The District Court made a care order in respect of an unaccompanied minor who arrived in Ireland from Afghanistan. The boy met with the judge before his application was heard.
The court heard that the boy went to adult services after arriving in Ireland and was referred to the Child and Family Agency – Tusla by the International Protection Office (IPO). He had no documentation, but Tusla did not dispute his age as they said he looked quite young. He travelled through several countries including numerous European countries before arriving in Ireland in a container that arrived in Dublin Port.
The boy was doing well and was currently residing in a residential placement which he liked. He had contact with his family, but the contact was sporadic as it was dependent upon where his family was and whether there was good service. His overall health was good, but the court heard that he there had been some self-harming incidents. The social worker told the court that this was not unexpected, it showed the level of the boy’s anxiety. She said that a referral has been made for therapeutic services.
The social worker said that every effort was being made to progress the boy’s asylum application. He had legal representation and was waiting for an interview date.
He had no English or formal school training when he arrived in Ireland. He was currently attending a training course and the court heard that he had come a long way with his English. The court was told that he really liked Ireland as he felt safe, all of his needs were being met and he had many friends. She said that the boy’s religious needs are also being met.
The guardian ad litem (GAL) told the court that psychotherapy might be beneficial to the boy and was being recommended. He said that the boy has intermittent contact with his father who had been in an accident and that was a source of anxiety for the boy. He said that the boy’s family circumstances were a worry for him and confirmed that he had self-harmed on one occasion.
The judge said that a care order was justified as the boy had no family member to look after him and a care order was made until the age of 18.