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Supports for Young People in Care

By February 7, 2024June 14th, 2024No Comments
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If you have any questions about supports for young people in care, you can chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer or leave us a message and we can get back to you.

Government Information and Advice for Young People in Care

  • The dedicated webpage hosting information and advice for Ukrainian refugees is here.
  • To access in Ukrainian language click here.
  • To access in Russian language click here.

Useful resources and articles.

SpunOuts ‘Prepare for leaving care’ article.

SpunOuts ‘What is Aftercare?’

Tusla ‘Welcome to Residential Care: Our Guide to Help You through – For young people in care, written by young people in care’.

Guide to Leaving Care: PATHWAYS is an aftercare guide that has been created for young people who are preparing to leave care by young people who have left care.

Financial Support in Aftercare.

Dictionary of Care Words.

Your Foster Family and You.

Organisations that Support Young People in Care

EPIC – Empowering Young People in Care:  Advocacy/ Information/ The EPIC Care Community is a space for children and young people in care, aftercare or with care experience.

Empower Ireland: to support and advocate for and with young people preparing to leave care and those that had moved into aftercare.

Organisations that Support Young People After Care

EPIC – Empowering Young People in Care:  Advocacy/ Information/ The EPIC Care Community is a space for children and young people in care, aftercare or with care experience.

Crosscare Aftercare Service – supports young people between the ages of 18 and 23 who are moving out of care and adjusting to independent living. It is a non-residential day service based in a lovely building in Wellington Street, the aftercare hub provides a focal point for young people as they adjust to leaving the care system. As well as providing a space for young people to meet up and hang out, staff at the Hub provide support and advice with counselling, education, mental health wellbeing and homelessness, housing and welfare. CAS supports their individual needs and helps them develop social and life skills and opportunities. Wellington Street, 26 Upper Wellington Street Dublin , aftercarehub@crosscare.ie; 01 8301188.

Care leavers Network Ireland: Tel No: 01 6797170 Email: info@careleaversnetwork.com.

Focus Ireland: Residential Aftercare:Aftercare involves continuing to provide support, planning, advice and guidance to each young person who leaves the care system at 18 years of age. Focus Ireland provides accommodation and support to young people leaving care in Dublin, Limerick and Sligo..Barrog Healthcare (looks private) – Our Aftercare service offers bespoke individual support packages to young people aged 18 and up to 21 years old, our service aims to provide a positive experience for young people as they grow and develop into young adults.

Refugees aftercare: Wellington Street hosts programmes for refugees and young people seeing asylum. Our residential aftercare services provide self-contained, residential accommodation for young people who are not ready to live on their own yet. The aim of the residential programme is to enable each resident to gain the knowledge and skills they need to live on their own and be part of a community, and to do so in a supportive environment.

Empower Ireland: to support and advocate for and with young people preparing to leave care and those that had moved into aftercare.

Financial support (Social Welfare)

Tusla introduced a Standardised National Aftercare Allowance. This is a regular payment for young people who:

  • Have been in care for 12 months on their 16th birthday or
  • Have been in care for 12 months in a row before their 18th birthday

The allowance can be up to €300 per week. A young person may also be entitled to grants as a care leaver from Care Leavers Ireland. You can check your eligibility for that here.

The assessment of need is a tool which is used to outline and determine the needs of the young adult and this includes their financial support that they will require to support them in education/training. It too has to be completed to apply for the Aftercare Grant. The young adult must be included in all discussions and decisions in relation to their financial needs. The assessment of need must make explicit statements in relation to the financial needs of the young adult. The aftercare worker, the young adult, the foster carer (where applicable) must identify and agree what financial supports the young adult needs. This agreement must be made in writing.

3.2 Aftercare allowance

Every young person as part of their preparation for leaving care will have an Individual Financial Support Plan. This plan will be completed in advance of the young person turning 18 years of age. The plan takes account of all financial supports available to care leavers and is reviewed as part of aftercare planning.

The Aftercare Allowance is a payment made with respect to an eligible adult who turns 18 in care to support them as they progress in education/training. In cases where the adult care leaver moves to live independently at 18 years the Aftercare Allowance can be paid directly to the young adult. The Aftercare Allowance is paid to the carer or supported lodgings provider if the young adult is in placement. The Aftercare Allowance payment from Tusla is €300 per week. Every effort will be made to encourage adult care leavers to engage in education/training and to sustain same. They may decide the course they have chosen is not for them or run into difficulty along the way. We must understand and support in a way that enables young people to reach their potential, be sensitive and allow them to take responsibility for decisions they make and learn from them.

 3.3 Aftercare grant

An aftercare grant is a once off payment paid to the eligible adult when they leave placement and it is a grant to assist with rent/ deposit and startup costs associated with initial moving home expenses. ELIGIBILITY A young adult who turned 18 years in the care of the Child and Family Agency having spent a period of 12 month in care of the Agency between the ages of 17-18 years The cost of setting up home can be initially considerable i.e. bedding, towels, utensils, initial groceries etc for the first time expenses. It is recommended that as this is a planned for event carers/residential providers can together make a list of requirements and start buying in advance of moving. Moving to independent living can be an exciting first taste of freedom for many but it can to be an emotional time and a costly expense too and therefore preparing together may alleviate some of the stress to make it a positive experience.

HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE? Month’s rent and deposit to a ceiling as set by the Department of Social Protection. Setting up home allowance of €300.

Accessing College in Ireland - student supports

Education Supports: Scholarships/ funding/ programme for that group

  • 4 SUSI 4
  • 5 Education access route 5
  • 6 Course fees 5
  • 7 Overseas courses

3.4 SUSI

It is imperative that the young person/young adult applies for the SUSI grant where eligible and they will be assisted in this regard to register and submit documentation required by SUSI by their Aftercare Worker. The aftercare worker will also submit supporting documentation in order that the application is processed without delay.

3.5 Education access route

The HEAR scheme is a college and university scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support. Young people/ young adult in aftercare can apply and supporting documentation will be provided by Tusla. Young people must apply online to CAO. The DARE scheme similarly offers places on reduced points and provides extra college support for young people with a disability who are applying for college/university. HEAR and DARE application advice clinics take place nationwide and notices as to where they will take place are available on line at www.accesscollege.ie Where young people are in receipt of a grant, training allowance/ other, this will be noted in their assessment of need.

3.6 Course fees

Tusla will cover course fees for PLC Courses. Government contribution fees are covered by the medical card therefore the adult care leaver must provide medical card details to the college directly in order to be exempted from these fees. If the adult care leaver is remaining in placement beyond 18 years, course equipment shall be covered from the aftercare allowance paid with respect to the adult care leaver.

3.7 Overseas courses

In cases where adults are looking at studying options overseas and no similar course is available in Ireland, courses can be looked at however the Aftercare Allowance will not exceed that which would ordinarily be offered if studying in Ireland. The course must be accredited.

Accessing the Health Service

Mental Health Supports

For any adult concerned about a bereaved child. Family or professionals can phone for information, advice and support or to make a referral – Ph: 01 4732110 Mon-Thurs 10am – 12pm; bereavement@barnardos.ie.

More information.

Joining a Youth Club

Crosscare Youth Services support young people (aged 10- 24yrs) throughout the greater Dublin/ Wicklow area. Find out if there is one in your local area through Crosscare Youth Services.

There are Youth Services all around Ireland run by different organisations.  Contact your local Youth Information Officer to find out where is your nearest, and find out other local supports and information available.

More information

For more information you can check out the education and employment sections of the website.

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