Supervision order extended for father’s access visits – 2013vol1#12

The HSE was granted an extension of a supervision order for three months with the consent of the parents in the Dublin District Court. The supervision order was in relation to access visits with the father, in respect of each of his two children, who lived with their mother.

When the supervision order was originally granted the judge directed that access visits by the father be supervised by a qualified access worker, not a family member or friend. The father had also been directed not to reside in the family home.

The solicitor for the mother told the judge that the mother now wanted to supervise the access visits with the father herself, and that she consented (reluctantly) to the making of another supervision order. The father consented to the making of a supervision order.

The solicitor for the HSE asked the social worker why he felt access with the father should still be supervised. The social worker explained that there was an allegation of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) regarding an 11 year old child which was found to be accurate. There was also a Garda matter of 720 images and three movie clips of child pornography on the father’s computer. The social worker said the father was deemed to be at high risk of perpetrating further CSA, furthermore there was concern relating to the influence he has over the mother (his ex-partner).

The social worker told the solicitor for the HSE that the mother did not believe the images on the father’s computer belonged to him, nor did she believe the CSA allegation regarding the 11 year old child. Therefore she did not feel that the access visits required supervision. The social worker said that the HSE paid privately for the access to be independently supervised. He said that a risk assessment was carried out on the father and that therapy has been recommended for him, and the HSE would fund this. However therapy had not been organised with the father. The social worker explained that a person’s risk assessment can change from high to moderate to low, depending on the outcomes of their therapies.

The judge asked the social worker if any services have been offered to the mother in relation to managing a relationship where there may be conflict. The social worker said he would try and identify such a service.

The father interjected that the HSE would not provide therapy for him because there is a stipulation he must admit he is a sex offender in order to receive it and he said he would not admit to it. The social worker answered that he could also receive therapy for anger management and use that as a starting point to lead to other therapies, instead of starting with a therapy for the specific allegation.

The solicitor for the mother told the court that the mother is going to private counselling.

The HSE was granted an extension of a supervision order for a further three months regarding access visits between the father and his two children. The access shall continue to be fully supervised by a qualified access worker. The judge recommended that the father should begin his therapy for anger management and the mother take up any offer of additional supports offered.

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