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Dept. of Human Services v. N.S.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-02-2011
Case #: A147443
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Duncan, J. & Rosenblum, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A147443.pdf

Family Law: A court will not reverse a juvenile court's order of reunification to guardianship, despite a parent's participation in DHS services, when the parent places the child in harm's way.

Mother participated in Department of Human Services (DHS) parenting skills courses to gain reunification with her child. However, DHS learned that Mother’s brother was arrested at her home for failing to register as a sex offender. Mother's brother subsequently registered to live at Mother’s residence. Additionally, Mother’s boyfriend had a criminal past. DHS sought guardianship of the child, which the juvenile court granted. Mother appealed, arguing that DHS failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite her with child, and that the juvenile court incorrectly determined that mother had not made sufficient progress to allow child to safely return home within a reasonable time. The Court of Appeals agreed with the juvenile court, stating that DHS made reasonable efforts when it provided counseling and supervising visits for child and Mother. Secondly, the Court agreed that, despite participating in various services, Mother continued to conduct relationships with unsafe men, disregarding her child’s safety. Affirmed.