herald

Sunday 9 December 2018

Four out of 10 teens can't cope out of care

Four out of 10 young people suffer mental health problems after leaving State care, new research has revealed.

Empowering People In Care (Epic) found youngsters suffered low mood/depression, suicidal behaviour and anger management after trying to live independently.

The organisation said many making the transition were also at greater risk of homelessness and faced difficulties when attempting to find employment, further education or training.

A survey showed most were also dependent on social welfare as their main source of income and lacked some of the skills to live independently, including budgeting.

Stability

Epic -- the new name for the Irish Association of Young People in Care -- said achieving stability in young people's care placements helps to promote more positive outcomes.

Director Jennifer Gargan said: "The need for stability and fewer placement moves is essential for positive outcomes after care. All young people leaving care need and should have access to quality aftercare supports, particularly for times of crisis."

A total of 65 young people aged 17-18 in care in the north Dublin area were questioned before and after they left services on accommodation, education, health and care placement history.

A third said they had spent one to five years in care, with 11pc there for six to 10 years and 39pc for more than 10 years. Nine -- 14pc -- had a child or were expecting the birth of a child while in care.

hnews@herald.ie

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