Speaker Presentations: Responding to the Needs of Refugee Children and Young People

Posted On: July 11, 2017

World Refugee Day Conference, UCD, Dublin

On World Refugee Day 2017, the Irish Refugee Council and the School of Social Policy, Social Work, & Social Justice University College Dublin jointly organised an interdisciplinary conference on meeting the needs of refugee children and young people. Held in UCD, the conference was attended by academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines including law, social policy, social work and psychology.

Ireland has a long history of hosting refugee children, even if the numbers reaching Ireland have been small in comparison with other countries. In recent years, children and young people have been fleeing persecution and war in unprecedented numbers. Some of these children reach Ireland, either independently or through the relocation programmes from Calais and Greece. While refugee children, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, are often portrayed as vulnerable, their stories are also of fortitude, resilience and independence.

Speaker Presentations

Teresa Blake SC: Opening Presentation

Professor Ravi KS Kohli, University of Bedfordshire: Working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children

Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Keele University: Family practices of in foster care for unaccompanied refugee children & young people

Dr. Ciara Smyth, NUI Galway: Accompanied Refugee Children

Dr. Deirdre Horgan, University College Cork: Primary schools relationships with asylum-seeking families in Ireland

Aoife Dare, Irish Refugee Council & European Youth Migration ForumBe Heard Project


To learn more about our Youth Work contact Aoife at aoife.dare@irishrefugeecouncil.ie or to support our Youth Advocacy Project contact Sara on sara@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

EYMF celebrating after their presentation

To support our Education Fund please email Charlotte at education@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

“I am so excited to tell you that the results are out and I manage to finish with a distinction. I really don’t know how to thank you and all your team for opening doors for me. If it was not for you I could not have achieved my dreams. I got other good news to tell you, SUSI have awarded me a grant for the year 2017-18.”

~ Takondwa, a beneficiary of the IRC Education Fund for people in the asylum process