Feasibility study on conducting longitudinal research on children in care published - 11 February 2019

Date Released: 11 February 2019

It arose from an action detailed in the Implementation Plan in response to the Ryan Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (2009).  This study is based on interviews with researchers worldwide who have completed studies of this kind. It considers the financial and research challenges associated with completing research over time with children and young people who are in care or are about to leave care in Ireland. There are over just 6,000 children in care in Ireland with over 2,000 young people availing of aftercare services. A longitudinal study will provide, for the first time a comprehensive real time account of their experiences.

 Dr Devaney emphasizes that “a longitudinal study with children and young people in care would provide a critical understanding of the needs and experiences of children and young people in and leaving care in Ireland. We have very little information on this transition currently. The move between care and aftercare can be extremely difficult for young people. The usual challenges of leaving home can occur, but often, the young person does not have a stable background or a network of people to lean on for support”.

The DCYA and Tusla will use the findings of this feasibility study to consider the possibility of commissioning a study of this kind. Tusla’s Corporate Plan 2018 – 2020 makes provision within its Research function to: ‘support the ongoing consideration for a future commission on a longitudinal study of children in care’ (Ref 5.3).

For full report please see http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/cfrc/publications/