The Republic of Ireland is rapidly developing immigration legislation and policies to respond to its relatively new status as a destination for asylum seekers and refugees within the European Union. New political deﬁnitions of asylum seekers and refugees are being constructed in a country with its own history of mass emigration. At the same time, the economic growth that is making Ireland a more attractive destination for asylum seekers and refugees has also fuelled an unprecedented expansion in the employment of social workers. Specialized services are now being developed for unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum. This expansion in the number of social workers and growth in service provision has led to little professional debate about the role of social workers with asylum seekers and refugees. This paper examines the questions raised by the provision of social work services to these children and considers the wider implications for the development of the social work profession and social work practices in Ireland.
Source: European Journal of Social Work, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2002