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New website launched to help explain to children in care why Tusla is in their lives

The website has been designed by young people with lived experience of the care system.

Image: Tusla

THE CHILD AND family agency has today launched a new website, designed by young people with experience in care, to help children understand what it means if Tusla is involved in their lives.

The concept for the website, called Changing Futures, came from a group of young people with lived experience of Tusla’s services. 

The young people involved in the project felt they had not fully understood why the agency was involved in their lives or the roles of some of the workers they encountered.

They came up with everything from the name and logo to the colours, design, images and layout. They said they spent a lot of time writing and rewriting the language to explain the common words children in care will hear and to try to make them seem less scary.

Currently there are two sections on the website, aimed at children from 10 to 15 and 16 to 18, but another section for six to nine-year-olds will soon be added. 

“Videos are big part of this website because we feel as a group young people are more likely to get their information from watching videos,” Mark Gray, one of the research group members said.

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“We have filmed workers from Tusla that explained their roles in a child-friendly way so that young people can learn a little bit about the work they do before they access Tusla services.

“We have filmed young people that have a positive experience of being involved with Tusla – this is the best part of the website because it shows other young people that getting support is okay, and it shows them that help can work.”

Pay Smyth, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Tusla said the website is “a compelling example of what can be achieved when children and young people are given the opportunity to get involved with Tusla decision making and to make a real difference to Tusla services”.

ChangingFutures.ie is the first website of its kind, and was only possible due to the immense creativity, passion and innovation embodied by this group of young people. The young people involved in this project are a testament to the young people that have engaged with Tusla services.”

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