Starting the Conversation about People In Care

As someone who spent time in the care system, small talk, peppered, as it so often is, with questions about ‘home’ and ‘the family’, can feel like a minefield. It’s not like most people would think less of me if I just came out with it really, it’s just that a lot of them might be unsure how to respond. With Care Day (a celebration of children and young people with care experience) on February 16th, though, I think it’s about time that that discomfort began to fade. After all, to have a meaningful personal and political conversation about the care system, we are going to need to get over the initial awkwardness of talking about care. Endless depressing documentaries and gloomy articles about the care system lead some to believe that care will always and inevitably be a source of pain for anyone who’s been in it, and pain makes most of us uncomfortable. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t often bring my care past up. ‘It saves on tickets home!’ I sometimes joke, or I’ll tell whoever I’m talking to that ‘It’s fine!’. Whether being in care was painful or not for the person you’re talking to, that hurt won’t be alleviated by figuring out how to comfort you about it. Politically, too, the presumption that all care-related issues are difficult and sad topics make them less likely to be talked about. A governmental reluctance to really examine the care system means grant applications and government service forms often completely fail to allow for people with unconventional families. Inherent in the idea that the topic...

Celebrate #CareDay18

Terry Dignan, CEO of EPIC said “On February 16th next, EPIC, with our 5 Nations 1 Voice partners, will celebrate the third ‘Care Day’ since we launched the inaugural Care Day in 2016. Care Day is an opportunity to unite in celebrating the rights of care experienced children and young people, their stories and their achievements. This year we look forward to the biggest Care Day yet by welcoming even more children, young people, their friends, family and carers and care organisations to join in the celebrations. Be part of changing the story for children and young people in care and care leavers by spreading the word for Care Day 2018 and joining us through your participation in the celebration of Care Day 2018! #CareDay 18 - Show your support and get involved! How to get involved… Take a selfie with the downloadable Placard, and on the 16th of February post it on social media using the hashtag #CareDay18 - If you’re not okay with posting a selfie, you can just post a picture of your placard. You can also use our Care Day Twibbon to show your support easily on your Facebook or Twitter page. Care Day Twibbon Young Persons Placard Supporters...

Care Day – Save the Date

FEBRUARY 16TH - NATIONAL CARE DAY Day(s) : Hour(s) : Minute(s) : Second(s) Care Day 2018 will take place on February 16th.  Care Day is the world’s largest celebration of children and young people with care experience. Care experience includes children and young people who are or were cared for by parents or other family members with the support of social workers; by foster carers; or children and young people from children’s homes and residential units. They deserve to be celebrated, on care day, and every day. Care Day is part of 5 Nations, 1 Voice – an alliance made up of five children’s rights charities across the U.K. and Ireland: Become in England, EPIC in Ireland, VOYPIC in Northern Ireland, Voices from Care in Wales, and Who Cares? Scotland. Care Day 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate the rights of care experienced children and young people. The alliance wants a world where the experience of these children and young people allow them to thrive and achieve their dreams so that they go onto have a future that is fulfilled, and something they are proud of. The 5 Nations, 1 Voice alliance invites every child and young person with experience of care to join in this day of united celebration. Those who care for and support these children and young people are also asked to celebrate. It is an opportunity to illustrate how care experienced people can feel different to others and why. So, on February 16th, next Care Day, everyone has the chance to get vocal, get social, and get together in celebration of the care experienced community....

RYAN REPORT-SIX YEARS ON, WHAT’S CHANGED?

Immediate Release: 20th May 2015  Today marks the sixth anniversary of the publication of the Ryan Report. The publication of the fourth and final progress report was submitted to the Oireachtas in March of this year. Despite progress since 2009, a number of actions recommended in the progress report remain incomplete or lack implementation on the ground. Speaking today, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan, highlighted EPIC’s concerns: “It has been six years since the horrendous findings of the Ryan Report were published. The Government then made a commitment to ensure that all children, especially our most vulnerable children would be protected to the highest standard.   Whilst we have witnessed some positive changes for children since the publication of the Ryan Report, a lot remains to be done. As a national advocacy organisation working with young people in State Care, there are a number of key issues that remain problematic. Many young people are still without an a allocated social worker, despite the recruitment of 270 social workers. This is in the context that there are more young people in care today than there were in 2009.   Aftercare services continue to be ad hoc, and in some cases, there continues to be a lack of care and placement planning. As a result, many young people engaging with our service feel that their voices are not heard in decisions made about their lives, and do not feel prepared to live independently at 18 years of age.    One of the key recommendations outlined in the Ryan Report includes a once-off life skills programme for young people leaving care, however...

