Health Service Executive -v- AR & anor (Care Order on Consent)

Case OutcomeApproved
CourtDistrict Court
Docket NumberN/A
JudgeDaly J.
Judgment Date14 Dec 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEDC 26
[2012] IEDC 26
14 December 2012
1. This is an applicat ion for a Care Order under section 18 of t he Child Care Act, 1991 (herein after referred to as t he ‘1991 Act’) in
respect of Child 1, aged 12 years, and Child 2, aged 8 years. Both Child 1 and Child 2 were currently in the care of the Health Service
Executive (HSE). Both c hildren were admitted t o the c are of t he HSE pursuant to an application for an Interim Care Order made on 16
September 2011 and which has been extended by t he Court on sixteen oc casions.
2. I am satisfied that the mother, who is the first named respondent, and the fa ther, who is t he second named respondent, have
been properly served with notice of thes e proceedings.
3. I am satisfied that the [District given] has jurisdict ion to hear this applicat ion.
4. The HSE was represented in these proc eedings by their solicitor.
5. The mother was represente d in these proce edings by her solicitor.
6. The f ather was represented in these procee dings by his solicitor.
7. The views and interests of both c hildren were represented in these procee dings by their Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) who instructed
his solicitor to ac t in these proceedings. T he GAL indicated to t he Court his support f or a Care Order in respect of the c hildren and
recommended such Order for the full duration.
8. On the day of hearing, both parents indicat ed to t he Court t hrough their legal representat ives their consent to t he making of a
Care Order in respect of e ach c hild to age 18 and admitted the fact s as set out in the findings of fac t doc ument submitted t o the
Court by the Applicant.
9. I have heard the evidence of the doc tor who c onfirmed and swore t he conte nts of his report f or Court. He has treat ed both
parents for their drug addictions. He gave evidence t hat he has not seen the mother for some months as she is incarcerat ed in Prison
and noted t hat she is an inte lligent woman who has pot ential to address her addic tion. He gave evidenc e that the fa ther has made
significant progress with his addict ion over the last three months and now seems to be resolving his issues around his fat her’s death,
which increased his drug problem. He gave ev idence that the father has made a breakthrough and is doing some deep c ounselling with
his drug counsellor and if this is maintained he would be opt imistic for t he fat her for the next y ear. He gave evidence that both
parents depend on t he children’s maternal grandmother a great deal. He gave evidenc e that for the mother to s ucc essfully detox, she
should never stop seeing a drug c ounsellor and will require a proper follow up programme to help her remain drug free.
10. I have heard the ev idence of t he Allocat ed Social Worker, who co nfirmed and swore the content s of her various reports in the
Book of Evidence. In her evidence, she desc ribed the children and their recent plac ement move close to their family and extended
family where she desc ribed the c hildren as settling in well and advised the long-t erm matching proces s will happen in the very near
future. She gave evidence t o the Court of the children’s views with Child 1 stating he would prefer to be in the c are of his fat her, or
his maternal grandmother and Child 2 stat ing that she would prefer to be wit h her maternal grandmother. She gave evidence of the
acc ess schedule agreed with the father and the extended family who are taking the children for a respite break over t he Christmas
period with an appropriate safety plan in place. She agreed t hat ac cess between t he children and their fat her is very important t o the
children. She gave evidence that there has been a gap in contac t with their mother until 25 November 2012 when acces s went w ell,
but that it will need more time to rebuild bonds. She gave evidence t hat the mother has good insight to the c hildren and if acc ess
visits cont inue to go we ll an acce ss sc hedule will be implemented.
11. I have heard the ev idence of t he Guardian ad Litem, who swore t he cont ents of his report for court. He gave evidence that bot h
parents of t he children were significantly misusing drugs when the children came into care and t hat t heir paternal grandfather and
maternal grandmother had become significant primary carers for t he children. He gave evidence that the c hildren’s relationship with
their maternal grandmother is very strong and that the fa ther also has a good relat ionship with the children’s maternal grandmother.
He described both c hildren and gave evidence of his support for care orders for t he c hildren. He recommended referrals to
psychot herapy for both c hildren, susta ined detox supports for the mother on her release and supports conta ct between t he c hildren
and the fat her and the e xtended family and contact with the mother as long as she is st able. He also recommended a review in one
12. Having heard the evidence se t out above, and having considered t he findings of fact submitted by t he HSE and admitted by the
parents to be proven, and taking into ac count t he views, interests and wishes of both c hildren (indirectly expressed t o the Court
through the GAL), I am satisfied that in respect o f Child 1 and Child 2 that the t hreshold criteria under section 18 (1)(a), (b), and (c)
of the 1991 Act are met and t hat t heir health, development, and welfare would suffer if a Care Order was not granted. T he duration
of the Care Order in respect of Child 1 shall be until Child 1’s 18th birthday on [dat e given]. T he duration of the Care Order in respect
of Child 2 shall be to Child 2’s 18th birthday on [date given]. My reasons for making these orders for this duration are as follows:
(i) the parents’ long sta nding addiction difficulties;

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