Child Care Proceedings in the District Court

Child Care Proceedings in the District Court Research Group

The Child Care Proceedings Research Group at University College Cork has researched 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; however, due to issues with clarity with the in camera rule, this aspect of the study can't currently proceed. This research study is an inter-disciplinary project between social work (School of Applied Social Studies) and legal academics (School of Law) and is based in the Children and Young People research cluster in ISS21 at University College Cork.

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


Projects

Phase 1: Data collection for a comprehensive case-study of professional perspectives' in one county - completed summer 2012 (pilot). 

Phase 2: Data collection for a comprehensive case-study of professional perspectives' in two additional counties, Spring - Spring 2015.

Phase 3: Dissemination - completed (see below)

Phase 4: "IDEA" project. February 2017 - 2019. Five country study led by UCC and co-funded by the European Commission Justice and Consumer Affairs Directorate. The IDEA project aims to develop children's rights capacity-building training for child protection professionals in Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Hungary and Estonia. Visit our website to find out more about this project. Dr Conor O'Mahony and Dr Kenneth Burns.


Publications

Kenneth Burns, Conor O'Mahony, Caroline Shore and Aisling Parkes (2017) 'What social workers talk about when they talk about child care proceedings in the District Court in Ireland'. Child and Family Social Work, In Press.

Burns, K., Poso, T and Skivenes, M. (eds.) (2017) Child Welfare Removals by the State: A Cross-Country Analysis of Decision-Making Systems, New York, Oxford University Press. Visit website.

Burns, K., O'Mahony, C., Shore, C. and Parkes, A. (2017) 'Decision-making systems for the reception of children in State care in Ireland: Law, policy and practice' in Burns, K., Poso, T and Skivenes, M. (eds.) (2016) Child Welfare Removals by the State: A Cross-Country Analysis of Decision-Making Systems, New York, Oxford University Press.  

Conor O’Mahony, Aisling Parkes, Caroline Shore and Kenneth Burns (2016) 'Child Care Proceedings and Family-Friendly Justice: The Problem with Court Facilities'. Irish Journal of Family Law, 19 (4):85-91

Conor O’Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Aisling Parkes and Caroline Shore (2016) 'Representation and participation in child care proceedings: what about the voice of the parents?'.  Journal of Social Welfare and Family, pp. 1-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2016.1176338. Click here for the free open access version.

Conor O’Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Aisling Parkes and Caroline Shore (2016) 'Child Care Proceedings in Non-Specialist Courts: The Experience in Ireland'. International Journal of Law Policy And The Family, 30, pp. 131-157. doi: 10.1093/lawfam/ebw001.

Aisling Parkes, Caroline Shore, Conor O’Mahony and Kenneth Burns (2015) 'The right of the child to be heard? Professional experiences of child care proceedings in the Irish District Court'.  Child and Family Law Quarterly, 27(4), pp. 423-444. Click here for the free open access version.

Burns, K., Shore, C., O'Mahony, C. and Parkes, A. (eds.) (2015) Child Protection Removal Systems in Europe Video SeriesUniversity College Cork/Irish Research Council. Click here to view these videos.

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

Conor O’Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Aisling Parkes, Caroline Shore (2017) Representation and participation in child care proceedings: what about the voice of the parents?. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Legal Aid Board Annual Confernce, Dublin , 17-NOV-17 - 17-NOV-17.

Kenneth Burns, Caroline Shore, Conor O'Mahony and Aisling Parkes (2017) The Interaction Between Law and Social Work. [Keynote Speaker], Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Child Care Act 1991 – Open Policy Debate, Dublin Castle , 05-SEP-17 - 05-SEP-17.

Caroline Shore, Kenneth Burns, Conor O'Mahony and Aisling Parkes (2017) Listening to and involving children. [Keynote Speaker], Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Child Care Act 1991 – Open Policy Debate, Dublin Castle , 05-SEP-17 - 05-SEP-17.

Aisling Parkes, Caroline Shore, Conor O'Mahony and Kenneth Burns (2017) Errors and Mistakes in Child Protection: Republic of Ireland Country Report, [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Errors and mistakes in child protection: An international workshop on policies, discourses and research, Basel, Switzerland, 30th May - 1st June 2017.

