Girl in care went missing 33 times

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl, who is in HSE care, went missing 33 times, and for a week on one occasion, since the start of August.

The girl was brought before the Dublin Children’s Court yesterday on foot of a bench warrant issued two weeks previously when she absconded from her case in which she was charged with criminal damage to a door, at a children’s care home in north Dublin, on May 30 last.

Judge Bryan Smyth heard that she was arrested in the early hours of yesterday after being missing for a week.

Garda Sergeant Seamus Treacy told the court that he had been liaising with the girl’s care workers and social workers, but the girl was not co-operative.

The court heard that the social work department which handles the girl’s case did not have anyone to send to court as they were using agency staff yesterday.

Gda-Sgt Seamus Treacy raised concerns about the girl absconding from care and said that she had gone missing 23 times in August and on 11 occasions so far this month. He said that there was risk of her being involved in offending when she goes missing.

Judge Smyth granted bail and released the girl once a social care worker from the residential unit in which she has been placed came to collect her.

The girl was remanded to appear again next week and the judge requested that representatives of the HSE attend the case.

The teen has pleaded guilty to the charge. However, Gda Sgt Treacy said the case was “primarily a welfare matter.”

The teen was warned she must obey a 10pm-9am curfew at her care home; refrain from alcohol and illegal drugs and to be of good behaviour. Judge Smyth told her she risked being held in custody if she broke the terms of her bail.


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