Interim care order for new born baby made on consent of vulnerable mother – 2023vol1#6

A judge in the Dublin Metropolitan District court granted an interim care order for a newborn baby who was just two weeks old and had been born to a vulnerable mother. The mother was granted legal aid on the day and following discussions with her legal representative, agreed to the order on consent.

The court heard that the mother was a vulnerable person and slept in a tent at times and occasionally with a family member. The court was told by the solicitor for the Child and Family Agency (CFA) that there were challenging circumstances in regard to the case. The social work team were only able to contact the mother via text message.

A guardian ad litem (GAL) had been appointed very recently to the case and supported the application. However there was no report before the court given the recent appointment of the GAL.

The solicitor for the mother agreed that the summary provided to the court was an accurate summary of events. Access was to be facilitated and details of the access were outlined to the court.

The court heard that the mother was a very vulnerable person with addiction issues and domestic violence issues. The solicitor for the mother indicated that the CFA should be proactive to link the mother in with services, especially where his client might lack the ability to charge a phone and those difficulties. The mother’s solicitor had no issue with proceeding on foot of affidavit evidence and consented to the interim care order being made for 29 days.

The solicitor for the GAL indicated that the GAL had been appointed very recently and had read into the files and had spoken to the people in this case and would hope to have a report for the next court day.

The judge noted that the mother had given instructions to the legal aid solicitor and that the mother was consenting. The judge noted that the GAL supported the application and that the threshold for the section 17 interim care order was met. The court adjourned the interim care order for 29 days and adjourned the accompanying section 18 care order application. The judge noted that every assistance should be provided to the mother in relation to access especially where she may not have charge in her phone.