Foster carer from travelling community sought – 2018vol2#15

An interim care order was extended in respect of a nine-year-old child from the travelling community where a young relative was put forward as a foster carer. Both parents were represented and consented to the application. The GAL supported the application and was represented by counsel.

The parents expressed their wishes that the child be placed with foster carers from the travelling community. The social worker said the child was residing with a general foster carer. A family member had been identified to care for the child but it was in the early stages.

The solicitor for the parents said the parents were happy with the progress [being made].
Counsel for the GAL said: “The family member [identified] is 22 years of age and has two young children at home. The GAL needs more information regarding the man’s ability to care for the child.”

Counsel for the GAL said: “In the early social work report, the family member had been proposed as someone who would be not appropriate [as a foster carer].”

The social worker replied: “There were concerns about the family member when he was in his youth.”

The GAL counsel said: “We need a full assessment in terms of the family member and we need a full fostering assessment as he is 22 years old.”

The social worker said: “We need to look at proportionality and the social workers carried out a Signs of Safety [assessment]. It is important to be aware that it [Signs of Safety assessment] is assigned by an international standard. We [completed] a Signs of Safety report.”

The social worker said the threshold had been met for the application and the placement met the needs of the child.

The judge said: “If the GAL needs more information, she gets more information… There are apprehensions on the part of the GAL and nothing will happen until the GAL is satisfied with the proposed placement. The GAL should write to the State and set out what she thinks ought to be done.”

The interim care order was extended for a period of four weeks.