Interim care order extended for unaccompanied minor – 2021vol1#16

An interim care order (ICO) was extended for a teenage child who had arrived in Ireland unaccompanied approximately one year earlier. The social worker gave evidence to the court of the updates of her care and the ICO was extended.

The girl had been in the care of the Child and Family Agency (CFA) since her arrival in Ireland. She was placed with a foster family in a small town. The social worker told the court that unfortunately the placement had to end because of ill health and other circumstances in the foster family. She said the girl was aware of this and was sad about it, but had shown maturity and understanding of the circumstances. She said other foster placements were being sourced and the child had been explicit she very much wanted a foster placement, not residential care.

She said there had been many health issues for the girl, but all these physical health issues had now been resolved. However, there were some mental health concerns, she had been referred to a psychiatrist and was awaiting an outpatient appointment. The social worker said the girl might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

She said the girl’s application for asylum had been accepted and this would mean she would be entitled to family reunification. She said she had contacted the International Red Cross to try to make contact with the girl’s family and was waiting to hear back from them.

She added the girl had been participating in online education and was doing well. A referral to after-care had been made for A and a care review meeting was scheduled.

The guardian ad litem (GAL) gave evidence supporting what the social worker had said.

The judge extended the ICO for 28 days.