Care Questions Answered

Care Questions Answered What is state care? State Care means you are placed in care after a Judge decides that this is in your best interests.  This can happen if that your parents are unable to give you the care you need to keep you safe and protected at home. If you are taken into care you could live in: Foster Care This is living with Foster Parents that care for children and look after you in their home Relative Care This is living with a family member such as a Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle or another member of your family where they will care and look after you in their home. Residential Care This is living in a house with other young people in care and residential care staff. Who is the Child & Family Agency or Tusla? Tusla, also known as the Child and Family Agency was established on the 1st January 2014 and is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving the wellbeing and outcomes for children. The Child and Family Agency is responsible for providing supports and services to families and protecting children and young people. How can I be taken into care? A decision can be made your parents or by a Judge that it is not safe for you at home and therefore State Care is the best option for you. Voluntary Care: Voluntary care is when your parents agree with The Child and Family Agency (Tusla) that the best option for you is to be taken into care.  In some cases parents are unable to cope due to illness or other problems, and...

Your Rights in Care

Your Rights in Care  What are my Rights if I am taken into Care?   You have a number of rights if taken into care. The Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has a duty to make sure that all decisions about your care are made in your best interests. You have the right to have your views heard when decisions are being made about you being in care. For more, see Your Care Questions  Know your Rights!   All children and adults have rights. These are known as Human Rights. As children you have your own set of rights called The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (the CRC). Children and young people have a special set of rights because being young sometimes makes you more vulnerable and in special need of care and protection. HIQA - National Childrens standards Find out more Learn More about Rights http://www.childrensrights.ie/childrens-rights-ireland/childrens-rights-ireland http://childrensrights.ie/childrens-rights-ireland/un-convention-rights-child Summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child The United nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) outlines the rights that children across the world have and sets out what governments must do to ensure that children everywhere have a good life. http://www.childrensrights.ie/sites/default/files/information_sheets/files/SummaryUNCRC.pdf Read the full text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child There are 4 main rights that are important to children in care:  Article 6: Survival and Development You have the right to life.    Article 2: Non-Discrimination You have the right to protection against discrimination. This means that nobody can treat you badly because of your colour, sex, religion, if you...
‘It’s about me’ – Report on Care Reviews

‘It’s about me’ – Report on Care Reviews

‘It’s about me’ - Young People’s experience of participating in their care reviews. Research report (2014) Care reviews are an integral part of the care planning process which involve making decisions about aspects of young people’s welfare while in State care, for example issues concerning their current placement, extent of family contact, education/schooling etc. The main aim of this EPIC research study is to explore young people’s experiences of participating in their care reviews, which includes preparation for the care review meeting,the actual meeting itself and feedback given to young people following the meeting. The report is available as a PDF here ( NB: If the file doesn’t open for you, you may need a free PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader installed on your device first to read...

CHILDREN IN CARE – OVERVIEW BRIEFING DOCUMENT

The predominant reasons children are admitted into the care of the HSE include: neglect/ physical abuse of a child; a parent unable to cope; a family member abusing drugs/alcohol; a child with emotional/behavioural problems. There has been a consistent increase in the total number of children in care in the last decade.  Over the past ten years 200 000 children and young people have been referred to child protection services, of which 20 000 were recorded as having child protection needs.  There are nearly 6000 children in care, of which the majority of children are in foster care.  It must be noted that there is a deficit of data on children in the care system and their outcomes. ..Read More (full PDF document below) Attachments Briefing Document_Overview Children in Care_FINAL...

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