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Dept. of Human Services v. R.D.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-10-2013
Case #: A151701
Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A151701.pdf

Juvenile Law: To change a plan from reunification to adoption at a permanency hearing, DHS has the burden of proving that (1) DHS made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return home safely, and (2) that the parent had not made sufficient progress for that to occur.

Child appealed from a permanency judgment entered in juvenile court that continued a plan to return child to mother and father instead of changing the plan to adoption. Child was removed from parent’s custody the day after she was born. Both parents were convicted sex offenders, had mental health issues and substance abuse problems. On appeal, child argued that based on the evidence presented at the permanency hearing, mother would never be an adequate parent. To change the plan from reunification to adoption, DHS has the burden of proving that (1) DHS made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return home safely, and (2) that the parent had not made sufficient progress for that to occur. The Court held that DHS failed to make reasonable efforts to provide necessary services to mother because DHS failed to secure a provider for mother’s sex offender treatment for 16 months. The Court held that the juvenile court did not conclude that mother could never be an adequate parent, and as such, they did not determine that parents had not made sufficient progress for child to return safely home. The juvenile court did not err in continuing the plan for reunification. Affirmed.