Sometimes, when a family is engaged in a Court process, perhaps because of a separation or an issue regarding custody or access, the Court can request a Section 47 Assessment and Report or a Section 32 Assessment and Report be carried out, in order to determine what the best interest of the child or children are.I have a qualification in Social Work which precedes my qualification in Psychotherapy and this is particularly relevant in relation to the carrying out of Section 32 (b) Reports. I have held the National Qualification in Social Work since 1996.
In carrying out such assessments, I am very mindful of what a difficult process this can be for parents as well as for children and I would engage therapeutically with families to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. My background in Systemic practice means that I am very aware of family dynamics and how each person in a family can be influenced by and influential of other family members. My expertise in the area of attachment makes it possible for me to assess how a child’s attachment can best be protected and enhanced by decisions made by the Court. Also, having lectured to social work students in TCD in the area of ‘The Impact of Organisations on Individuals’ I have a keen awareness of how the Court as an Organisation or Institution can impact on family life.
Family life can be difficult when the family are involved in litigation. However, I feel it is possible to work in collaboration with families in order to ascertain the best interest of the children, even when tensions and disagreements are present. I know that collaborative practice is what will work best for the child and I know also that parents want what’s best for the children too. Going through the Court can be a stressful time for families. That does not in any way undermine the potential for families to work together with me in order to best protect the welfare of children.
Here’s a link that you may find useful if you are looking for further information on section 47 reports
Information on where Section 47 Reports fit in the law.