The rights of the child in voluntary care in Ireland: a call for reform in law, policy and practice

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dc.contributor.author Brennan, Rebekah
dc.contributor.author O'Mahony, Conor
dc.contributor.author Burns, Kenneth
dc.date.accessioned 2021-04-06T14:19:21Z
dc.date.available 2021-04-06T14:19:21Z
dc.date.issued 2021-03-15
dc.identifier.citation Brennan, R., O'Mahony, C. and Burns, K. (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, 125, 105989, (11 pp). doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.105989 en
dc.identifier.volume 125 en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 11 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11179
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.105989 en
dc.description.abstract Voluntary care agreements form a significant part of child protection systems in many jurisdictions. From a children’s rights perspective, they enjoy numerous advantages over court-ordered removals of children. However, when loosely regulated, voluntary care agreements can give rise to significant concerns in respect of compliance with international children’s rights law. This paper will present findings from the Voluntary Care in Ireland Study, one of the first in-depth empirical examinations internationally of voluntary care agreements. It will present qualitative data on the system in operation in Ireland that indicates that voluntary care agreements are less adversarial, time-consuming and costly than court proceedings. This frees up resources for early intervention and facilitates a more collaborative relationship between parents and social services, making it more likely that children will remain at home or eventually return home from care. At the same time, the findings suggest that the voluntary care system currently operated in Ireland suffer from numerous flaws, including absence of independent oversight; unlimited duration; potential instability (since parents can withdraw consent at any time); weak mechanisms for child participation; and inferior resource allocation compared to court-ordered care placements. The paper examines legislative provisions from a number of comparable jurisdictions and makes recommendations designed to ensure that the voluntary care system in Ireland complies more strongly with principles of international children’s rights law. en
dc.description.sponsorship University College Cork (College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences and School of Law) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier en
dc.relation.uri https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740921000682
dc.rights © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ en
dc.subject Children’s rights en
dc.subject Voluntary care en
dc.subject Child protection and welfare en
dc.subject Child participation en
dc.subject Ireland en
dc.title The rights of the child in voluntary care in Ireland: a call for reform in law, policy and practice en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Kenneth Burns, Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: k.burns@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2021-04-06T11:30:28Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 558705903
dc.contributor.funder Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland en
dc.contributor.funder Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service, Ireland en
dc.contributor.funder University College Cork en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Children and Youth Services Review en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes UCC and Elsevier open access arrangement
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress k.burns@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress conor.omahony@ucc.ie
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress rebekah.brennan@ucc.ie
dc.identifier.articleid 105989 en


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© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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