Contact: Caroline Reid, Communications Manager | email@example.com | 087 216 2496
Care Day 22: EPIC Youth Council calls on public to become #CareAware
- Care Day 22: a celebration of children and young people in the care system
- “Simple acts of listening, encouraging, or understanding can have profound, direct, and lifelong effects”
Today, care experienced children and young people across the world are marking their seventh annual Care Day, and for Care Day 22 the celebration is getting even bigger.
EPIC, Empowering People in Care, Youth Council Member Clara O’Shea-Collins said: “Our theme for this year’s Care Day takes inspiration from the African proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. For the past six years, we have used Care Day to raise awareness of the care system, reduce stigma, and celebrate the achievements of care experienced children and young people.”
“This year we will continue this tradition, but we want to take things one step further by highlighting how various people in all walks of life can have a positive influence on the lives of children and young people with experience of the care system. As a trained Social Worker, as well as a care experienced person, I see the impact this can have every day.”
“On the Youth Council, we each remember people in our lives who had, or continue to have, a significant impact on our outlook and sense of self. For example, my standout village members are my foster parents. A fellow Council Member Rory’s is Kathleen, a Social Worker he had when he was younger. So, on Care Day 22 we are celebrating these people – the siblings, foster parents, social workers, teachers, youth workers, coaches, and friends who have positively shaped our care journeys. To say thank you for welcoming us, accepting us, and sticking by us.”
Marissa Ryan, CEO of EPIC, Empowering People in Care, continued: “The people being celebrated today may not even be aware of the impact they have had on children in care and those who have left care. Simple acts of listening, encouraging, or understanding can have profound, direct, and lifelong effects.”
“For Care Day 22 we are encouraging people to realise their potential to be that important person in the life of a child or young person in care, and to become Care Aware.”
“The EPIC Youth Council is asking people to unite with care experienced children and young people on Care Day 22 to celebrate their contribution to our society, to promote positive care identities that tackle stigma, and to improve understanding of the unique challenges they face.”
“There are nearly 6,000 children in care in Ireland and approximately 3,035 young adults in after-care. They often lack visibility, their voices are rarely at the centre of discussions on the care system, and they can be overlooked in public policy decisions that directly affect their lives. Care day is a chance to change this.”
Care Day was established in February 2016 by EPIC, Empowering People in Care, and Tusla as a day to mark and celebrate the positive experiences and lives of children and young people in care or with care experience. EPIC is celebrating Care Day 22 in partnership with Tusla, and with the support of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
Contact: Caroline Reid, Communications Manager | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mobile: 087 216 2496 Notes to Editor:
- Spokespeople are available – including members of the EPIC Youth Council
- EPIC is a national organisation working with and for children and young people who are currently in care or who have experience of being in care. This includes those in residential care, foster care, relative care, and high support and special care units. EPIC also work with children and young people preparing to leave care and those in aftercare.
- The EPIC Youth Council is a group of young people with care experience between the ages of 16 – 25 who advise EPIC and national stakeholders on issues and themes of concern to children and young people in care. EPIC Youth Council members also work on campaigns and projects to improve the outcomes for children and young people in care.
- Listen to the Care Experienced Podcast which explores the Care Day 22 theme, ‘It takes a village’, with Youth Council Members.
- EPIC is calling on the Government to initiate a range of policy and legislative reforms to improve the care system in Ireland including enshrining the right to independent advocacy for children in care in legislation; improving education, accommodation and mental health supports for care experienced children and youth; and extending the age limit for after-care services.