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File photo Shutterstock/Falcona
Care order

Teenage mother allowed to leave foster care with her baby

“She has worked hard at organising her life, towards the goal of independence.”

A TEENAGER WHO who was living in a foster home with her two-year-old child may move into accommodation with her partner and the child.

The Child & Family Agency (CFA/Tusla) recently informed a district court in a provincial city of its decision in relation to the case.

A Care Order had been made for the child, who was born to the girl when she was 15 and was the subject of a Care Order in another jurisdiction. She had fled this jurisdiction when pregnant, fearing her child would be taken into care and adopted.

When her baby was born the CFA sought a Care Order for it, but placed both the girl and baby in foster care, where she cared for her baby. The case recently came before the District Court for review.

The solicitor for the CFA said there would be an assessment of the girl in the coming months with a view to stepping down from a full Care Order for the baby to a Supervision Order. The baby had been the subject of a one-year Care Order.

‘She has worked hard … she is very feisty’

The social worker told the court there had been a lot of developments. The mother’s partner, the baby’s father, was working full-time and had secured accommodation. A parenting capacity assessment of him had been carried out which was very favourable. They said the mother had outgrown the care system.

She is a mother. She has worked hard at organising her life, towards the goal of independence. She will need ongoing support for herself and the child. Further assessments will be undertaken by Barnardos. The child is generally very healthy. There is a plan. They have got accommodation. They are ready to move in. Her partner wants to live as a family with them. We are fully supportive.

The guardian ad litem (a person appointed by the court to advise on what is in the best interest of the child) said the mother loved her daughter and took very good practical care of her.

She is very honest with me, very feisty, which led to her separation from her own mother and her fears that her child will be taken away from her, so there is some distrust of the social work department – but she is willing to work with them. My recommendation at the moment is that she be supported to live independently with her child.

“She is a good mother. Her social worker has great time for her. Her partner seems very interested in her and very supportive of her. He is aged 25, in a full-time job and willing to support the mother and his child. He came here from [the other jurisdiction]. He didn’t come before because she was under the age of consent and he waited until she was older.”

The judge commented that this was a very good outcome.

Comments are closed as the case is part of the Child Care Law Reporting Project. The latest volume can be read in full online here.

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