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Child in foster care has "serious anxiety" and worries about his mother's welfare

A family court heard the child recently had an argument with his foster family.

Image: Shutterstock/Jan H Andersen

THE CHILD AND Family Agency, Tusla, said this week that 6,388 children were in the care of the State last year. 

The majority, 93%, are in foster care, with 31% in foster care in with relatives. The agency said there had been a 21% reduction of cases awaiting allocation to a social worker compared with figures for 2014, with a 65% reduction of high priority cases awaiting allocation to a social worker in the same period.

TheJournal.ie spent a day in the family courts recently to report on the nature of the cases that come before it. Previously, all hearings were in camera (private) and the media could not attend. That rule was changed so a light could be shone on proceedings, and society could be made aware of the issues that the court deals with in relation to family breakdowns, children in care, and domestic violence.

MORE SUPPORTS ARE needed for a child in foster care who is concerned about the welfare of his mother.

A District Court judge was told the boy, who had been placed in foster care on a voluntary basis, had been having some difficulties with the foster family.

Solicitors for the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) said the child had been having behavioral issues in the home, and had recently had a heated argument with one of the foster parents.

The court was told the child had not seen the mother, who has drug issues, for some time.

Tusla advised the judge that the argument had been resolved and that no further action was needed. It did not recommend a foster care review be carried out following the argument.

Angry exchange 

“It was just an angry exchange, it was not sinister,” the child’s social worker said.

A psychiatrist said the child is attending therapy, and he recommended the child stay in his foster placement.

He said there are a number of challenges with the child, stating that he has “serious anxiety” about his mother’s welfare.

The court was told that access visits with the mother were sporadic and the child understood the mother had issues she was dealing with.

“That is being managed,” said the psychiatrists, who said a number of supports were available to him. However, he said more therapeutic input was needed.

The mother was not in court on the day.

The extension to the care order was granted by the judge.

Read: More than 150 court summonses sent to parents about poor school attendance>

Jeff’s story: A worried little boy in care – quiet, kind and deeply troubled>

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