In Irish law, particularly in care proceedings, the welfare of the child must come first at all times. This is the governing principle upon which decisions are made about child custody and the rare cases in which children are removed from their parent’s care.

Procedures to take a child into care will usually follow a long period of time in which interventions are offered to the parents after a child is identified as being at risk of significant harm. Only if these interventions are unsuccessful, and agreements are not met to the satisfaction of the local authority, will the child be removed from the care of his or her parents.

Why Are Children Taken In To Care?

Most of the children who are taken into local authority care are seen to have suffered neglect at the hands of their parents, and this is almost always an influential factor in such cases.

A recent case in the West Midlands, UK, saw three children taken into local authority care after reports that their parents were in an open relationship that was detrimental to their welfare. This raises concerns for parents about how their own lifestyles can affect their right to care for their children. However, it was noted by the Judge in this case that the court does not concern itself with the private lives of parents unless this impacts upon the way in which children are cared for. In other words, the open relationship was identified as a factor that contributed to neglect, as the children were not protected or cared for properly while their parents pursued this lifestyle, but was not, in itself, the reason for removal.

In many child protection cases, factors such as the behaviour of parents, drug addiction and illegal activities are identified as factors leading to neglect, and the open relationship in the above case was viewed in the same way by the professionals involved. Any circumstances that compromise the care and safety of a child can be cause for an investigation into child welfare, and this could progress to the removal of a child if recommendations or agreements are not followed.

Talk To Family Law Solicitors in Cork

If you require legal advice on any aspect of family law, including care proceedings, adoption or parental responsibility, you should talk to a solicitor who is experienced in family law. A good solicitor will help you to consider all of the aspects of your situation, and advise you on how to pursue your case.

Contact Irwin, Kilcullen & Co Solicitors for a free consultation without obligation and benefit from our expertise in family law claims. Simply contact us online or call us today on +021 4270934 to talk to our experienced and helpful team.