Introduction to EPIC’s Pre-Budget Submission
EPIC makes this submission to Government in both our capacity as a national children’s rights organisation, and on behalf of the children and young people with whom we work. Our submission is informed by the evidence base from our caseload, as well as our research and policy work.
The care system in Ireland plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the rights and promoting the welfare of children who, for various reasons, are unable to live with their birth families. Investing in the care system can have a transformative impact on children and young people, many of whom have experienced early childhood adversity and trauma. By providing comprehensive support and care and investing to that end, we can demonstrate our dedication to upholding the rights of every child in care and care-experienced young person, ensuring they have equal opportunities to thrive and achieve the best possible outcomes.
In order to do so, we must recognise that care-experienced children and young people are often particularly affected by many broader societal issues, such as the escalating housing and cost of living crises in Ireland, as they often have less resources and family and community supports to rely on. This can result in their quickly falling into precarious circumstances which can have a lasting impact.
EPIC believe that the issues highlighted in our submission and the measures we propose in Budget 2024 to address these could result in timely, effective, and quality investments to ensure children in care and care-experienced young people are protected and supported.