Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency


In 2015 Tusla in partnership with EPIC (Empowering People in Care) and supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies began the process of setting up national participation groups for children and young people in Foster Care, which are known as ‘Fora’.

The purpose of the Fora is to find out directly from children and young people; what they believe are the positives and challenges about living in care. To hear their views on issues of relevance to them as experts in their own experiences, to amplify their voices and to influence change within policy and practice.

Since the establishment of the Fora, many of the groups identified projects which they felt would benefit and support other Children, Young People, and Professionals and support improved practice based on their own experiences.




This document is a guide to support staff in establishing fora in their area. There is recognition that each fora is individual to each area and every group of children and young people may have different identified needs and requests, which are negotiated with staff. This starter kit was developed as a framework for staff to work within and can be applied to the set-up of any group of children or young people.


Please edit and use these templates to suit your group


Animation Awareness Video
Louth Meath 

Awareness Video
Mid West

Exploring cultural diversity, the importance of positive and negative relationships with their Foster Carers and Social Workers and the impact that these relationships can have on their everyday life.

This Forum includes Young People from 12-17 years of age.

This group were passionate about creating a dramatic piece around their experiences of living in care, highlighting both the positive and challenging aspects of this.

This Forum includes Young People from 13-17 years of age.


Accessing Files Leaflet
Dublin South Central 

Care Dictionary 
Dublin North City

The accessing files leaflet was inspired by the Young Peoples wishes to be able, with the support of their Social Workers to have access to their files and information stored about them and their families.

This Forum includes Young People from 12-17 years of age.

This group identified most with their misunderstanding of the ’jargon’ used by the professionals around them and how professionals phrased questions they about their lives.

This Forum includes Young People from 12-17 years of age.


Top Tips Poster
Dublin North City 

Getting to know your New Foster Carers

This group identified positive relationships with their Social Workers and created a positive messages poster to promote the meaningful participation of Young People with their Social Workers.

This Forum includes Young People from 8-12 years of age.

This group highlighted their concern around their experiences of abrupt and upsetting placement moves where they would not know the foster family that they would be moving to.

This Forum includes Young People from 12-17 years of age.

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