Childcare Proceedings in the District Court

Child care proceedings are held in camera (i.e. in private), meaning that almost no case reports were available until very recently. Moreover, almost no academic research had been carried out on the reality of these important proceedings. The Child Care Proceedings Research Group at University College Cork has sought to address this by exploring the experiences and perspectives of the professionals who work in District Court child care proceedings, including judges, solicitors, social workers and guardians ad litem. The study also seeks to explore children, young people and parents' perspectives on these proceedings. This research study is an inter-disciplinary project based in the Children and Young People research cluster in ISS21.

 

Research phases

Phase 1: Data collection for a comprehensive case-study of professional perspectives' in one county - completed summer 2012 (pilot). Dissemination on-going during 2013/14

Phase 2: Data collection for a comprehensive case-study of professional perspectives' in two additional counties, Spring - Autumn 2014.

Phase 3: Children, young people and parents research design and data-collection (ongoing).

Publications

O'Mahony, C., Shore, C., Burns, K. and Parkes, A. (2012) 'Child Care Proceedings in the District Court: What Do We Really Know?', Irish Journal of Family Law, 15 (2):1-14.

Research presentations

Burns, K., O'Mahony, C., Parkes, A., and Shore, C. (2014) 'District Court Child Care Proceedings in Ireland'. [Invited Oral Presentation], European Colloquium on Socio-Legal Decision-Making Models in Child Protection, University of Bergen, Norway , 30-JAN-14 - 31-JAN-14

Shore, C., Burns, K., Parkes, A., O’Mahony, C. (2013) 'Fit for Purpose? Professional Perspectives on District Court Child Care Proceedings'. [Oral Presentation], 4th Biennial Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference. New Agency, New Rights, New Systems: Are Children Any Safer, University College Cork , 25-OCT-13 - 25-OCT-13. Click here for slides.

Burns, K., O’Mahony, C., Shore, C. and Parkes, A. (2013) 'Fit for Purpose? Professional Perspectives on District Court Child Care Proceedings'. [Oral Presentation], 13th ISPCAN European Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Burlington Hotel, Dublin , 15-SEP-13 - 18-SEP-13.

Conferences organised

European Colloquium on Socio-Legal Decision Making Models in Child Protection Colloquium, University of Bergen, Norway, 30-31 January 2014, organised by the Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen, Norway, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Finland, and the Child Care Proceedings in the District Court Research Group, University College Cork, Ireland.

European Science Foundation (ESF) Exploratory Workshop on Socio-Legal Models of Care Order Proceedings in Europe, University College Cork, 19-22nd August 2014, organised by the Child Care Proceedings in the District Court Research Group, University College Cork, Ireland, Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen, Norway, and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Finland. This workshop is funded by an award from the ESF.

Media coverage associated with this study

Dr Conor O'Mahony talking about the findings of phase 1 of the study on Newstalk (28th October, 2013). Listen from 10min 55 secs in.

Irish Examiner, 26th October 2013.

Irish Times, 28th October 2013.

Research team

Dr Kenneth Burns, School of Applied Social Studies (Principal Investigator)

Dr Aisling Parkes, Faculty of Law

Dr Conor O’Mahony, Faculty of Law

Ms Caroline Shore, School of Applied Social Studies

Further information Contact Kenneth by email at k.burns@ucc.ie. Media enquiries should be forwarded to Conor at conor.omahony@ucc.ie.

See also An excellent complimentary Irish case reporting study is also in progress at this time, led by Dr Carol Coulter. See this website for more information on examples Irish child care proceedings cases and updated statistics on child care proceedings. Child Care Law Reporting Project website.

 

 

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