Interim care order extended for a teenage girl in an inappropriate relationship – 2023vol1#10

A judge in the Dublin Metropolitan District court extended an interim care order (ICO) for a teenage girl where the care order application was listed for the following month and where the teenager had disengaged from services and was engaged in an inappropriate relationship. She was in the same placement.

Concerns were flagged to the court by the guardian ad litem (GAL) that the teenager had disengaged from services and was in a relationship with someone else who was in care. The solicitor for the GAL indicated that the GAL would concur with the bleak outlook and update on this occasion.

The GAL said that the teenager was in a placement but she was essentially just availing of bed and breakfast accommodation. The teenager had a boyfriend who was before the court on other serious charges and he was also a child in care.

The GAL informed the court that the teenager had disengaged from therapeutic services. The child had been from the age of two with a foster carer previously, however there was now an investigation under way in relation to both abuse by a previous foster carer and secondly in relation to the management of the case.

The GAL gave further evidence that the previous foster carer was in contact with the teenager and he had been asked to stop contacting her. The GardaĆ­ had been contacted but were not interested in helping, and the only other option would be for the CFA to seek injunctive proceedings as they could not see any other way to stop the contact. The judge said it was a very difficult and unsatisfactory situation where the teenager refused to engage with professional services.

The judge pointed out that the girl was in her late teens and had perhaps a dysfunctional attachment where the boyfriend was controlling and coercive but somewhat dysfunctional, and suggested that the teenager was seeking out those types of relationships. The GAL said that the prospects were poor if the behaviour continued.

The CFA solicitor indicated that a psychologist with a behavioural focus was in place in the unit where the teenager resided but that the girl was not engaging and was not present in the unit most of the time.

The judge noted that the GAL supported the application and extended the interim care order, noting that the full care order application was listed for the next month.