Health Service Executive -v- NC & anor (Care Order on Consent - Parenting Capacity)

CourtDistrict Court (Ireland)
JudgeHorgan P.
Judgment Date27 March 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEDC 8
Case OutcomeApproved
Date27 March 2012
[2012] IEDC 8
27 March 2012
1. This is an applicat ion for a Care Order under section 18 of t he Child Care Act, 1991 in respect of the Child.
2. Each of the Child’s parents is separately represent ed (with the support of t heir respective advoc ates) within these proc eedings.
3. The HSE are represented by a solicitor.
4. The Child was appointed a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) on 11 April 2011 to represent her separate interest in the proceedings. T he
GAL is represented by solicitor and c ounsel.
5. The Child came into the voluntary care of the HSE on t he 28 February 2011 and, when her parents withdrew t hat c onsent, t he HSE
applied for an Interim Care Order.
6. The f ollowing Orders have been made in respect of the Child:
• Interim Care Orders under section 17 of the Child Care Act 1991 (25 March 2011); and
• Extensions of the Interim Care Order under section 17(2), granted some ten oc casions until the hearing dates
fixed for 5 days c ommencing 26 March and adjourned to today on Consent.
7. The HSE brought this applicat ion for a Care Order on the basis t hat t he Child’s health, development, and welfare is likely to be
avoidably impaired or neglected and she requires c are and protect ion which she is unlikely to receive unless the Care Order is made in
respect of her.
8. The Court w as informed that the matte r would proceed on c onsent when t he matter was listed for Mention on 22 March and
further that the matter would procee d on 27 March rather t han the 26 March.
9. The Soc ial Worker gave evidence as per her report furnished on the 23 March 2012 being the final report t o Court and affirmed that
the c ontents of same were true and t hat her professional opinion was that the t hreshold criteria were met and continue t o be met
pursuant to sec tion 18(1)(c).
10. Evidence was also provided establishing that the current fost er carers are approved fo ster c arers and that it is anticipated that
the fost ering matching assessment will be completed shortly.
11. Evidence was also given that a t this t ime noting that no therapeut ic interventions are required to be provided for the Child as she
is meeting all her milestones.
12. The GAL, expressed satisfac tion with the Care Plan for t he child but remained concerned that reviews would ta ke place and her
conc erns, as expressed through her counsel, will be addressed by the Court in sec tion 47 Directions.
Section 18 Threshold
13. Having read the reports and booklets furnished and the GAL’s report and the evidence of both the Social Worker and the GAL, I
am satisfied that t he threshold criteria are met under sec tion 18(1)(c) a nd that having c onsidered the evidenc e, I am satisfied that :
14. The HSE have made reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for the Child to c ome into the c are of t he HSE and
remedial services, t argeted t owards family reunification (if poss ible), were offered to the parents including:
• On 30 December 2011, providing post birth mother and baby unit at t he hospital to f acilitate s upport to develop
‘good enough parenting’ and to facilitate an independent parenting capac ity assessment to be c ompleted to identify
parental support needs;
• Providing a six week baby massage course with a F amily Support Worker, which eac h of the parents ac cepte d and
attended from 19 April 2011–26 May 2011;
• Providing regular acc ess for the parents and on- going social work support;
• Providing supported acce ss at t heir Family Centre; t he Family Support Worker also provided both parents with
individual parenting sessions with t he purpose of supporting their understanding of children’s development alongside
the Child’s development;
• Offering further acc ess to counselling;
• Providing a referral to National Advocac y Service;

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