Dept. of Human Services v. A. S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 05-25-2016
  • Case #: A160209
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

For a permanency plan to be changed, ORS 419B.476(2)(a) requires the juvenile court to determine that the Department of Human Services (DHS) made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the ward to safely return home.

Mother and Father appealed a judgment changing the permanency plan for their son from reunification to “durable guardianship" with the son’s maternal grandparents. For a permanency plan to be changed, ORS 419B.476(2)(a) requires the juvenile court to determine that DHS has made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the ward to safely return home. The reasonable efforts standard does not require DHS to provide every service recommended to the parent and is based on the totality of circumstances. Before a plan can be changed from reunification, ORS 419B.476(2)(a) requires the Court to consider whether the parents' progress is sufficient to make it possible for the child to safely return home. In this case the Court concluded that both parents’ progress was too slow and too late to find that reintegration of the child with the parents would occur within a reasonable time. The Court’s rationale for this finding was that two years had passed without adequate progress by the parents, despite extensive involvement by DHS. Juvenile court did not err. Affirmed.

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