Separated Children in Foster Care: Seminar Paper

Barnardos. (2011). Separated Children in Foster Care: Seminar Paper.
In the last decade, over 2,900 separated children, who are children outside their country of origin without the protection of their parents or guardians, have come to Ireland and have been placed into the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE). Until 2010, separated children were housed in specific hostels mainly located in the Dublin area. The hostels did not have round the clock trained childcare workers on site and were run by managers and security personnel. The HSE Separated Children Seeking Asylum social work team provided social work services to separated children in these hostels on a Monday to Friday office hour basis, meaning that during the evenings and weekends, the young people had no access to care supports. The lack of adequate 24 hour care staff in the hostels and the absence of a proper inspection regime meant that, amongst other shortcomings, significant numbers of SCSA went missing from care and some still remain unaccounted for. Historically, it is arguable that there has been a lack of a child centred approach in dealing with separated children in Ireland, with too much emphasis placed on the immigration status of the child rather than the best interests of the child. This focus has impacted negatively on the quality of care given to separated children in the State.