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'One good adult' scheme launched for child asylum seekers

The scheme will provide young asylum seekers with a mentor to help them integrate into Irish society.

CHILDREN SEEKING ASYLUM in Ireland will get the support of “one good adult” under a pilot programme launched by the Minister for Children today.

The scheme will match children who have fled other countries to an independent ‘advocate’ in Ireland, who will act as a mentor and help them adapt to life in Ireland.

It is designed to help children who may have become separated from their parents or guardians as they left their home country. It’s hoped the programme will help integrate young people into Irish society.

“Children who have had to leave their home country and become separated from their parents or guardians are exceptionally vulnerable and can be daunted by the asylum process,” said Samantha Arnold, young persons officer with the Irish Refugee Council.

Chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance Tanya Ward also hailed the pilot scheme, which is being funded by the Body Shop. She said:

Separated children are alone in Ireland without love, care and solidarity from their families.  This project provides them with a person who will walk with them every step of the way on their journey through the care and asylum process ensuring their best interests are taken into account and their voices are heard.

The scheme was formally launched today by the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald.

Interviews: ‘I love the food’ – first-hand stories from asylum seekers in Ireland>

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