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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10949
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A mother is concerned that her child maybe sexually abused

Customer Question

A mother is concerned that her child maybe sexually abused by the father. The father is not a legal guardian. The mum has taken the child to a social worker and child psychologist with her concern (not the police). fortunately nothing sinister is suspected from the assessment. Does the father have a legal right to be informed of the mothers concern?? Even though no concern has been identified
This situation applys to the Republic of Ireland
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. Dear Lorraine, it is only the legal guardian who has a right to information concerning any assessment by the social workers and child psychologist. Here, as the father is not a legal guardian and has not applied to become a legal guardian, he has no right to information concerning the assessments.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

2. The situation would be different if the father sought guardianship rights. However, as things stand, if you are the only legal guardian, any interviews with the social workers and any assessment by the child psychologist will be protected by a requirement of confidentiality. There is patient-psychologist confidentiality in place in relation to the assessment of the child by the psychologist. There is also an obligation of confidentiality owed by the social workers to you as mother because you expressed legitimately held fears of interference. The social worker cannot disclose these details regarding sexual abuse without getting prosecuted, as since 2015, there has been an obligation on all persons who suspected child abuse to disclose those concerns.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

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