IEDC 20
AN CHUIRT DUICHE THE DISTRICT COURT
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE
CHILD CARE ACT, 1991— SECTION 18
IN THE MATTER OF A CHILD
14 November 2012
This is an application for a Care Order under section 18 of t he Child Care Act, 1991 in respect of t he Respondent’s child (“the c hild”)
who is 16 years of a ge.
1. The Respondent is t he c hild’s mother. The c hild’s fat her is deceased.
2. The mother is separately represent ed by her solicitor and c ounsel within these procee dings.
3. The HSE is represented by its solicitor.
4. The c hild was appointed a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) on the 23 November 2011 to represent his separat e interest in the
proceedings. The GAL is legally represented within the proceedings by his solicitor.
5. The c hild came into the c are of t he HSE on the 29 Sept ember 2002 with his younger sibling on the exercise of s ection 12 by A n
Garda Síochána, but thereaft er family reunificat ion occurred following the granting of an Inte rim Care Order and the child was returned
to t he care of his mother on 24 November 2002. The child then c ame to the at tention of t he HSE again in 2010 and was diagnosed
with ADHD by his psyc hiatrist. He then bec ame involved in criminal antisocial behaviour and was sent to a Dete ntion Centre. He was
subsequently received into voluntary care and t hereafter an Interim Care Order was granted on 4 November 2011 and has been
extended thereaft er to t he date of this hearing today.
6. Social Worker 1 and Social Worker 2 gave evidence to support t he reports t o Court in which they had involvement wit h the file
admitte d into evidence on consent. They eac h affirmed that t he co ntents of the defined reports w ere true and that their respect ive
professional opinions were t hat the threshold criteria were met and co ntinue to be met pursuant t o sect ion 18(1)(c) in respect of the
child in light of the following:
• Educational and psyc hological needs of t he child.
• The c hild’s involvement within criminal act ivity.
• The c hild’s history of absconding from the family home and not ret urning for days at a time.
• The c hild’s general behaviour, engaging in anti-soc ial activity, and potential alcohol abuse.
It was f urther submitted and c onceded that a Care Order until the child reached 18 years w as the only proportionate response
7. Counsel for the mother indicated t hat wit h regret her client does not feel t hat she c an provide her child with the level of support
and supervision required to ensure his well being and she was not opposing the making of the Care Order until he reaches 18 yea rs.
8. The c hild is currently in a very short- term placement with a former foster carer while he awa its sentenc e on charges before the
District Court. He is being supervised closely by the fost er carer and is on st rict bail c onditions. The HSE has made application for a
secure place ment for the child in two secure c are facilities operated by the HSE and will apply for private placements if t he
application is not suc cessful. The c hild has had many placement moves. He is also wa iting a psychological/psyc hiatric assessment.
The HSE adopt a ll the recommendations.
9. The GAL indicated t o the Court the expressed ‘wishes’ of t he child and his conc erns regarding his welfare. He wishes a full
psychological and psyc hiatric forensic assessment of t he child to be undertaken by the HSE for t he reasons outlined in his report to
Section 18 Threshold Criteria
10. Having read the reports and booklets furnished and the GAL Report and the evidence of the soc ial workers, I am satisfied t hat the
threshold criteria are met under sect ion 18(1)(c). Furthermore, having considered the evidence, I am satisfied that t he HSE made
reasonable efforts t o prevent or eliminate the need f or the c hild coming into the c are of t he HSE, but due t o circumstanc es prevailing
in this case this has not been possible as the c hild is now facing serious c riminal charges and the Care Plan does not identify a long
term secure placement for him.
11. I note t he consent of the mother regarding the making of the Care Order, and I note the manner in which the c ase has been
outlined by the HSE who have indicated that she loves her son and has been and cont inues to be deeply c oncerned for his welfare
and his future in light of the criminal charges pending against him.
12. I note t hat the HSE adopt s all the recommendations of the GAL and propose to updat e the Care Plan and f ile same in Court as
expeditiously as possible and that t hey will engage with t he GAL to identify the medical professional or professionals either within or
outside of t he HSE to undertake the forensic assessments required.