A project examining the lives of children in care and adults who were in care as children has been announced by Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman.

Described as "the largest ever" research and data project into Ireland's care system, it fulfills a recommendation made following the publication of the Ryan report.

In 2009, the Ryan Report implementation plan suggested that the Health Service Executive conduct a longitudinal study to follow young people who leave care for ten years, and map their transition to adulthood.

In 2014, responsibility for the welfare, care and protection of children transferred from the HSE to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

Minister O'Gorman said the aim of the project is to provide an extensive overview of the experience of children in care and their long-term outcomes.

Elements of the project will be developed on a phased basis.

It will include a study of young people who left care ten years ago.

Insights into the longer-term experiences and outcomes of those who left care after the Ryan report will also be examined and "how they have fared since then".

A longitudinal study on a representative cohort of young people leaving care over a ten-year period will be undertaken.

The capacity of Tusla’s National Child Care Information System (NCCIS) to capture more data on the pathways of children in care will be enhanced.

In a statement, the department added that "different elements of the project will be delivered over time".