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Fostered boy told months before Leaving Cert he'd be made homeless

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Cruel policy: Dillon Nolan has told of his distress at the news. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Cruel policy: Dillon Nolan has told of his distress at the news. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Cruel policy: Dillon Nolan has told of his distress at the news. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A teenager who was fostered was told he could face homelessness just four months before sitting his Leaving Cert.

Dillon Nolan (22), from Clondalkin, Dublin, was aged 17, living in a residential care centre and studying for the State exam when he was told he would need to start looking for alternative accommodation.

"I was angry and upset because I was there studying for my exams and suddenly they just told me you have to focus on homelessness and how to do a rent book," he told the Irish Independent.

"It was almost like no one knew where I was going to go, I thought it wasn't real."

Dillon was able to get a place for a year in Focus Ireland accommodation, but since then has been in private rented accommodation.

Some 6,000 children currently rely on foster carers and residential care placements to support them when they cannot live in their family home.

But when children turn 18, foster carers can choose to continue fostering, while residential care centres are forced to evict to free up places for new children coming in.

Focus Ireland, which provides aftercare services, says there aren't enough supports.

A report from advocacy organisation Empowering People in Care showed an increase of 17pc in the number of people contacting it for help and advice. Some 16pc of those cases were related to housing and accommodation issues.

"I now volunteer with a youth helpline, and time and time again the calls I get are from young people that have come out of care who are homeless," Dillon said.

Irish Independent


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