Sunday, November 06, 2022

The number of unaccompanied minors arriving in Ireland has tripled in the last year.

Tusla, the child and family agency, received 521 referrals this year, compared to 152 last year.

A new study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Care in the Community, says the effects of fleeing their countries without their families, include anxiety, sleep difficulties and sadness.

Psychotherapist Stephanie Regan said that more needs to be done to deal with the situation.

“People who are interfacing with these refugees, they’re not all going to be clinical people,” she explained.

“Therefore there’s many layers of response,” she said. “I believe that there’s an upskilling needed for all of those staff that interface with the refugees, because it’s a very specific kind of vulnerability that people feel when they have been traumatized.”

Meanwhile, a refugees rights group has questioned how the government can adequately deal with the on-going migrant crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine.

Doras, which has worked with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants for over 20 years, welcomed the Government’s plan to shift from an emergency response for refugees coming from Ukraine in favour of a “more mainstreamed approach”.

In October, the Government confirmed it would be doubling the recognition payment for households hosting Ukrainian refugees to €800, in addition to a €50 million community fund.

Doras’ chief executive John Lannon said while some aspects of the Government’s renewed plans are positive, “other aspects of it are somewhat worrying”.

“We don’t yet see where the stability and security of accommodation for people from Ukraine, and also for international protection applicants, is going to come from,” he said at the time.

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