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Wednesday 27 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# Children in Care
Parents agree to allow disabled children stay in care
The judge said that the parents had the capacity to love their boys, but not the capacity to bring them up.

THE PARENTS OF two disabled boys agreed with a judge that they didn’t have the capacity to raise their sons, allowing them to stay in care.

The case is detailed in the latest Child Care Law Reporting Project, which details 24 separate cases.

The report has also published Court Service data for last year, which shows a fall in the number of child care applications sought, down 601 from 2012 to 8,714.

This was mainly accounted for by a fall in the number of care orders.

In the case of two parents of boys with intellectual difficulties in a rural town, the judge told the parents “This is solely a question of capacity. You have all the capacity in the world to love your boys, but you don’t have the capacity to bring them up to function in society.”

An older child had been in care but had returned to his parents as a teenager and was now living with them. The parents’ solicitor suggested this might happen with the younger children.

A psychologist who had assessed the children said that their emotional and social functioning was very poor and this would all come up again when they reached puberty and adolescence.

The parents’ solicitor said that they accepted the boys were doing better in school since going into care. The social worker said the children very much felt their parents loved them. The social work department would be very happy to extend family visits. The parents had advocates who were cooperating with authorities. The social work department would extend access, including overnights, in the next few weeks.

“Till they are 18 is a very long time,” the father said. “Can there be a review? See how we’re getting on?”

“Absolutely,” the judge replied, fixing a review in two years’ time.

Read: Five children taken into care after abuse allegations

Read: Court rules home extension be built so ‘inseparable’ siblings in care could stay together