The HSE was granted a continuation of a Supervision Order for three months, with the consent of the parties, in the Dublin District Court, after the father had left the family home.
The family, from a non-EU country, participated in the proceedings with the assistance of an interpreter. The solicitor for the HSE said an Interim Care Order for the young daughter had been granted the previous month, following an earlier Supervision Order, and family support had been made available to the mother. Those proceedings arose because of concerns about the behaviour of the father, who had since left the family home.
The HSE felt more could be done with the mother, especially in relation to her social integration.
The solicitor for the mother said that she had attended a mother and baby group but was not comfortable there, as her daughter was being pushed around by the other children. She would prefer to be with other family members. She was happy for the Supervision Order to remain in place. In relation to access visits with the father, the mother acknowledged she had missed a few, because the daughter was sick on one occasion and on another there was a dental appointment.
The solicitor for the father said that there had been a lot of problems with access. The father was waiting for a referral to Spirasi, the organisation for supporting the victims of torture, for an anger management course. He had been dealing with Spirasi since arriving in this country.
The solicitor for the child’s guardian ad litem (GAL) said there was no need for a Supervision Order in these circumstances. While there was a concern, in the light of the past domestic violence, that the parents might get back together, she considered there were no child protection concerns at the moment. There were issues around access, but these could be dealt with without the involvement of the court. If the mother felt that Supervision Order would benefit her, it could continue, but previously she had indicated she did not want it to continue.
The judge said there were gaps in support, especially in relation to the anger management course, that had emerged in court. The child had a strong attachment to her father and access was her right. This was a child welfare issue.
If all parties accepted the order should remain in place she would renew it. There were outstanding concerns relating to the anger management course and the inconsistency in the access arrangements.
The solicitor for the father said that the psychological report on the father prepared in the context of these proceedings should be made available to Spirasi so they knew what they were dealing with.
The judge said there should be dialogue between the parties in relation to lifting the in camera rule on this matter so that the report could be made available to Spirasi. She renewed the order.