Consent to two-year care order following death of mother – 2019vol1#24

A district court in a regional city ordered a full care order for two years for two young children, following the recent death of their mother after a short illness.

The social worker gave evidence that the father contacted the social work department shortly before his wife’s death asking for support. The children had been primarily cared for by their mother and the father was worried about their care following her death. The social worker told the court that the children had been cared for by a family member since their mother’s death and the family member was happy to care for the children, with the support of the Child and Family Agency (CFA).

The solicitor for the CFA asked the social worker about the length of the order. The social worker said that the father was in a bad place at the moment as his wife had only recently passed away and that consent had been given for a two-year care order and she felt that two years was an appropriate length of time. She was of the opinion that the father might be in a position to care for the children in the future.

In relation to access, the social worker said that the relationship between the father and foster carers was good and that access could be agreed between the parties. She told the court that access takes place on average once per week.

The judge asked if the children were getting supports and the social worker said that the children were being provided bereavement support by way of play therapy and the father was being provided counselling. She told the judge that the older child was in pre-school and the feedback was positive. The social worker said that the children’s relationship with their foster mother was a very loving and close relationship.

The judge was of the opinion that given that the children’s mother was deceased and the father said he was not in a position to care for them at this time, the threshold had been met. The Judge made an order, which she noted was on consent, for a period of two years and listed the matter for review in one year.