Caroline Shore, Kenneth Burns, Conor O’Mahony and Aisling Parkes (2017) District Court Child Care Proceedings in Ireland: Learning from a Cross-Country Perspective. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Getting the Balance Right: Proportionality, timeliness and decision making in childcare proceedings, Dublin , 04-APR-17.

Kenneth Burns, Caroline Shore, Conor O'Mahony and Aisling Parkes (2017) What Social Workers Talk About When They Talk About Child Care Proceedings. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], IASW World Social Work Day, Cork , 21-MAR-17.

Shore, C., Burns, K., O'Mahony, C., and Parkes, A. (2016) 'Parental Participation in Child Care Proceedings in Ireland'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Barnardos Guardian ad litem Service National Team Meeting, Barnardos Cork Offices, 16-JUNE-16 - 16-JUNE-16

Kenneth Burns, Caroline Shore, Conor O'Mahony and Aisling Parkes (2016) Findings of the Child Care Proceedings in the District Court Study: Implications for Policy and Legislative Reform. [Invited Oral Presentation], Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Dublin , 15-MAR-16 - 15-MAR-16.

Burns, K., Parkes, A., Shore, C. and O'Mahony, C. (2015) Irish Child Welfare System: Children's Participation, Transparency and Removal Systems. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Senior Research Conference on Child and Family Welfare, University of Bergen, Norway , 07-OCT-15 - 09-OCT-15.

Conor O’Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Aisling Parkes and Caroline Shore (2015) Child Care Proceedings in the District Court; A Qualitative Analysis of Professional Perspectives. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], ISS21 Research Findings Showcase Day: Towards a Better Understanding of Children’s and Young People’s Lives in Ireland, Cork, University College Cork , 29-JUN-15 - 29-JUN-15.

Conor O'Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Aisling Parkes, Caroline Shore (2015) Parental Representation and Participation in Child Protection Proceedings: A Qualitative Analysis of the Irish District Court, International Conference on Child Protection and the Law, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin, 13th April 2015. Click here for a video of this presentation.

Shore, C., Parkes, A., Burns, K. and O'Mahony, C. (2014) Children's Participation in District Court Child Care Proceedings. [Oral Presentation], 3rd annual conference of the Children's Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland - Caring for our Children: Lessons learnt - informing future practice and policy, Dublin , 10-DEC-2014

Parkes, A. Shore, C., Burns, K. and O’Mahony, C. (2014) Effective Participation in Child Care Proceedings in Ireland: Professional Perspectives. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop on Socio-Legal Models of Care Order Proceedings in Europe, University College Cork , 20-AUG-2014.

Shore, C., Parkes, A., O'Mahony, C.,  and Burns, K. (2014) ‘Lifting the veil on District Court Child Care Proceedings in Ireland’. (Invited Oral Presentation), Lime Tree Family Support Project, Bessborough Centre, Cork, 01-AUGUST-14 – 01-AUGUST-14

Conor O'Mahony, Kenneth Burns, Caroline Shore and Aisling Parkes (2015) 'District Court Child Care Proceedings in Ireland: Messages for Social Work, 'Presentation to Tusla Child and Family Agency Child Protection and Welfare Social Workers, Cork. 30th April. 

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 and Network meeting on Socio-Legal Child Removal Systems, 12-14th August 2015, University College Cork, 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 Irish Research Council.

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.

European Colloquium on Socio-Legal Decision Making Models in Child Protection, 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.

 

Media coverage associated with this study

Dr Conor O'Mahony taking about the findings of our completed study on RTE Drive Time, 13th April 2015 (no file to link to). 

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


Open Access Dissemination of the Study Findings

Click here to watch a presentation of our aspect of our study findings from a conference at the Law Society in 2015 organised by the Child Care Law Reporting Project.

Click here to watch a video series we developed with colleagues and the Irish Research Council to provide an introduction to child welfare removals in 7 EU countries.

Click here to be brought to the UCC open access repository where you will find open access versions of some of our papers (search by author or title once you are on the CORA website).  


Awards
2016 UCC Research Team of the Year Award


Research Funding
2016 European Commission Justice Directorate Action Grant
2015 Irish Research Council - Networking Grant
2013 European Science Foundation - Exploratory Workshop


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.

School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

William Thompson House, Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland.

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