ICO extension for two boys seeking asylum while professionals consider whether they should be returned to Middle East – 2023vol1#41

The Child and Family Agency (CFA) brought an application before the Dublin Metropolitan District Court to extend interim care orders in respect of two separated children seeking asylum from the Middle East. There was also a Section 47 application before the court in respect of COVID vaccinations.

The two children (boys) had documentation with them when they arrived in Ireland. The documentation asked for them to be “looked after”.

The mother was not legally represented but the court heard that she had been in contact with the social work team and had an idea of the care plan for the boys. The mother had also been in contact with the guardian ad litem (GAL).

The court heard the boys were currently living in a residential unit but the CFA said they were looking for alternative placements. They said that a key factor in their decision-making was that both boys were deeply involved in a sport and were being coached by a coach from their home country. Any placement needed to be near the necessary facilities.

The boys were attending school and the court was told that the eldest boy had experienced some issues with school but that an improvement had been seen since Christmas.

The court heard that the mother had been very involved in relation to their placements and was very prescriptive about what might be suitable. A placement with dogs had been ruled out due to the fact that the mother had said the boys were allergic to dogs. The CFA might seek to get the boys tested to verify that point.

A key question for the professionals was why the boys were in Ireland and whether it would be better for them to return to their home country in the Middle East.

The judge adjourned the section 47 application and extended the interim care order (ICO) for 28 days.