Interim care order extended where mother suffers from mental illness – 2022vol1#9

An interim care order for a primary school age child was extended on consent in Dublin District Court. The mother and father were in court, and each had their own legal representation. The guardian ad litem (GAL) supported the application.

The social worker who gave evidence for the Child and Family Agency (CFA) said the child had come into the care of the CFA last year because of concerns of the mother’s mental health. The mother had made some progress, and this was highlighted in her report. She said there was a report from the mother’s general practitioner (GP) who had said the mother had made a slight improvement but still required a professional psychiatric assessment and the mother was still waiting for this.

The child had been placed with foster carers in a rural area and was doing well. The mother had weekly telephone or Zoom calls with the child and the first access visit since the child was admitted into care was due to take place in the next two weeks. It was hoped it would go well and access could be increased.

When the child had come into care the father had put himself forward as a potential carer and the social worker said he needed to be assessed. The father needed to complete a Garda vetting form to progress this assessment. The father had had two access visits in the rural area which had gone well, and this was to be continued.

The GAL said she supported the extension of the interim care order. She said the child was doing well and the placement met her needs. She asked that the social workers use their best efforts to try to ensure that the mother’s psychiatric assessment was completely as quickly as possible.

The judge extended the interim care order by 28 days and hoped the mother’s psychiatric assessment and the father’s assessment would have been completed by the next court date.