Case Reports 2023 Volume 2

Reporters from the Child Law Project attend cases in District Courts around the country selected on a random basis, and cases in the High Court involving children and young people in secure care and those made Wards of Court. We publish below the latest volume of case reports.

Given the nature of some of the cases, which can go on for many months with multiple adjournments, not all reports published below are complete, but rather reflect what happened in court on that day. We categorise the reports under six headings and multiple sub-headings, several reports could have been categorised under more than one heading.


Care Applications – Child Abuse and Neglect

Supervision Order

1 Mother withdraws application to appeal supervision order granted following school referral

Interim Care Orders

Initial Interim Care Order

2 Case adjourned while child referred to CAMHS, special care approved
3 Judge grants interim care order where mother not informed of application; mother under psychiatric treatment, father informed
4 Interim care order for young child granted, mother’s consent to assessment of need dispensed with
5 Short interim care order granted for toddler who entered the State in suspicious circumstances
6 Interim care order for two children granted under Brussels IIb, children arrived in Ireland with adults who were detained

Extensions of Interim Care Orders

7 Dublin District Court refuses to fully extend interim care order for a young boy without allocated social worker
8 Interim care orders extended for five children where parents’ relationship “toxic”
9 Interim care order extended for infant whose mother homeless and had mental health difficulties
10 Interim care order extended for infant taken into care at birth, supervision order refused
11 Interim care orders extended for two children where sexual abuse alleged
12 Interim care orders extended for four children, father in prison
13 Interim care order extended where teenage girl refuses contact with mother; sexual abuse alleged
14 Interim care orders extended for two children where third child had recently gone home to mother
15 Consent to extension of interim care order, full care order to be contested
16 Interim care order extended; unsupervised access directed; reunification planned
17 Interim care orders extended for three children as fourth reunited with father
18 Importance of parents knowing precisely what expected of them in a reunification plan stressed by court
19 Mother consents to extension of interim care orders for four children, father in prison
20 Interim care order extended for child with disability

Care Orders

21 Dublin District Court refused Care Order and extended interim care order to allow time to identify child’s father, adoption sought
22 Parents consent to two-year care order for young child while they work on addictions
23 One year care order with consent granted for infant whose mother had recently left care
24 Full care orders for two children with significant special needs
25 Care Order till 18 for young child where the father’s whereabouts unknown, mother uncontactable
26 Dublin District Court grants full care order to 18 years of age for very young baby abandoned by mother

Proceedings concerning Children in Care

Appropriate Placements

27 New residential placement found for a troubled teenage nearing 18 following judicial direction that the CFA’s CEO explain why agency unable to meet obligations
28 CFA seeks change of placement for non-verbal child where abuse alleged
29 Judge refuses CFA application to remove a teenager from foster placement; directs CFA and foster carers to engage in mediation immediately
30 Appropriate placements sought for two separate teenagers
31 Teenager returns to foster family following section 47 application by foster parents and GAL; thanks court for intervention
Review & Directions
32 Dublin District Court directs the CFA to prepare a detailed care plan for a vulnerable teenager who had had large number of emergency placements
33 Following intervention by court home tuition provided for teenager who had had no secondary education
34 Application to refer CFA’s “Signs of Safety” policy to Ombudsman for Children adjourned pending internal review
35 Judge decides Irish habitual residence of baby born to parents from European country no longer living in Ireland
36 GAL reappointed for child in care for 10 years; father unaware of parentage until care order made
37 Redacted psychologist’s report on two preschool children released to foster carers

Enhanced rights for foster carers

38 Foster parents granted enhanced rights with birth parents’ consent


39 Interim care order extended for one week while CFA sources furniture and school uniforms prior to children going home following placement breakdown


40 Aftercare review of girl with special needs expects application under new capacity Act

Court Procedures

41 Judge seeks improvements to social work reports presented to court
42 Court makes Practice Direction to ensure CFA sends reports to lawyers in time

Interagency Co-operation

43 High Court rules that detention of a vulnerable girl with a disability in hospital emergency department for almost 60 days was unlawful

Mental Health Act

44 Teenager detained under provisions of Mental Health Act; GAL criticises lack of assessment



45 Applications to detain former Wards of Court can be made under inherent jurisdiction of High Court, following commencement of Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act
46 High Court asks CFA to consider its obligations to young people leaving care who lack capacity
47 Girl in wardship with “severe and enduring mental illness” detained in specialist unit abroad as no suitable place in Ireland
48 Ward of court twice in UK for specialised treatment not available in Ireland; judge expressed wish to see similar service in Ireland
49 Young deaf man with mental health issues in UK unit for four years
50 Order extended further detaining youth in UK specialist unit since 2020
51 Orders continued by High Court for child with severe ASD as wardship considered
52 Child with disabilities leaving foster care becomes ward of court
53 Wardship sought for suspected child victim of trafficking, orders granted prohibiting contact from family members
54 Transgender child ward of court soon to turn 18 to remain in care in community


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