About the Project

Our aims and objectives are to:

  • Provide information to the public on child care proceedings in the courts;
  • Conduct research on these proceedings in order to promote debate and inform policy-makers;
  • Make recommendations to address any short-comings in the child care system identified by the research;
  • Assist in the implementation of these recommendations;
  •  Promote confidence in the child care system.

It is an independent project established under Section 3 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2007, in accordance with the Regulations made under that Act, with the support of the One Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department of Children of Youth Affairs. While receiving their support it is entirely operationally independent.

It will pursue its aims and objectives by attending the courts where child care cases are heard in order to report on those proceedings while protecting the anonymity of the children and their families, in accordance with a Protocol drawn up by its Director. This will be based on a previous Protocol for reporting family law proceedings by the Courts Service. Dr Coulter directed the Courts Service Family Law Reporting Project, which published a series of reports on family law cases in the courts and a Final Report in 2007.

The CCLRP will publish reports of child care cases for the public and all relevant stake-holders at a frequency and in a form to be determined by the Director.

It will also collect and analyse data from the proceedings, publish reports on the nature and outcomes of the child care proceedings and promote a public debate on the issues raised through seminars and conferences.

It will conduct such supplementary research as may become necessary in the light of its findings.

Whilst it is entirely independent, the Child Care Law Reporting Project is grateful to FLAC and the Children’s Rights Alliance for their support, including the technical and administrative support provided by FLAC.

The CCLRP is supervised by an oversight committee composed of Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, former judge of the Supreme Court and former President of the Law Reform Commission; Dr Helen Buckley, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD; Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Government Rapporteur on Child Protection; P J Fitzpatrick, former CEO of the Courts Service; Noeline Blackwell, director general of FLAC; and Tanya Ward, director of the Childrens Rights Alliance.

Oversight Board

The Project is based in St Stephen’s Green House, Earlsfort Tce, Dublin 2