Geatóir is a Court Advocacy service, established by Deborah Nolan. Deborah is a Systemic Family Psychotherapist with extensive experience assessing and supporting families, both in the public health and private sector.
Geatóir provides an Advocacy service for the parents in child protection proceedings who have – or are thought to have – impaired cognitive functioning, intellectual disability or mental health concerns. The provision of an Independent Advocate for parents with impaired functioning is common practice in District Court proceedings, and the appointment of such support is provided for clients of the Legal Aid Board (Circular 2/2007).
All Advocates at Geatóir have over ten years’ experience working in child protection in diverse roles, including Social Work, Family Support, and Child Protection Assessments. Each of the Advocates are practising Psychotherapists, bringing a therapeutic understanding of the social and cultural needs of each family to the centre of our work.
The service of an Advocate facilitates a more productive relationship with clients who, understandably, struggle to comprehend the legal process and legal information. Besides easing stress on the client, the support provided serves to alleviate the additional time pressures experienced by solicitors, engaged in this difficult area of law. It does so by providing the reassurance that the client’s instruction is based on supported knowledge of the information and a clear understanding of the solicitor’s advice to the client.
Once appointed, an Advocate will be available to attend the following:
- Consultations with legal teams.
- Court appearances, in order to provide support and to assist in explaining the proceedings and court outcomes to the client.
- Reading and explanation of reports, with feedback to the legal team in order to increase clarity of instruction.
- Attendance with the client at Case Conferences, Signs of Safety meetings, Reviews and other appointments related to their case.
For further information, or to make a referral, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.