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In re T.R.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 19, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF T.R., Minor Child, A.R., Mother, Appellant

Editorial Note:

This opinion is subject to modification or correction by the court and is not final until the time for rehearing or further review has passed.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Angela L. Doyle, District Associate Judge. A.R. appeals the juvenile court ruling modifying a permanency order and transferring custody of her child, T.R., to the Department of Human Services.

Dani L. Eisentrager of Eisentrager Law Office, Eagle Grove, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Bruce Kempkes, Assistant Attorney General, Cori Kuhn-Coleman, County Attorney, and Jordan Brackey, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Justine Deppe of Deppe Law Office, Jewell, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

OPINION

BOWER, J.

A.R. appeals the juvenile court ruling modifying a permanency order and transferring custody of her child, T.R., to the Department of Human Services. A.R. claims services have not been offered to correct the situation leading to T.R.'s removal from her home, and modification is not in the child's best interests. Because of the multiple out of home placements of the child in the last year, prior accomplishments of the child while in structured settings, and the child's violent tendencies, we find modification and transfer of custody to the Department of Human Services is in the child's best interests.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

On October 19, 2007, T.R. was adjudicated a child in need of assistance. The child has been removed from the home several times and on at least six different occasions during the last year. The child, at the time of the hearing, was in secure detention pending a delinquency adjudication. The delinquency petition is the result of an alleged unprovoked brutal assault. The child has admitted to substance abuse, but the mother has failed to take any steps to address this problem.

A.R., the child's mother, has struggled to properly supervise and care for the child. During one period of time, the child was residing at least part of the time with A.R.'s sister. This is concerning because A.R.'s sister is married to and lives with a registered sex offender.

Much of the testimony presented during the hearing focused on A.R.'s poor relationship with her Department of Human Services (DHS) caseworker. A.R. claims she has no relationship with the caseworker and has been provided no meaningful services. The caseworker testified services have been offered and A.R. refuses to communicate with DHS and participate in services. For her part, A.R. has been involved with Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) hoping this would correct the issues in the home. However the child has not benefited from this program.

The juvenile court found modification to be in the best interests of the child because of the increasingly violent, aggressive, and disrespectful behavior recently exhibited. The court further found termination of the mother's parental rights was not in the child's best interests because of the child's age and likely objection to termination of the mother's parental rights. Finally, the juvenile court found DHS ...


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