Court grants temporary order to place troubled teen in secure care

ireland
Court Grants Temporary Order To Place Troubled Teen In Secure Care Court Grants Temporary Order To Place Troubled Teen In Secure Care
Tusla/The Child and Family Agency, represented by Paul Gunning Bl, sought the Special Care Order as part of its ongoing efforts to protect the girl's life, health, safety and welfare
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Aodhan O'Faolain

Tusla has secured a temporary High Court order allowing it to place a teenage girl who has been engaging in high-risk behaviour at a secure unit for troubled teenagers.

Tusla/The Child and Family Agency, represented by Paul Gunning Bl, sought the Special Care Order as part of its ongoing efforts to protect the girl's life, health, safety and welfare.

The girl, who Tusla says is at risk of immediate harm, cannot be identified in any reporting of the case for legal reasons.

The order, allowing the Child and Family Agency to place the teen in the secure care unit, was granted during a vacation sitting of the High Court by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds, who expressed her concerns for the girl's welfare.

Special care unit

The judge said that she hoped that the girl will be able to get the therapeutic services and help she requires at the special care unit.

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The order was granted on an ex-parte basis.

Seeking the order Mr Gunning, instructed by Patrick O'Neill of Mason, Hayes and Curran solicitors for the CFA said the girl had been his client's care for some time due to the chaotic and traumatic incidents within her family.

It is claimed that she has been subjected to various forms of abuse as well as being isolated and neglected at her home.

The girl was initially put into foster care and then various non-secure placements,

Unfortunately, none of the these had worked out, as the girl's behaviour had been extremely difficult to manage, the court heard.

She had engaged violent behaviour towards staff, on many occasions, at the non-secure facilities she had been placed at.

It is also claimed that she engaged in inappropriate behaviour, bullying, had damaged property, had threatened persons with knives, and had verbally abused others.

Counsel said that at one facility where the girl had been placed some 14 members of staff had left due to her behaviour, counsel said.

Mental health concerns

There were serious concerns for her mental health, as well as fears that she may cause serious harm to herself and others.

The court heard that it was becoming very difficult to source a placement where the girl can get the assistance, she requires.

Counsel said that those charged with her care had formed the opinion that she requires a period in special care in order to keep her safe,

Counsel told the court, that relevant parties including the girl's court appointed guardian and the girl herself were made aware in advance of the court hearing that Tusla intend to seek an order allowing it to place the teen in a secure unit.

There were no objections to the proposal to place the teen in secure care.

The matter will be next mentioned before the Courts later this month.

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