Access to Children in Care


Regardless of the type of care the Child and Family Agency chooses, it must facilitate reasonable access for parents and relatives.

The law presumes as a starting point, that a child’s welfare is best served by remaining in the care of his/her family where possible. However where a child is placed in the care of the State, the CFA is required to facilitate reasonable access to the child by his parents, any person acting in loco parentis, or any other person who, in the opinion of the CFA, has a bona fide interest in the child. Indeed such access can include allowing a child to reside temporarily with that person.

Where such a person is unhappy with the access arrangements made by the CFA, he/she can apply to the court and the court may make such order as it thinks proper regarding access to the child by that person.

Equally the CFA can seek the support of the court where necessary, in order to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare, and/or to secure an order authorising the CFA to terminate or refuse access.

Image by Amira_a CC – BY – NC – 2.0


The Department of Children and Youth Affairs – Head Office

The Legal Aid Board

Free Legal Advice Centres


“Empowering People in Care” is a resource to assist those who are engaged with the Care system. Core contact hours are 9.00am – 5.00pm.


  • EPIC Cork – Millerd Hall, Millerd Street, Cork; Tel: 021 2428434
  • EPIC Dublin – 7 Red Cow Lane. Smithfield, Dublin 7. Tel: 01 8727661
  • EPIC Galway – Westside Resource Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Galway Tel: 091 395605

Citizens Information