Dept. of Human Services v. S.W.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 11-26-2014
  • Case #: A155971
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; & DeVore, J.; Ortega, P.J. dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

Father's failure to participate with DHS in its efforts to reunify him with his daughter did not undermine the reasonableness of those efforts.

Father appealed the juvenile court’s judgment changing his daughter’s permanency plan from reunification to adoption. Father raised seven assignments of error, one of which the Court focused on. Father argued the Department of Human Services (DHS) did not make “reasonable efforts” to reunite Father and his daughter. DHS argued that it made “reasonable efforts” to communicate with Father, despite his incarceration, and made clear what it expected of Father, namely that he show his substance abuse was no longer a problem. The Court found that, under the totality of the circumstances, the juvenile court’s conclusion that DHS had made reasonable efforts was correct. Because DHS provided Father with services and opportunities which Father did not embrace, including a 33 month period where Father only once requested a visit with his daughter, DHS’s efforts were reasonable. Father’s failure to establish a relationship with his daughter does not undermine the reasonable efforts DHS made. Affirmed.

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