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Dublin: 15°C Friday 18 June 2021

'They said I'd never finish school... Now I'm a teacher'

What happened next…

Source: EPIC - Empowering People in Care/YouTube

“THEY SAID I would become homeless… Now I’m a builder.”

“They said I would only draw the Dole… Now I’m a graphic designer.”

“They said I would never finish school… Now I’m a teacher.”

“They said I was going to be a social problem. Now I’m a social care worker.”

EPIC is an organisation that aims to empower young people who leave State care, a group amongst the most vulnerable in the country.

It believes changing people’s perceptions of young adults who grew up in care is essential to their work.

This video was made to challenge those stereotypes that people hold.

Director of Epic, Jennifer Gargan, has recently highlighted how vulnerable young people are when they leave care. They often end up homeless because they are not prioritised for housing early enough.

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“In the last number of weeks, Epic has witnessed a vast increase of young people leaving care coming to our service with LITERALLY nowhere to go. The State in acting as corporate parent must fulfil their responsibility and prioritise accommodation for these young people,” she said. “These young people have no safety net to fall back on and at 18, are often out on their own with no family to support them.”

Earlier this month, we met homeless man Tony O’Brien who had been left living rough on the streets after leaving the care system. A chance meeting with a photographer has led to a job and an opportunity for him to get back into full-time accommodation.

Read: Children in State care being ‘placed in danger of abuse and exploitation’

Column: Why and how are children taken into State care?

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