Child Care Act 1991

F110 [ Determination by F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] that child requires special care.

23F

23F. (1) The F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] shall not apply for a special care order in respect of a child unless it is satisfied that the child has attained the age of 11 years and it has made a determination, in accordance with this section, that the child requires special care.

(2) Where

( a ) the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the behaviour of the child poses a real and substantial risk of harm to his or her life, health, safety, development or welfare,

( b ) having regard to that behaviour and risk of harm, the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] has assessed the care requirements of the child, and is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that

(i) the provision, or the continuation of the provision, by the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] to the child of care, other than special care, and

(ii) treatment and mental health services, under, and within the meaning of, the Mental Health Act 2001 ,

will not adequately address that behaviour and risk of harm and those care requirements, and

( c ) having regard to paragraph ( b ), the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child requires special care to adequately address

(i) that behaviour and risk of harm, and

(ii) those care requirements,

which it cannot provide to the child unless the High Court makes a special care order in respect of that child,

the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] shall make arrangements to carry out the consultation referred to in subsection (3) .

(3) The F111 [ Child and Family Agency ]

( a ) shall, subject to subsection (4) , consult with

(i) the child,

(ii) the parent having custody of the child, unless the parent is dead, missing or cannot be found, and

(iii) a guardian, if any, or a person, if any, acting in loco parentis , unless that guardian or person is missing or cannot be found,

and

( b ) may, having regard to all the circumstances of the child, consult with

(i) a relative of the child, or

(ii) a person who, in the opinion of the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] , has knowledge of that child and his or her family or other circumstances,

in relation to the behaviour and risk of harm referred to in subsection (2)(a) , the care requirements referred to in subsection (2)(b) , the proposal to provide special care to the child and the detention of the child in a special care unit for that purpose.

(4) Where the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] , having regard to the protection of the life, health, safety, development or welfare of the child, is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe it is not in the best interests of the child to consult with all or any of the following persons, it shall not consult with that person:

( a ) the child;

( b ) a parent having custody of the child;

( c ) the guardian;

( d ) a person acting in loco parentis .

(5) The F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] shall, subject to subsection (6) , convene a family welfare conference in accordance with section 7 (as amended by the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011) of the Act of 2001 if it is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child requires special care, after having carried out the consultations in accordance with subsection (3) or not carried them out in accordance with subsection (4) .

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5) , where the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] is satisfied that, having regard to the protection of the life, health, safety, development or welfare of the child, there is reasonable cause to believe that it is not in the best interests of the child to convene the family welfare conference referred to in subsection (5) , it may decide not to convene that conference.

(7) Where a family welfare conference

( a ) has been convened in accordance with subsection (5) and the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] has had regard to the recommendations, if any, notified under section 12 of the Act of 2001, or

( b ) has not been convened in accordance with subsection (6) ,

and the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child requires special care it shall make a determination as to whether the child requires special care.

(8) Where the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that for the purposes of protecting the life, health, safety, development or welfare of the child, the child requires special care the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] shall apply to the High Court for a special care order.

(9) Where the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] applies for a special care order and, in accordance with subsection (4) , it did not carry out the consultation referred to in subsection (3) , it shall inform the High Court that the consultation was not carried out and of the grounds for not carrying out that consultation.

(10) Where the F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] applies for a special care order and it did not convene a family welfare conference in accordance with subsection (6) , it shall inform the High Court that it did not convene that conference and of the grounds for not convening that conference.

(11) The F111 [ Child and Family Agency ] shall prepare and publish guidelines relating to the procedures for

( a ) carrying out a consultation for the purposes of this section, and

( b ) convening a family welfare conference for the purposes of this section. ]

F112 [ (12) Where the Health Service Executive convened a family welfare conference in respect of a child pursuant to subsection (5) and a determination was not made by the Health Service Executive pursuant to subsection (7) before the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, that Agency shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have convened the conference. ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F110

Part IVA (ss. 23A-23NP) substituted and inserted (31.12.2017) by Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011 (19/2011), s. 10, S.I. No. 537 of 2017, subject to transitional provisions in s. 48.

F111

Substituted (1.01.2014) by Child and Family Agency Act 2013 (40/2013), s. 97 and sch. 2, part 4 item 1, S.I. No. 502 of 2013.

F112

Substituted (31.12.2017) by Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015 (45/2015), s. 13 and sch. 1 part 1 item 5, S.I. No. 636 of 2017.

Editorial Notes:

E69

Previous affecting provision: subs. (12) inserted (1.01.2014) by Child and Family Agency Act 2013 (40/2013), s. 97 and sch. 2, part 4 item 11, S.I. No. 502 of 2013. The amendment provided for subs. (12) to be substituted; however no subs. (12) existed and it was therefore inserted; substituted as per F-note above.