15 December 2016
Limerick-based community law centre Community Law & Mediation have launched an information leaflet for parents who are considering placing their children in voluntary care.
The publication is the outcome of a collaboration between CLM Limerick and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ireland Ltd. This initiative was facilitated by the Public Interest Law Alliance, which is part of FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres).
At present there are over 6,450 children in care in the State, of whom 40% (Dec 2014 figures) are in voluntary care, with the remaining 60% in care on foot of a court order.
Currently, there is a marked absence of accessible information and legal advice available to parents considering voluntary care. This information leaflet seeks to address that need by providing information on the voluntary care system in simple language, answering common questions, and providing a list of support services and groups for parents.
Launching the information leaflet, Caroline Keane, Solicitor with CLM Limerick, stated “Voluntary care is based upon the premise of consent, and central to this premise is that the consent must be informed and free. We identified a need for greater access to information and advice on this issue, and in collaboration with the in-house legal department of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, we have produced this leaflet which we hope will prove useful to parents facing this decision as well as services and organisations supporting them.”
The Public Interest Law Alliance brought together Hewlett Packard Enterprise with CLM Limerick to prepare the leaflet. Commenting on the launch, FLAC Chief Executive Eilis Barry said: “It is very heartening to see yet another great example of pro bono partnership resulting in a practical information resource for the community.”