A success story was heard in the Dublin District Court regarding a teenager who had been in care for three years and whose father was a ward of court.
The aftercare plan was handed in by the allocated team leader. It had been decided that the boy would remain in his current relative foster care placement with his siblings. He was going into his Leaving Cert year in September and had shown great academic tenacity, he was hoping to attend third level education.
While the teenager did not have a great relationship with his mother and a lot of anger towards her, he had worked hard to turn his life around.
“It’s wonderful to see how far he’s come in the last two years,” his guardian ad litem(GAL) told the court. “He’s worked through all his issues, worked through his anger, he had been overweight, he lost weight, he goes to the gym every day, he’s in a youth club, he works full time during the holidays. He’s transformed his whole life, he’s a credit to his foster carers.”
The GAL told the court that the teenager was just back from holidays with his relative foster carers and his sister, who was also in care with him. “It’s great to have a nice happy ending, you don’t always get that.”
“This is a rare moment,” the judge acknowledged, “an absolute success, I’m so pleased for [him] and [his sister]. I have to commend the social work department, I know the commitment that goes into achieving a good relationship between everyone, he was, ‘all over the place’ as you put it. It has been a complex and difficult case.
“An awful lot of social work failings are highlighted and while that is necessary it is important to acknowledge that this case has been consistent, there has been tenacious engagement by the social workers, so it’s important to commend it when you see it. I’m delighted,” the judge said.
She said she wished to extend every good wish to the young man for his academic tenacity and success and that she hoped he made it to third level education. The GAL had said he would be a natural social worker, working with young people and that should be conveyed to him, concluded the judge, it would help his self-esteem.