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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
family courts series

A Week in the Family Court: 6,500 children are in care - here are some of their stories spent a week observing cases in the Family Court. Here are a selection of the care orders that appeared before the courts.

Updated 22.55pm

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THERE ARE OVER 6,500 children in State care in Ireland. These care orders appear before judges in the Family Courts system around the country on a daily basis. spent a week observing cases in the Family Court. Here are a selection of the care orders that appeared before the courts:

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Children remain in care of the State as mother remains in prison

Child A and B’s mother is in prison, while the father is no longer in the country. Both children are described as having “emotional” issues by social workers.

Read their story here>>>

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Toddler left alone in Direct Provision centre removed from mother, custody awarded to father

Child A was left alone by his mother at a Direct Provision Centre on a couple of occasions. The child was taken into care by an emergency care order. His father applied to to be the primary carer of the child.

Read his story here>>>

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Child in residential care refuses to attend addiction services, Social Work Department says they can’t force him

A teenage boy lives in residential care and has had incidences with drugs. A family relative is concerned that he is not interacting with addiction services, but social workers say they can’t force him to.

Read his story here>>>

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Judge: ‘It is not very often I get to do this’ - Two children returned to mother after three years in care

A mother whose two children had been taken into care over three years ago was given back custody of her children in what the judge described as a “good news story”.

Read the mother’s story here>>>

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Court told of ‘serious implications’ if child who has had ‘multiple foster homes’ is moved again

A case involving a child who is in foster care appeared before the court in which the foster parents had agreed to take the child on long-term, however, they then “changed their mind”. Social workers said they had serious concerns for the welfare of the child if she was forced to move to yet another foster home.

Read her story here>>>

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Babies of homeless parents remain in State care, but father has made ‘huge progress’

An extension of an interim care order was granted for two young babies, with the consent of the parents who are homeless. The father is in a rehab programme and is doing well. The plan is that custody will eventually be returned to the father.

Read the family’s story here>>>

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Boy in State care set duvet on fire in the middle of the room while he was still in it

An interim care order was extended for a young boy from the traveller community who is in residential care. The court heard that he has serious behavioural issues, putting the home where he is staying at risk.

Read his story here>>>

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‘I am their mother. I feel if I do cry here, I’m seen not to be capable and if I don’t cry I look like I have a heart of stone’

A mother who is a recovering heroin addict told the court that her children are her life, which is why she left her partner and father of her children when he returned to drugs.

Read her story here>>>

‘A Week in the Family Courts’ series will be running all this week on Read what the groups working with children think of the children in State care situation in Ireland and what needs to be done to improve it here>>>

Tomorrow we will bring you domestic violence cases from the Family Courts and analysis of some of the issues. 

First published 6.30am

Read: A Week in the Family Court: Referendum on establishing Family Court ‘not necessary’>

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