Documentary on One

Leaving Care

A radio documentary that tells the stories of young people turning eighteen and leaving the care of the state in Ireland, reflecting on their lives, up to ten years on.

Leaving Care

With as many as sixty eight percent of those leaving state care experiencing homelessness within two years it documents their journeys in care as well as leaving the care system including their struggles, ambitions and how their experiences have changed their plans for the future.


Afraid to return to her family home Jane went into care at sixteen, after sleeping in a number of different hostels she left state care at eighteen and found she had nowhere to turn to for support. She became pregnant and now lives alone in a rented house with her one year old son. At nineteen she is struggling to survive with mounting debt and searching for a place she hopes to finally call home.


John and his sister Mary have been in care for most of their lives. With many years in both foster families and residential care John's aftercare plan has been relatively successful. Now nineteen and having moved back into to his residential house John hopes to move fully out of care and into private accommodation before Christmas. Both enjoying college life but with no family support they are hopeful yet anxious about the future.


Meanwhile three young women who were also in care are living on the streets of Dublin, never knowing where they would be staying from one day to the next they turned to drugs. Two of these young women have children who are now in care.


There is currently no legislation for the right to aftercare in Ireland. Leaving Care was recorded in a number of locations including, houses, parks and on the streets of Dublin.

Compiled and narrated by Della Kilroy.

Production supervision by Peter Woods

First broadcast on 12th December 2009 .

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

Documentary maker: Della Kilroy

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Documentary maker: Peter Woods

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