Alcohol abuse, drug abuse and mental illness feature in child care cases

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Alcohol abuse, drug abuse and mental illness feature in many of the cases published by the Child Care Law Reporting Project today.

From The Irish Times

The latest tranche of child care cases published online by the project include children who have suffered physical and sexual abuse as well as non-accidental injury, at the hands of a parent or carer.

More than 30 cases are detailed in the report, at, from all over the country, though locations have not been given to protect identities.

One case involved an interim care order granted for four African children whose “silent crying” worried a court appointed guardian. A second case involved a new-born baby of a drug addict being taken into care. The reports also detail two cases of English children taken into care in Ireland and how the English courts have been asked to take over their proceedings.

The publication is the second volume of reports from child care hearings in Ireland involving cases where the Health Service Executive sought to take children into care or supervise them in their homes. The cases are normally held in camera, excluding the press and members of the public. The reporting project was established in 2012 under the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2007 so that child care proceedings could be examined and reported on. Many of the cases reported today describe one or two hearings in a lengthy process.

The case reports show the courts are sometimes critical of the care children received from the HSE and the steps it has taken to meet their needs.

In one case the court only made a Full Care Order for five months because it was not satisfied that an adequate care plan had been drawn up for the child. In another case the court ordered the HSE to provide a special needs assistant for a child in order to help him integrate into his school, and in a third, the court ordered the HSE to provide speech and language therapy “forthwith” for a child who needed it.

Project director, Dr Carol Coulter said a further reports will be published during the year, along with relevant material on the child protection system.

“This is the second volume of case reports to be published by the Child Care Law Reporting Project and it shows that the problems highlighted in the first volume, of alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness and domestic violence, affect families in all parts of the country,” she said.