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Mother’s Loses Rights for Allowing Others in Home

The Court of Appeals summarily affirms the trial court terminating mother’s rights to her child under Va. Code § 16.1-283(C)(2):  clear and convincing evidence shows mother could not or would not substantially remedy the conditions requiring foster care after receiving services for 15 months.

For 10 months, several years before 2011, child was in the custody of the local department of social services (DSS).  DSS regained custody in April 2011, when child was age 7, for continued truancy and persistent head lice.  Mother was offered services including parenting classes, drug screens, pest control, and supervised visits.  DSS temporarily terminated visitation and charged mother with level three neglect and inadequate supervision after learning child was sexually abused by mother’s former boyfriend.  Contrary to DSS instructions for resuming visitation, mother continued to allow other people in her home, including an adult daughter and her friends who had drug problems and felony charges pending.  After 15 months, DSS petitioned to terminate mother’s rights.  The trial court terminated mother’s rights.

On appeal, mother disputes the sufficiency of evidence supporting termination.  We summarily affirm.  Section 16.1-283(C)(2) allows termination based on clear and convincing evidence a parent is unable or unwilling to substantially remedy the conditions requiring foster care after a reasonable period not to exceed 12 months.  Child was in foster care well over 12 months; mother continued to allow inappropriate, if not dangerous, people in her home despite warnings from DSS and others.  Her past actions and relationships are good indicators of the future; child’s best interests are not served by waiting indefinitely for change.

Judgment affirmed.

Hale v. Russell County Dep’t of Social Servs. (Per Curiam) No. 0483-13-3, Aug. 20, 2013; Russell Cir. Ct. (Moore) David R. Tiller for appellant; A. Benton Chaffin Jr. for appellee; Bruce H. Russell II, Guardian ad litem. VLW 013-7-223(UP), 5 pp.

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