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.
In carrying out such an assessment, 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 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.