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

CourtDistrict Court (Ireland)
JudgeToale J.
Judgment Date03 October 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEDC 16
Case OutcomeApproved
Date03 October 2012
[2012] IEDC 16
3 October 2012
1. This is an applicat ion under section 18 of t he Child Care Act 1991 for a Care Order in respect of Child 1. T he application was heard
on 3 Oct ober 2012 and this decision was delivered on the same date.
2. A booklet of doc uments, prepared by the applicant , was rec eived. In addition, the following documents were furnished to the
(i) Undated report of t he Family Support Worker; and
(ii) Court Report GAL, dated 27 September 2012.
3. All parties and the GAL att ended and were legally represented at the hearing.
4. Both Mother and Fat her consent ed to the application.
5. Evidence was heard from the social worker, acc ess worker, and GAL.
6. In addition to dealing with the case t oday, I have dealt with it on a considerable number of occa sions in the past and have some
knowledge of how the matt er has progressed since t he initial admission to care.
7. I am grateful for the outline of t he c ase submitted by the applicant and t he proposed findings of fact therein (TAB 22). It is
appropriate that t he co urt make findings of fac t in these proceedings, where a care order is being made.
8. I make the following findings of fac t:
• At t his time, neither mother nor father c an offer the child the stability and consist ency of parenting that he
• If the c hild were to be returned to the care of either or both parents, his health, development, and welfare is
likely to be avoidably neglected or impaired.
• In respect of the mother, the evidence points to t he following specific c oncerns:
1. The neglec t of the c hild’s needs whilst in her c are in the past ;
2. Her drug and alcohol use;
3. Her inconsistent engagement and disengagement with relevant a gencies in the past ; and
4. Her inability to maintain cont act and att end ac cess v isits with the child and follow through on
recommendations of professionals in relation to t he child’s ca re.
• In respect of fat her, the evidenc e points to the following specific conc erns:
1. The f ather’s inability t o assess risky situations regarding the child and take appropriate decisions t o
act in the c hild’s best interest;
2. His inability to deal with the c hild's day to day care and meet all of t he child’s needs
3. His historic drug use; and
4. His inability to provide full time care f or the c hild due to his own health difficulties.
9. Therefore, on t he balance of probabilities, I find that t he child’s welfare has been neglec ted by ea ch of t he Respondents; t hat his
health, development, and welfare has been avoidably impaired or neglected; t hat he requires care and prote ction whic h he is unlikely
to rec eive unless the order is made; and that in all the circumstances, the Court should make a Care Order pursuant to sec tion 18 of
the Child Care Act 1991.
10. I note t he evidence of the GAL, who supports t he application, and t he recommendations that have been made in the GAL report
to t he court w hich have to all intents and purposes have be en taken on board by t he HSE. I note that the GAL is satisfied with the
content s of the ca re plan which has been prepared.
11. I acknowledge that both parents have acc epted their limitations. It is a brave step t o come into court to consent to an order of
this nature and also t o fac e up to t he limitations t hat are t here. Both parents, through their representatives have expressed their
desire to maintain contac t and t o be an integral part of the c hild’s life into t he future. W ith the appropriate supports and t he

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