A District Court judge granted a care order until 18 for a boy who arrived at an Irish port unaccompanied in the back of a lorry from a European port. He had sought international protection. He was taken into the care of the Child and Family Agency (CFA) who made an application for an interim care order, which was granted in late Spring. He was placed in a residential unit.
Evidence was heard from the social worker and the guardian ad litem (GAL). The judge was satisfied a full care order was warranted. He was impressed by the efforts the boy had made to get to Ireland, to integrate and take advantage of every opportunity he was presented with. The judge wished him every success.
Evidence of the social worker
The social worker said the boy arrived late Spring on the back of a lorry, he had no documentation. He had been in a refugee camp in the port of another European country and had stowed away on the lorry. He had been placed in a residential unit which was to be a long-term placement and he had settled well.
He had had limited contact with his family as there had recently been a change of government in his country of origin. However, he had spoken with his uncle and mother and had been able to assure them he was safe and well. The social worker said contact would be facilitated as much as possible. The social worker reported she had no concerns regarding the accuracy of his age.
He had had a full medical assessment and the only outstanding recommendation from this was the recommendation that he should receive vaccinations in accordance with the Irish vaccination schedule. The social worker said she would have this arranged. He had expressed some stress and anxiety, but this was mostly concerned with his fears for his family at home and the current political climate. He was reported to be quite bashful, a little naive and innocent but he had asked to speak with someone about his experiences and fears. He has been referred to an experienced creative psychotherapist.
He was very anxious to attend school and had been attending a migrant access project where he had made great progress and his English continued to improve. It was hoped he would begin mainstream school in 2022.
Evidence of the guardian ad litem (GAL)
The guardian ad litem (GAL) said the current placement was meeting all of the boy’s needs. She said he worked very well with everyone and welcomed all the support the social workers and GAL offered.
She informed the court that there was another boy in the residential unit from the same country. They had been a great support to each other and had a deep friendship. She supported the application of the CFA.
The judge granted a full care order until the boy was 18. He said he was impressed with the efforts the boy had made just to get here and was pleased he was so engaged with the services, especially education. He wished him all the very best.