Redacted psychologist’s report on two preschool children released to foster carers – 2023vol2#37

A judge in a provincial District Court released a psychologist’s report on two preschool age siblings to foster carers to help them manage the children’s behaviour. The court also heard that in-person access between the children and their father had been paused. The mother of the children was deceased. The Child and Family Agency (CFA) solicitor told the court the report contained confidential information in relation to the father and that this information had been redacted prior to the report being shared.

The guardian ad litem (GAL) said a six-session training programme was being organised for the foster carers to help them with the trauma-influenced behaviour of the children. The court had heard previously the children’s behaviour had been unsettled after access and the training would help the foster carers to manage the children and ensure better quality access with their father. Direct access between the children and the father had been paused until the training was complete. Meanwhile, the CFA were encouraging indirect access with the father through sharing of photos and cards from the father telling the children he was thinking of them which were to be sent via the social worker.

The father’s barrister said the father had been recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and he was giving permission for the CFA to liaise with his GP. She said a meeting with the CFA about access had to be ended as the father became frustrated. She asked if the social worker could give a written proposal on access to the father. The social worker agreed to do this.

The GAL said having a GP was a good first step and she was concerned about the father’s vulnerability. “He was understandably upset and distressed”, she said.

The judge said she was delighted the father had got a GP as he did not have one for a long time. She said this was a great first step and where there were matters of concern to him, he now had a mechanism,” she said.