New DNA rules for reunification cases
on 21/01/2013 00:00:00
The cases involve minors entering the country, often unaccompanied, or other family members seeking to be reunited with family.
The number of tests has varied, from 137 in 2008 to just 17 in 2010, but the HSE said: "To date there is no mechanism for isolating and recording statistics in relation to the number of DNA tests that did not match.
"The number of children taken into care is recorded generically and there is currently no distinction between those received into care through the reunification process and those received through other forms of presentation.
"However, the team are currently working on a new set of metrics for activity levels in relation to unaccompanied minors and this area of data collection will be addressed as part of this process."
The new system to deal with separated children seeking asylum comes as new figures showed just two minors seeking asylum went missing last year, of which one was still missing by year end. That constitutes the lowest figure in recent years, after long-standing concerns some had been trafficked or exploited.
On the number of DNA tests that did not indicate a match with people already in Ireland, the HSE said: "A DNA profile does not give a 100% yes or no result. It gives a percentage. DNA results are therefore an important contributor to the assessment outcome but are considered as part of a wider investigation of other issues and information."