Interim care order where physical and sexual abuse alleged – 2021vol2#27

An interim care order was granted in a provincial town in respect of two children. The children had come into care on foot of an emergency care order following disclosures of physical and sexual assault against a male relative who remained in the home.

The social worker said investigations were ongoing into the allegations and there was a plan for a further in-depth assessment and the case would transfer to the assessment intervention team.

The social worker had spoken to the father following the emergency care order but she had not spoken to him since. The father was suffering from a medical condition and receiving daily treatment. He said that he wanted the children to be safe and for them to stay with their older sibling.

The solicitor for the mother asked: “The mother is concerned [the male relative against whom the allegations were made] will remain at home given the allegations. Is there anything TUSLA can do?”

The social worker said that was being explored. The social workers would explore what supports could be given to the male relative. The social worker said: “[This is the] first time we heard the mother wanted him to leave. It was always her belief that he should stay [in the home].”

The solicitor for the mother said the mother had been seeking assistance with the male relative throughout his life and he had been let down.

The social worker said this was noted by Tulsa. Supports were offered but the mother declined them. She said: “I am the social worker for the two children but [the male relative] is 18 and I cannot have him removed. Mum would need to explore with her own GP to look for resources.”

The solicitor for the mother said the children were due to commence school. One of the children was living in another provincial town and the mother had a worry that the children would be disrupted in a different school. The social worker said there were no plans for the children to change school and the aim was to cause the least amount of disruption.

The solicitor for the mother asked if access could be unsupervised. The social worker said there was a plan to review access but there was also an ongoing criminal investigation and that would be taken into account in respect of access.

The interim care order was granted for 28 days.