Case adjourned while child referred to CAMHS, special care approved – 2023vol2#2

A judge in the Dublin Metropolitan District adjourned a case for a child who was in care under a voluntary care agreement but who had recently been approved for admission to special care. The guardian ad litem (GAL) had recently been appointed and the child was to receive the necessary referrals to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) for both gender dysphoria and suicidal ideation.

The Child and Family Agency (CFA) solicitor told the court that a GAL had recently been appointed in this case. The CFA solicitor also said that they would fund a solicitor for the father to participate in the initial interim care order (ICO) hearing. The mother was legally represented.

The child had been in voluntary care since early 2023. The CFA solicitor said that the child had been approved for admission to special care. The judge asked whether the child had been receiving treatment for the gender dysphoria and the suicidal ideations. The CFA solicitor said the child was being supported in relation to these issues. She said the case was a complex one and the solicitor for the GAL said it was one of the “most complex cases” that he had seen in his time practising as a solicitor in child care cases.

The CFA solicitor said the child was being kept safe in residential care. She said the child’s school attendance had recently been slightly better as had engagement with the staff in the centre.

The barrister for the mother, who had only just been instructed in the case, said her client was agreeing that the voluntary care arrangement should continue but she was reserving her position in relation to the upcoming interim care order application hearing.

The judge adjourned the case to late January 2024. He noted that that the GAL had only recently been appointed and that the CFA would fund a solicitor for the father. He said the court was reassured to hear that the child had been referred to CAMHS and that any assessment to be carried out by them would include gender dysphoria.