About the Irish Aftercare Network
The Irish Aftercare Network managed and co –ordinated by Breaking Through provides advice and support to professionals working with young people leaving care in Ireland. There are over 450 individual members of the Irish Aftercare Network representing over 80 organisations covering every county in Ireland.
Aftercare is a term used to describe the planning and support put in place to meet the needs of a young person who is leaving care services at age 18 years. Currently, there are approximately 6000 young people in care in Ireland. Each year, approximately 450 to 500 young people leave the care of the State. The professionals who support these young people are called Aftercare Workers. Working in collaboration with other professionals, Aftercare Workers are responsible for working with young people to help them make a smooth transition from care to independent living.
Aims of the Irish Aftercare Network
- Provide support to Aftercare Workers and other professionals working with care leavers.
- Create better outcomes for young care leavers in Ireland.
- Share and promote models of best practice in aftercare.
- Collate and disseminate evidence-based research.
- Develop a directory of services and resources.
- Provide peer support and access to training.
- Advocate for the development of standards for young people leaving care.
- Facilitate quarterly network meetings for Aftercare Workers.
- Host a National Annual Conference.
The Irish Aftercare Network provides a forum for Aftercare Workers to access peer support, information, training and an opportunity to network with their peers. It also gives a platform to discuss current issues of concern. The issues raised in these forums are then used to advocate for policy reform and improvements in practice.
For more information on the Irish Aftercare Network:
Here’s what our members say:
“The IAN is a great resource for all professionals working with young people who are transitioning out of the care system. It provides these professionals with a universal voice to advocate for the changes needed to ensure these young people receive the most effective supports into adulthood, whilst supporting the professionals themselves in their roles. ”
“The support and training events offered by the Irish Aftercare Network have been exceptional throughout the pandemic.”
“The Irish Aftercare Network is a great way of information sharing and keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in the sector. The work is so badly needed as aftercare issues are always an afterthought in policy and practice-view from a care experienced young person.”
”IAN provides invaluable support and resource sharing between professionals working with young people leaving care/ care leavers. The Network keeps us up-to-date on lobbying and wider systemic changes within our profession that may impact either positive or negative on our young people. This feedback/communication loop enables quick response for or against legislative and policy changes. There is space for collective deliberation of practice – what is working/ what needs to change and how best to implement such change. The IAN facilitates ongoing professional development training and events, much appreciated by us members. ”
”Sincere thanks for the work the Irish Aftercare Network does. The coordination of group discussion regarding policy development, all aspects of the legislative framework within aftercare in Ireland and peer support that the Irish Aftercare Network continues to provide is invaluable to members. I have no doubt that the network is successful in its overarching aim in creating better outcomes for young people leaving care in Ireland. ”