The case was heard at Naas District Court
A judge at Naas District Court has approved an extension to a care order currently in place for two young children after hearing tragic details of the circumstances of the family.
The childrens’ mother is in prison and a social worker has had to tell their father to engage better with his children.
A lawyer for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, appeared in Naas District Court last Thursday, August 2, in front of Judge Miriam Walsh and explained that the two children have been placed with one of their aunts in an interim care order, and that Tusla was looking to extend that order even further. The court heard that they are settled into their current care situation and doing well, in the circumstances.
Judge Walsh was told that the childrens’ mother is in custody as a result of a charge of theft. She is facing a seven month sentence in prison, although it is understood that she is considering appealing that.
The childrens’ father had informed Tusla that he would not be present at the court hearing. There are problems, a social worker told the court, for both parents with substance abuse and with domest,ic abuse.
The father has had access to the children on a weekly basis, althought it was not without its problems.
He tends, the court heard, to turn up late and leave early, which is unsettling for the children. On occasion he has failed to show up at all.
The children are not much older than toddlers, and the girl, in particular, is upset over the absence of her mother. “She asks other people who come to the house if they are her mother,” a social worker told Judge Walsh.
The boy on the other hand, is coping better, although he is starting to react to his father not turning up to supervised meetings. However, the court also heard that being so young, the children have a limited understanding of the situation.
The social worker explained that she had told the father that he needed to deal with his issues and to make the children a priority. An extension to the interim care order was granted by Judge Walsh, and the case will appear again on August 30.