A meeting to decide the future of a youth who is regarded as a shining success story in the Child and Family Agency (CFA) is to be held next week, the High Court has heard.
The case involves an 18-year-old who has battled a number of psychological conditions all his life, which led to dangerous and chaotic behaviour but, following treatment in a dedicated centre in the UK, he has undergone a dramatic improvement.
Yesterday, the court was told that his placement in the Wing Centre in Bournemouth is funded until the end of June, but his future after that remains in doubt. The youth has undergone a “sea change” in his circumstances, and that no alternative plan is in place for him. There is no centre in this jurisdiction offering this kind of treatment.
“All roads lead to the wing centre,” Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon was told. “It just a matter of seeing about funding.”
The youth’s parents, who were in court, and the agency are fully in support of his treatment continuing, but, the court was told, a meeting next week with the HSE will decide if the funding can be made available.
The Irish Examiner understands that prior to his placement in the UK two years ago, the boy had been through a number of health and welfare centres in this country, including secure accommodation, but his behaviour had deteriorated rapidly. He was ultimately placed in care by the CFA in order to protect his siblings, who had felt extremely threatened any time the boy came home. His parents have always supported him fully and made a whole series of attempts to access proper care for him, but until his placement in the UK, these were largely unsuccessful.
The court was told yesterday that the boy “excelled” in the first centre he was sent to in the UK, and his improvement has continued in Bournemouth. He is now in full-time education, and is understood to be functioning to an extent that would not been thought possible before his placement.
Former attorney general John Rogers for the boy’s parents told the judge: “This is a funding issue.”
The matter was adjourned for a week.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved