Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (484)

Denis Naughten

Question:

484. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of unaccompanied minors claiming asylum who have been taken into the care of the State in each year since 2009 and to date in 2018; the number reported missing in each year; the number who have been relocated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52138/18]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Separated children seeking asylum are defined as “children under eighteen years of age who are outside their country of origin, who have applied for asylum and are separated from their parents or their legal/customary care giver”. All children and young people in this service have an allocated Social Worker. All young people and young adults in the service who are entitled to Aftercare services have an allocated Aftercare Worker.

Table 1 sets out the total number of referrals to the Tusla Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team and the number of those children taken into care, from 2009-2017 and to date in 2018.

Table 1.

Year

Total Referrals to Tusla Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team

Children Placed in Care

2009

203

126

2010

96

70

2011

99

66

2012

71

48

2013

120

62

2014

97

86

2015

109

82

2016

126

82

2017

175

111

2018 to date

111

63

Table 2 sets out the number of missing unaccompanied minors and the number of minors relocated/found. A child is deemed to be missing according to his or her individualised absence management plan. Going missing from care can include missing a curfew, or an unscheduled absence from a care placement, and does not always mean that a child has disappeared or run away. It is important to note that one child could be reported missing more than once. There should be no inference made about whether these children made applications for international protection or not. Some children went missing before they were interviewed by a social worker.

Table 2.

Year

Number of children reported missing

Number of children found

2009

50

12

2010

13

9

2011

8

2

2012

5

3

2013

5

3

2014

3

2

2015

10

5

2016

9

4

2017

8

5

2018 to date

10

4