The research will be the most comprehensive examination of Ireland’s alternative care system
ever undertaken, and provide an extensive overview of both the experience of children in care
and their long term outcomes.
The project will address the Ryan Report Implementation Plan recommendation 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.
Different elements of this project will be delivered over time. This approach will ensure that the
project builds on learning as it develops and is dynamic and suitable to the issues important to
children and young people, now and into the future. Consultation with stakeholders will be key
throughout all phases of this project.
The research will fall under the remit of Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration
and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., who says “While the need for greater research to
understand the lives of children in care and adults who were in care as children has been
highlighted in the past, I have personally prioritised this work for 2022.
The approach to this project follows extensive work carried out by a joint DCEDIY/Tusla
Working Group, which commenced its work in November 2020. A steering group will be
established to report periodically on progress to the Management Board of DCEDIY, and to
Currently there are approximately 6,000 children in care in Ireland and approximately 500
young people leave care every year upon reaching 18 years of age.