Free legal advice clinic launched for children in care

Free legal advice clinic launched for children in care

The clinics will be held once a month for an initial period of 12 months and is a joint venture between between EPIC (Empowering People In Care) and Community Law & Mediation, an independent community law centre based in Limerick and Dublin. File photo

A new free legal advice clinic for children and young people in care has been launched, with those behind the initiative saying it is particularly timely given the impact of Covid-19.

The clinics will be held once a month for an initial period of 12 months and is a joint venture between between EPIC (Empowering People In Care) and Community Law & Mediation, an independent community law centre based in Limerick and Dublin.

Rose Wall, CEO of CLM, said: “We are delighted to partner with EPIC to provide these new and much-needed legal advice clinics. 

Children and young people in the care system are some of the most disadvantaged in Ireland and they have faced significant challenges in recent months due to Covid-19. 

"The legal expertise of our solicitors, combined with the advocacy expertise provided by EPIC, will help ensure that they have every opportunity to have their voice heard in relation to decisions that affect them."

The free legal advice clinics are funded by the Community Foundation for Ireland and RTÉ Does Comic Relief and information on how to access them can be found by contacting EPIC on 01 872 7661.

Marissa Ryan, CEO of EPIC, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult for children and young people across Ireland, and particularly those in care or leaving care. 

"As services across Ireland stall and are overwhelmed as a result of the coronavirus, EPIC and CLM are determined to provide a service to ensure care-experienced children and young people have access to justice, know their rights and have these rights upheld."

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