An interim care order was extended in Dublin District Court in respect of two children from an African country. The mother was represented and required an interpreter. She was seeking an increase in access. The father was in his country of origin and due to return to Ireland. Both parents consented to the extension and the GAL supported the application.
A consultant clinical psychologist had completed an assessment and made certain recommendations in her report. The social worker received the report of the consultant clinical psychologist on the morning of the hearing and said she needed time to consider its contents. The child in care review was scheduled for the following week and the increase of access would be considered then.
The social worker said the children were “thriving in the placement.” They were walking and had got their first pair of shoes. The consultant clinical psychologist mentioned home supports for the parents and the social worker said she needed time to consider the report. There was a proposed shared care plan and the consequences of maintaining contact with the children and bonding with their own mother would form part of the plan.
The GAL met the children and found them to be “full of life and running around.” There were no outstanding concerns about the health, development and welfare of the boys. The GAL did not have an opportunity to read the assessment in full but she would attend the professionals’ meeting the following week. There were concerns in respect of access and moving forward the concerns would be considered when looking at increased access.
The judge said the consultant clinical psychologist’s report on the issues would have to be considered and understood by all of the parties. She noted, on the basis of the evidence, that the necessary and proportionate order at this time was to extend the interim care order. The medical direction was to continue and the section 18 application would be adjourned.
The judge said: “There is an important meeting by all professional and it might be helpful to include a mental health team. The consultant clinical psychologist is very specific in what she looks for and that is something about which to have a dialogue between the professionals.”
The interim care order was extended for 28 days.