Interim Care Order refused following expiry of ECO – 2014vol1#22

An Interim Care Order was refused by the District Court in a provincial city, when an Emergency Care Order had expired. The order was sought when two children, aged five and six months, had been left alone for about an hour.

The judge said she did not believe the children were at “immediate and serious risk”. “The mother may need to do a parenting course, but I don’t think the children need to be in care. She reared this child for five years and hasn’t come to the attention of the social services.

“She needs a family support worker, the assistance of community mothers and a parenting course. I don’t think there is an immediate and serious risk because of her poor parenting skills.”

Social worker: “[The mother] should have a psychological assessment.”

Judge: “Are you telling me the children need to stay in care until there is a psychological assessment? Are you proposing to take a six-month-old child away from its mother? I don’t believe a Care Order is necessary. I think a Supervision Order is necessary.”

The CFA solicitor said he would return to the court on that. (A Supervision Order cannot be made on the court’s own motion)