that the full capacity of beds be operational, and the 58 available posts are filled. As part of this there must be more step-down accommodation available. Glen Alainn as one example, a step-down unit that is currently open, is not being maximised, and more such units must be established.
Importantly, we must ensure that all young people at risk of being taken into care, or in care, receive the early intervention they need, so that we minimise the trauma they do experience, and support them in the best possible way to deal with the trauma they have experienced. By so doing, we will help ensure they have the best possible chance of a happy and safe childhood and are able to become active members of society with their own independent lives.
Contact: Terry Dignan, CEO (01 8727661 or 087 2370269)
Notes to Editor:
Young People in Care in Ireland, https://www.tusla.ie/data-figures/
Child Care Law Reporting Project http://childlawproject.ie/publications/
EPIC is a national voluntary organisation that works with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have experience of living in care. This includes those in residential care, foster care, relative care, hostel, high support and special care. EPIC also works with young people preparing to leave care and those in aftercare. EPIC’s National Advocacy Service core priority is to ensure young people in care and those with experience are listened to and are heard on issues affecting their lives. It is a national service with offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. www.epiconline.ie