A NEW RESEARCH and data project will examine the lives of children in care and adults in care as children, the Minister for Children and Equality has announced.
Roderic O’Gorman said the research will be “the most thorough and comprehensive examination of Ireland’s alternative care system ever undertaken”.
The minister received government approval to launch the project. He said it would offer “new and important insight” into the experience of children both in care and later in life.
The project has five stages that will be developed in stages, one of which is a study of people who left care 10 years ago. This aims to better understand the longer-term experiences and outcomes of these individuals.
There will also be a longitudinal cohort study of youth leaving care which will include a 10-year study of a cohort of youth leaving care.
The Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said this project responds to the recommendations of the Ryan Report Implementation Plan to conduct longitudinal research with young people who left care.
“The recommendation of the Ryan Report was made in 2009. Given the significant improvements that have taken place during this time, including the creation of the Children’s Department and Tusla, there is now an appropriate infrastructure to research and understand the experiences of children in care. charge and their journey as young adults,” Minister O’Gorman said in a statement.
“While the need for further research to understand the lives of children in care and adults in care as children has been highlighted in the past, I have personally prioritized this work for 2022.”
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The Ryan Report documented the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of thousands of children in institutions run by religious orders.
“Stakeholder consultation will be essential in all phases of this project,” a statement from the department said.
There are currently around 6,000 children in care in Ireland. Around 500 young people leave care every year after reaching the age of 18.
- CHILDREN IN GUARD: Find out more here on how to support an important and remarkable project to find out if children fall through the cracks of the care system.