Aftercare plan approved for teenage girl – 2023vol1#59

A guardian ad litem (GAL) for a teenage girl sought an adjournment of her aftercare plan hearing so that the girl could approve it. The court was informed that a significant amount of progress had been made, however matters were complicated by the fact that there were parallel criminal proceedings also before the court.

Both parents were legally represented.

The court was informed that the teenager had met with mental health professionals and had been prescribed medication. Funding had been approved for occupational therapy. In addition, both a contingency plan and a transition plan had been set out. The teenager had difficulties accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) services initially as they refused to see the child.

The court was informed that both parents were happy with the aftercare plan and that the father was fully supportive of the GAL’s recommendations.

The judge granted an adjournment but said that the “HSE never embellish themselves in this court and leave matters to the 11th hour!”

Updated reports had been handed into court on behalf of the social worker and the GAL.

Subsequent hearing

When the matter came before the court again the case was just listed for mention. The section 47 application turned into an aftercare review and a finalised plan was handed in but was not signed. The case related to a girl who had high needs and remained in a placement till the middle of the summer when a move was then imminent.

The mother was represented but not in court. The court was informed that the mother was happy with the plan and was involved in all of the proceedings. The solicitor for the father said that the father was happy with the plan as it addressed the teenager’s needs.

The court also heard that the GAL’s recommendations were all being addressed and the Child and Family Agency (CFA) was arranging for the teenager to transfer to adult services and to the therapeutic hub working with the parents.

The court heard that the teenager was happy with the plan, she was due to turn 18 very shortly. The signed aftercare plan would be lodged in the court the following week. The solicitor for the GAL indicated to the court that quite a lot of work had been done. Initially the court heard that CAMHS had not provided services and that a private assessment had been done. The solicitor for the GAL said that the GAL had met with the teenager and was due to finalise the plan the following week.

The case was a complex one and it was important that the teenager be given as much support as possible. The solicitor for the GAL indicated that the GAL should stay appointed until the teenager turned 18.

The judge was satisfied for the GAL to remain appointed until the teenager turned 18 when the aftercare plan would also be signed.