Full Report> Report on EPIC Advocacy Cases 2012

This report presents detailed information on the characteristics of young people who engaged with EPIC’s Advocacy Service in 2012.

2012 has witnessed a levelling-off of advocacy cases where there were 123 advocacy cases on a par to 2011. However, as identified in this report, the duration of advocacy cases has increased for example, 22% of advocacy cases lasted for over six months in 2012 compared to just 9% in 2011.

In late October 2012, EPIC employed 5 additional staff members including: 1 National Advocacy Service Manager, 2 new Advocacy Officers for the HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster region and 2 new Advocacy Officers for the HSE South region. During this period (late October-December 2012), there were 29 referrals recorded.

The aim of EPIC’s advocacy work is to empower children and care leavers to have a say and be heard in issues that significantly affect their lives. The nature of the Advocacy role can comprise varying levels of involvement by EPIC. At the most basic level, it may involve finding out information requested by the young person, for example, in relation to welfare rights, housing rights or regarding aftercare options available. A young person may also contact EPIC looking for practical or emotional support, for example, a young adult may need assistance in finding suitable accommodation. At the highest level of engagement, one of the EPIC Advocacy team may be required to advocate, or represent the young person’s views with them or on their behalf, for example, by attending a care/ aftercare review meeting or a court hearing.

The data in this report focuses on the characteristics of young people who have received advocacy support from EPIC during the year 2012. The main aim of this report is to provide a profile of this group of young people and to gain some insight into their presenting issues. This is valuable information and can be used to help inform the future development of Advocacy work undertaken by EPIC.

In addition, it can also highlight certain issues that need to be addressed by the research and policy work of the organisation, especially when particular issues are emerging for an increasing number of young people.

As this is the fourth annual report on the EPIC Advocacy Service, trends can be compared with previous years. However it must be noted that for the first time, cases are not broken down by Children’s Rights and Participation Officers /Aftercare Co-ordinator, all of EPIC’s advocates now deal with both children under the age of 18 and young people over 18.

Full Report> Report on EPIC Advocacy Cases 2012


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