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Section 20 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist

Section 20 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist


Section 20 Reports - Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist
Section 20 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist  Call 087 387 6841 or email

When it comes to determining the outcome of a family matter in court, there are different types of reports that can be used for evidence to help with this process. Call 087 387 6841                                  or email

A judge can request a Section 20 report in order to provide further information on the safety or welfare of a child who could be involved in proceedings.

What does a Section 20 report contain?

Section 20 reports are typically a shortened version of a Section 47 report. A judge can request a Section 20 report to gain further information about the circumstances of a child in relation to their health, care, safety or welfare. 

The report is compiled through assessments that will determine the necessary background information, as well as an evaluation of the parents and children involved in the matter. The best outcomes for the child/ren going forward could be determined regarding access or placement or visitation  .  The Court want to see a clear evaluation and recommendations which they are under no obligation to follow however must be comprehensive. the assessment is done within a strengths and challenges approach so that all factors regarding the child can be balanced and fair. What needs to happen in order for the child/ren to have the best chance for their future well-being. 

Call 087 387 6841  or email

Section 20 reports can be useful in determining the best interests for the family and children involved in proceedings. 

These reports are sensitive in nature and require sensitivity and balance to provide a judge with the most comprehensive account.

Getting further information about Section 20 report 

Caroline Goldsmith is a  psychologist specialising in autism and in Section 20 reports, as well as other assessments that can benefit legal proceedings. Call today for a quote for a Section 20 Report in Ireland on 087 387 6841, or email for further information.


Section 47 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist

Section 47 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist

Section 47 Reports - Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist
Section 47 Reports – Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist


When a dispute over child welfare ends up in court, it’s not uncommon for a Section 47 report to be issued. These reports offer a much more in-depth look at a family situation than a standard Section 20 report. Most often, a judge ends up requesting a Section 47 report in order to obtain more information about a family situation or a child’s well-being. They are typically requested when there is any suspicion that a child may be in danger or experiencing harm at home. Section 47 Reports –  Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist

A Section 47 report typically includes an extensive process of collecting relevant information, including: 

  • Background and history
  • A parental assessment and evaluation
  • A child assessment and evaluation

One of the biggest benefits of having a Section 47 report according to  Caroline Goldsmith Psychologist, is that it tends to leave no doubt as to what should be done for the best interest of a child.

Difference between a Section 20 and a section 47 Report

Section 20 reports are usually shorter versions of what’s going on in a family environment. However although this can be said to offer a snapshot of all the issues, it doesn’t always offer a full or accurate depiction of the true environment that could/should be used in a court. A Section 47 report really dives deeper into the child’s best living environment surrounding issues and best interests. As a result, a more accurate portrayal will be made and it’s more likely the child will be placed in the home  or placement that is best for them. 

If you have any questions on whether this is the report you require, or would like to know more about these reports or you’d like more information about how parental/child assessments are completed, contact this number for a quote in Ireland at 087 387 6841, or email


Parental Capacity Assessment (PCA)

Parental Capacity Assessment (PCA)

Psychologist 087 387 6841

Caroline Goldsmith Consulting Clinical Psychologist at Waterford Psychology talks about the need for evidence based Parental Capacity Assessment (PCA)

In no other situation is the need for evidenced based practice more of an issue than with Parental Capacity Assessment (PCA).

When is a PCA necessary?

Families are referred for a PCA when the professionals involved with the family:

  • are unsure of a parent’s capacity.
  • have serious concerns but limited evidence to reach a definite decision about the long term future of the child(ren).
  • believe there is significant risk but there is potential for change and for the family to remain together.

What is involved?

PCAs are carried out either on a residential basis or in the home.

When a PCA is community based, parents are observed over a number of visits in their own home with their children or in access/contact facilities.

Components of Assessments

We are committed to providing a first class service and believe that the components of the assessment should include:

  • A comprehensive approach with both the psychological profiling of the families and frequent behavioural observations
  • Multiple observations and reporting over time
  • Residential or Home based
  • Efficient and timely approach
  • Independent
  • Comprehensive recommendations
  • Ongoing interventions when appropriate
  • Providing  a court witness and report

Who can request a PCA?

PCAs are often requested by TUSLA social workers, child protection teams, Guardian Ad Litem or Court services. You may not agree with the conclusions and recommendations which have been made.

We are happy to meet with you and go through the reports and explain the rationale behind them.

If you require a second opinion contact us to complete a second assessment.

Seeking an independent second opinion is your right in law.

Caroline Goldsmith is a proponent of best practice laid down by the International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA)

The fee for the service and a payment plan can be discussed

Call: 087 387 6841 or email us:


Older People and Asperger Syndrome

Older People and Asperger Syndrome

An increasing number of older men are seeking diagnosis in later life. This trend is also matched in older women too which seems to be a growing trend to discover if they have Asperger Syndrome or some other condition.  A welcome realisation is that nowadays being diagnosed with a condition is no longer something to be feared.

Apparently in the older population who are seeking understanding of themselves, the fear surrounding revealing one has a condition are disappearing.

A diagnosis can give new insight, explain behaviours and help people understand why they do the things they do.  When older people with Asperger Syndrome realise they are not alone and there is a name for life long patterns of behaviours and habits, the knowledge can be very empowering and bring a sense of relief that they are not alone.

In a rare study looking at older adults with autism, Hilde Geurts, a neuropsychologist at the University of Amsterdam, followed up on the observation that many of the men and women she sees in her autism clinic also have depression. This suggested to her that older adults with depression warrant a closer look for signs of autism.

Diagnosis seems to give them a new insight as to understanding  how and why they feel depressed which is often linked to frustration and anxiety.  Often key features of people with Autism.

The Geurts study, published late last year, revealed that 31 percent of adults between 60 and 90 years of age who have depression also show signs of autism, compared with only 6 percent of older adults without depression.

“Most people still think that if [someone has] autism, it should have been diagnosed early in life, because it can be,” Geurts says. “When there is indeed someone with a long history of depression and difficulties in life, you still need to think about a diagnosis of autism.”

Coping skills:

Geurts and her colleagues are following a group of older adults with autism to see whether certain skills track with depression. They’re particularly interested in whether depression might stem from a sense of helplessness in one’s daily life.

“We want to see whether mastery — whether you can make your decisions yourself — has an influence on how strong the relationship between autism and depression is,” she says.