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In the Matter of the v. Guardian Ad Litem

June 27, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE TERMINATION OF THE PARENTAL RIGHTS OF JANE (2012-02) DOE. IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & WELFARE, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM, RESPONDENT, JANE (2012-02) DOE, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Magistrate Division of the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Cathleen MacGregor-Irby, Magistrate.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 540

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk and

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED ) OPINION AND SHALL NOT ) BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Decree terminating parental rights, affirmed.

Jane Doe appeals from the order of the magistrate court terminating her parental rights to her youngest son (hereinafter Son), who was twenty-three months old at the time of trial. Doe asserts that the order was not supported by substantial and competent evidence of neglect and that termination was not in the best interests of Son. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Doe has five children, including Son.*fn1 Between 1999 and 2012, thirty-one child protection referrals regarding Doe and her children were made raising concerns of physical abuse, physical neglect, medical neglect, domestic violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and a hazardous home environment. In 2006, three of Doe's older children were placed in foster care as a result of neglect, and Doe was provided treatment for substance abuse through various inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. In 2008, Doe's parental rights to one of her children were terminated. Doe gave birth to Son in April 2010, at which point the 2006 child protection case was still ongoing.*fn2 Following the birth of Son, the Department of Health and Welfare (hereinafter Department) provided Doe with access to preventative services encouraging family preservation in the home in an effort to prevent Son from being placed in foster care.

In April 2011, shortly after Son's first birthday, Doe was involved in an altercation with her sister and arrested for battery, leaving no one with legal authority to care for Son.*fn3 As a result, Son was declared to be imminent danger, and eventually placed in foster care.*fn4 Law enforcement officers reported that Doe was intoxicated at the time of arrest, and Doe admitted that she had been drinking and taking pain medication. The Department assigned the new child protection case involving Son to April Crosby, the same case manager and social worker who had been working with Doe since 2007 as part of the previous child protection case.

On June 24, 2011, the court approved a case plan designed to prepare Doe to regain custody of Son. The case plan called for Doe to: (1) complete an updated substance abuse evaluation and follow all recommendations, including random drug testing; (2) work with her support system and treatment provider to develop a relapse prevention plan and provide the

Department with a copy; (3) complete psychological and neuropsychological testing and follow all recommendations; (4) obtain and maintain legitimate income or employment and provide proof to the Department; (5) obtain and maintain adequate housing; (6) participate in services addressing Son's special needs including the Infant Toddler Program, and follow all child care recommendations; and (7) attend Son's medical and therapy appointments, communicate with providers to understand Son's needs, and follow all recommendations.

On October 28, after a review hearing, the court made the following findings:

[Doe] has not demonstrated the ability to protect her children in the past under similar circumstances and family conditions. Three of [Doe]'s children entered foster care in March 2006 due to issues of homelessness, substance abuse and domestic violence within her family. [Doe] does not have adequate resources to meet the needs of her children and is currently struggling to meet her own needs.

[Doe] completed a substance abuse evaluation and a psychological, neuropsychological evaluation. [Doe] has not engaged in treatment for substance abuse and mental health despite referrals for services. [Doe] ceased participation in services through the Infant Toddler Program, resulting in [Son's] file being closed. [Doe] has been provided with [Son's] ...


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