An equity of care principle applies to separated children, which affords them the same standard of care provision as any other child in care. Tusla is committed to maintaining equity and equality of services to separated children in regard to all children at risk or in state care, and to ensuring that there is no differentiation of care provision, care practices, care priorities, standards or protocols until the young person reaches 18 years old.
All children are seen by a social worker on the day of referral and an initial assessment takes place. The social work assessment is multidisciplinary in nature and involves a medical examination, an educational assessment and a child protection risk assessment.
A statutory care plan is developed and, if appropriate, an application for asylum is made on behalf of the child. After assessment, children are placed in the most appropriate placement option depending on their assessed needs. The most common form of placement is with a foster family.
Each separated child is allocated a child protection social worker, who is responsible for the development and implementation of an individualised statutory care plan for the child. They also supervise the standard of the child's placement and provide services and support to meet the child's needs. If the social work assessment indicates that applying for asylum in Ireland is in the child's best interest, the social worker assists with the application for refugee status in accordance with the Refugee Act, 1996.
For more information see Tusla's SCSA service.