Major study to examine lives of children in care and adults who were in care as children
A major study into the lives of children in care and adults who were in care as children has been announced by the government.
The landmark research and data project will be the most comprehensive examination of Ireland’s alternative care system ever undertaken, and will provide an extensive overview of both the experience of children in care and their long-term outcomes.
The project will address a recommendation in the implementation plan for the 2009 Ryan report for longitudinal research with young people leaving care.
It will also develop the capacity of Tusla’s National Child Care Information System (NCCIS) to capture more data on the pathways of children in care and will include research with young people who left the care system ten years ago and bespoke research with children in care and aftercare.
Children’s minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “I am delighted to announce the start of a significant and ambitious project of research and data collection into the lives of children in care and adults who were in care as children.
“This project will be the most extensive and comprehensive examination of Ireland’s alternative care system ever undertaken and will provide new and important insights into the experiences of children in care and how they get on in later life.
“Having prioritised the reform and restructure of Tusla in 2021, I now want to ensure that the experience of children in care is prioritised by my Department and by Tusla. This will be done through the development of clearly articulated policy, improved services and comprehensive research.”
The minister said he has “personally prioritised this work for 2022” and will receive updates from a steering group established to report periodically on progress.
The Child Care Law Reporting Project (CCLRP) welcomed the “fantastic new initiative” in a tweet and said it looks forward to “learning from this research and sharing potential themes for exploration based on issues we see in our court reporting work”.