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In re L.K.W.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

July 24, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF L.K.W. and J.C.W. JR., Minor Children, F.M.B., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Craig M. Dreismeier, District Associate Judge.

A mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights.

Sara E. Benson or Rouwenhorst & Rouwenhorst, P.C., Council Bluffs, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, Matthew Wilber, County Attorney, and Dawn Landon, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee

Roberta Megel, State Public Defender Office, for father.

Marti Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Danilson and Mullins, JJ.

DANILSON, J.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children, L.K.W. and J.C.W., Jr.[1] The children were removed from her custody after they were found to be suffering from neglect. Since that time, the mother has not shown that she is any more prepared to or able to properly care for the children after reasonable services have been provided to her. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

L.K.W. was born in December 2010 and was two years old at the time of the termination hearing. J.C.W., Jr. was born in May 2009 and was three years old at the time of the hearing.

The children were removed from their parents' custody on June 1, 2012.[2]At the time of removal, L.K.W. was hospitalized. She was behind on her immunizations and was later diagnosed with scurvy, a rare disease with possibly serious consequences[3] which is caused by malnourishment. At the time of removal L.K.W. had regressed and was no longer able to roll over or stand. After L.K.W.'s admittance to the hospital, a social worker visited the mother's home which she shared with the children's grandmother and other family members. At the time of the visit, J.C.W. Jr. was found naked in the garage with another family member living in the house; his body was very dirty. He exhibited developmental and behavioral issues. The social worker found the home itself to be unsanitary. It was "cluttered with dirty clothing, blankets, dishes, paper, toys, garbage and other debris. . . . The kitchen smelled terrible of garbage. The sink was over flowing with dirty dishes." A marijuana pipe was also found in the home. When asked where the clean clothes for the children were kept, the social worker was told they were "working on it." At the time there was little food in the home. The family was also in the process of being evicted. The mother did not have a job and did not have a place to move to. She disclosed that she had been suffering from depression and anxiety for a number of years.

On August 1, 2012, both children were adjudicated a child in need of assistance. The court noted that the children's father no longer had contact with them. It also noted that the mother did not have employment, income, or any place to reside after being evicted. The court ordered the family to participate in family safety, risk, and permanency services and ...


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