Judge asked to maintain oversight of a young person being adopted – 2021vol2#25

The Child and Family Agency asked the District Court to maintain oversight of a child due to age out of care because of the young person’s complex needs. The child was in the process of being adopted by the foster family she had been with since she was two years old.

The issue arose during the aftercare review for the young person who was 17 years old. The parents were deceased. The young person had been with the same foster family since she was two years old and the subject of a care order since 2018.  The foster carers were now in the process of adopting her. The declaration of eligibility and suitability had been secured. However, because of the long history the young person had of being in the care of the Child and Family Agency (CFA) she would still be eligible for an aftercare package, the court heard.

The social worker and the guardian ad litem (GAL) were asking the court to maintain oversight of the aftercare even though technically the jurisdiction of this court would fall away on adoption. The CFA solicitor said the young person was entitled to it because of the length of time she had been in care and she had a very complex presentation, which included issues of transgenderism, anxiety and eating disorders.  They said that although this aftercare cannot be forced on the young person, it should be available to them. An aftercare worker had been allocated and the GAL had made recommendations which the CFA had agreed to review.

The matter was adjourned until early 2022.