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

TheJournal.ie spent a week observing cases in the Family Court.

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This story is part of a series on the Family Court which can be viewed here>>

THE APPLICATION FOR the extension of a care order, which the parents consented to, came before a court involving two young children.

The court was told that the father was homeless and in a drug rehab programme and was doing well. The mother is also homeless.

There was a plan in place to reintegrate the children, a boy and girl, with the father.

The father was soon to complete a rehab programme for drug addiction.

A relative was willing to support the father, allowing him and the children to stay with them in the early stages.

The social worker told the court that both children were in foster care. She said that the plan was in the best interests of the children, adding that psychological assessments would be carried out and parenting skills supports were going to be put in place.

shutterstock_192829781 Source: Shutterstock

“He [the father] has made huge progress. He is doing well and engaging in the plan but this plan is all very dependent on his progress over the coming three to six months.”

The court was told that the plan would see the father become the primary caregiver for the two children, adding that there were concerns about the frequency of the access visits and the bond between the mother and babies.

The father was told that he would need to fully engage with all the supports seeing as “both parents have a history of relapse”, adding that such a possibility should be included in the plan in case it becomes a reality.

The guardian for the children, appointed by the court, said that they would like to see a relapse prevention plan put in place, stating that if the father does relapse then it would be the fourth move for the children.

The guardian said that upon relapse the father would have to leave immediately.

The court was told that the father seemed very motivated and has a “different perspective on his recovery this time around”.

The judge extended the interim care order and asked for a robust assessment of the relative and their capabilities. The father was then appointed guardian of his two babies.

‘A Week in the Family Courts’ series will be running all this week on TheJournal.ie. 

‘A Week in the Family Courts’ series will be running all this week on TheJournal.ie. 

Read: A Week in the Family Court: ‘There needs to be intervention before we reach crisis point’>

Read: A Week in the Family Court: 6,500 children are in care – here are some of their stories>

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