*TUSLA’s waiting list was among the concerns voiced by the Judge.
THE PARENTS of an ‘out of control’ young teen “had no choice” but to hand him over to the Gardaí resulting in the boy being taken into State care.
That is according to the boy’s father who told an Interim Care Order (ICO) hearing at the Family Law Court that in a nine day period over the last month, Gardaí were at the house five days concerning their son’s behaviour.
The father said, “This is why we are here – we can’t look after him. It is getting worse by the day. He was breaking windows, getting into fights”.
“We don’t know what to do – this is why we are here. We are trying to get help. We need to get him assessed”.
The young teen is now in care in a TUSLA, Child and Family Agency (CFA) placement outside his own county after his parents presented their son to their local Garda station last month.
The father told Judge Alec Gabbett, “if I was to take him home right now, he would be gone within the hour and the Gardai would be at our door within two hours with him”.
Judge Alec Gabbett told the father that “ye are both struggling” and in reply, the father said “extremely”.
Judge Gabbett said that the boy’s parents are both highly functioning and working. Judge Gabbett said that the parents “want to support their son but they are not able at the moment – they have come to the end of their tether”.
The father said, “We had no choice but to bring him to the Garda station. It was the last resort. We didn’t want him gone but we can’t control him”.
Solicitor for the parents, Anne Walsh told Judge Gabbett the view of parents is that action needs to happen in terms of assessments of their son.
Ms Walsh said that the parents “have been completely on their own”.
The father agreed with Judge Gabbett when Judge Gabbett said that “ye’re biggest fear is your son arriving with the two of ye at the criminal children’s court and he ending up in Oberstown”.
Judge Gabbett said that it would cost TUSLA €6,000 per week to get a private placement for the boy. Judge Gabbett said that due to the shortage of available placements, his concern is that the teen “will go from Billy to Jack”.
Judge Gabbett has described the boy as “out of control”.
The designated social worker in the case said that “I met with the boy last week and he presents so well and he is such a likeable young person – it is like he has two personalities – he has this lovely personality and he has this personality we have heard about in court”.
She said, “Last week has gone very well. Anything we have asked him to do for the last week he has done.”
The social worker said that “no one has the full picture until the boy engages”.
Judge Gabbett said that he would appointed an independent advocate, a Guardian ad Litem to get the views of the boy.
Judge Gabbett said that he would also request that a HSE clinical psychologist to assess the boy.
Ms Walsh said that the parents were consenting to an Interim Care Order and Judge Gabbett granted the ICO to TUSLA and adjourned the case to later this month for an update in the case.