Voluntary Care in Ireland Study 2018-2021

Voluntary Care in Ireland Study (2018-2021)

This research study is an inter-disciplinary project between social work (@UCCsocialwork, School of Applied Social Studies) and the School of Law and is located in the Children and Young People research cluster in ISS21 at University College Cork. The study examined the use of voluntary care in Ireland (section 4 of the Child Care Act 1991). See here for information on a related study on child care proceedings in the District Court. For further information, contact Kenneth by email at k.burns@ucc.ie. Media enquiries should be forwarded to Conor at conor.omahony@ucc.ie.

Summary of key findings:

Publications 

Rebekah Brennan, Conor O'Mahony and Kenneth Burns (2021) 'The rights of the child in voluntary care in Ireland: a call for reform in law, policy and practice', Children and Youth Services Review, pp. 1-38 [advance internet edition] - open access.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O’Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2021) 'Private Family Arrangements' for Child in Ireland: The Informal Grey Space In-Between State Care and the Family Home, British Journal of Social Work, pp. 1-18 [advance internet edition].

Conor O'Mahony, Rebekah Brennan and Kenneth Burns (2020) 'Informed consent and parental rights in voluntary care agreements', Child and Family Law Quarterly, Issue 4, pp. 373-395.

Rebekah Brennan, Kenneth Burns and Conor O’Mahony (2020) 'The Voluntary Care in Ireland Study: Key findings and recommendations for law reform and social work practice in Ireland', Irish Social Worker, Winter 2020, pp. 7-16.

Conor O'Mahony, Kenneth Burns and Rebekah Brennan (2020/2021) 'Voluntary Care Agreements' (Chapter 3) in O'Mahony, C. Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, University College Cork / Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Click here.

Conor O'Mahony, Kenneth Burns and Rebekah Brennan (2020) What are voluntary care agreements? RTÉ Brainstorm. Click here.


Research presentations

Conor O’Mahony, Kenneth Burns and Rebekah Brennan (2021) Informed Consent, Parental Rights and Children’s Rights in Voluntary Care. Voluntary Consent for Care: Policy and Practice Guidelines and Research Findings, Tusla, Child and Family Agency Webinar, 19-APR-21.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O’Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2021) National survey of Tusla social workers on voluntary care /  The intersection between voluntary care and ‘private family arrangements’ (informal kinship care). Voluntary Consent for Care: Policy and Practice Guidelines and Research Findings, Tusla, Child and Family Agency Webinar , 19-APR-21.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O’Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2021) ‘Private Family Arrangements’ for Children in Ireland: The Informal Grey Space In-Between State Care and the Family Home. Spring research colloquium on Formal and Informal Kinship Care in Ireland and Scotland, Trinity College Dublin (online), 31-MAR-21.

Rebekah Brennan, Kenneth Burns and Conor O’Mahony (2020) The Care Experience Podcast, EPIC, 30th September 2020. Click to listen.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O’Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2020) Voluntary Care and Private Family Arrangements in Ireland: Findings from a National Study, 7th Children in Care Research Forum, Trinity College Dublin, 14/10/2020. Click here to watch.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O'Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2020) Court and Voluntary Decision-Making Systems for Child Welfare Removals in Ireland. Research Seminar Series, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 05-FEB-20.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O'Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2019) Child Protection: Recent Research, International Comparisons and Analysis of Data. Voluntary care in Ireland: rights, reform and consent, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Dublin, 10-DEC-19.

Burns, Kenneth, Pösö, Tarja, O'Mahony, Conor; Huhtanen, Raija; Korpinen, Johanna, Brennan, Rebekah (2019) Voluntary care and informed consent in child protection in Ireland and Finland: The ‘acceptable’ face of coercion and power in social work?. [Oral Presentation], European Conference for Social Work Research, Leuven, Belgium, 12-APR-19.

Kenneth Burns, Conor O'Mahony and Rebekah Brennan (2018) Consent and the Voluntary Care System in Ireland, University of Tampere, Finland, 13th – 14th December.


Research team

Dr Kenneth Burns, School of Applied Social Studies (co-Principal Investigator)
Dr Conor O’Mahony, School of Law (co-Principal Investigator)
Dr Rebekah Brennan, Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Funding
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service
School of Law
School of Applied Social Studies

School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

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

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