Dept. of Human Services v. S. S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 06-08-2016
  • Case #: A160077
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The Department of Human Services must undertake reasonable efforts to make it possible for children to safely return home based on circumstances that exist prior to a permanency hearing and that period must be sufficient in length to afford a good opportunity to assess parental progress.

Mother appealed the juvenile court’s decision to change her children’s permanency plan to adoption without considering the reasonableness of the efforts that the Department of Human Services (DHS) made to reunite her and her children over the entire life of the case. Instead, the juvenile court only considered the most recent few months of reunification efforts by DHS as the basis for its determination. The Court held that four months is not sufficient in length to afford a good opportunity to assess a family’s progress toward reunification or to assess the children’s progress toward reestablishing a relationship with Mother. Reversed and remanded.

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