Health Service Executive -v- RC & anor (Care Order - Drug Addiction)

CourtDistrict Court
JudgeDaly J.
Judgment Date20 Nov 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEDC 22
Case OutcomeApproved
Docket NumberN/A
[2012] IEDC 22
AN CHUIRT DUICHE THE DISTRICT COURT
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE
APPLICANT
-AND-
RC & EM
RESPONDENTS
CHILD CARE ACT, 1991— SECTION 18
IN THE MATTER OF CHILD 1 AND CHILD 2
20 November 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 (born in August 2002) and Child 2 (born in May 2012) and was heard on 17–21 September and 12-14 November
2012. Both children are currently in the ca re of the Health Se rvice Executive (“HSE”). Child 1 was admitted t o the care of the HSE
pursuant to an applicat ion for an Interim Care Order on 22 June 2011, which was e xtended by the Court on 28 occ asions since t hat
date. Child 2 was admitted t o the c are of the HSE pursuant to an applicat ion for an Interim Care Order on 3 May 2012, which w as
extended by the Court on 16 occ asions since that dat e.
2. The HSE was legally represented in these proceedings by t heir barrister and solicitor.
3. Child 1 and Child 2’s interest in t hese proceedings were represented by their Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) who was legally
represented by his barrister and solicitor. T he GAL indicat ed to t he Court her support f or a Care Order in respect of both children and
recommended such Order for the full duration to allow for certa inty.
4. The f ather, who is t he second named respondent, was represented in these proceedings by his barrister and solicitor.
5. The mother, who is t he first named respondent, was represente d in these procee dings by her barrister and solicitor.
6. I am satisfied that the parents hav e been properly served with notic e of the proceedings and t hat in the c hild’s interests the
matter should proceed.
7. I am satisfied that the [District given] has jurisdict ion to hear this c ase.
8. The mother att ended Court for t he first half day of this 8-day hearing and indicat ed her opposition to a Care Order and did not
acc ept any circumstances that w ould exist that would prevent her from having care of both c hildren. Counsel for the mother later
advised the Court t hat she would consent to a Care Order for a short duration with acc ess arrangements co nsistent with reunification
with her children and would be prepared to give undertakings to t he Court. The mother’s legal representatives atte nded Court for the
duration of the hearing but we re not further instruct ed by the mother.
9. Counsel for the fa ther stat ed that he did not deny issues of past neglect in respec t of Child 1 and indicat ed to t he Court his
consent to a Care Order in respect of both children for one year with a review of reunification plan within six months. During the
course of cross-e xamination of the GAL, it e merged that the HSE rece ived a complaint regarding Child 1’s foster placement. As a
result of this, t he father withdrew his consent to a Care Order in respect of Child 1 and has requeste d to be provided with t he date
the c omplaint was made and details of when an investigation of this complaint will be completed.
10. Counsel for each parent made applicat ions to t he Court regarding access . The mother sought t o re-ent er her application to
regulate acc ess pursuant to sec tion 37 of the 1991 Act in light of c onfirmation that ac cess is currently suspended and wished t o
have ac cess resume immediately. The fat her had entered an a pplication to regulate ac cess pursuant to sect ion 37 of the 1991 Ac t
and sought to have ac cess increased in acc ordance wit h an amended Care Plan reflecting the goal of reunification. The GAL sought
clarification of the ac cess being sought by the respondents. The Court allowed the mother to re- enter her application for ac cess and
reserved any further ac cess decision pending the findings at t he conc lusion of the hearing.
11. On 6 November 2012, the fat her lodged applications pursuant to sect ion 6A and sect ion 11(4) of the Guardianship of Infants Act s
1964-97 for guardianship of Child 2 and for sole c ustody of both children.
12. I find that t he c onsent of t he parents to a Care Order, albeit of a short duration, implies acc eptance that the threshold criteria of
sect ion 18 are met and note that the duration of the order and the question of ac cess to eit her party is a Court matter.
13. I find the following fact s to be common case of all the parties:
(a) Child 1 was born in August 2002.
(b) Child 2 was born in May 2012.
(c) T he respondents are t he parents of both c hildren.
(d) A Supervision Order was sought and granted on 19 August 2010 and a further Supervision Order was sought and
granted on 18 February 2011.
(e) An Interim Care Order was applied for and granted in respec t of Child 1 on 22 June 2011. Child 1 has been in the
care of foster- carers since that dat e and the foster- carers have indicat ed a willingness to provide long-term foster
care for Child 1 should it be required.
(f) An Interim Care Order was applied for and granted in respec t of Child 2 on 3 May 2012. Child 2 has been in three

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