Dublin District Court granted a full care order until the age of 18 for a non-Irish national child who travelled to Ireland on her own. The child is currently seeking asylum.
Summarising the background to the case, the social worker for the Child and Family Agency (CFA) told the court the girl travelled to Ireland using fake documents which incorrectly portrayed her as being older than she was. The immigration official noted she looked younger than her identification. The court heard the CFA accepted the girl’s stated age. The social worker said that the child had applied for asylum in Ireland and would like to apply for family reunification as part of the asylum process. The court heard if she did apply for family reunification her family would have to provide supporting documentation, so if her stated age did not match with what the documents said then the CFA could review.
The social worker said the CFA had been unable to locate the girl’s family, despite trying all the phone numbers provided. The CFA had contacted the Red Cross who informed them that due to conflict in the area people kept moving, losing phones or losing coverage. The Red Cross cannot proceed with tracing the family as they required the girl’s consent. However, she refused to consent for fear her family would be put in danger.
The court heard the child was immature and an introvert and suffered from stomach issues, possibly due to stress and anxiety regarding her family and the asylum process. She was integrating well in Ireland and doing well in her placement. She had previously been in a short-term placement, but she was now in a long-term placement which included others from her country. The court also heard she was doing reasonably well in school but may have to repeat the year.
The court heard the child was happy to have the full care order granted. The court granted the care order with the provision that a change of placement could be made in the future if required. An after-care review is scheduled for 23 June 2021.