In Re: Shirley B.Annotate this Case
Petitioner Ms. B. and Mr. T. are the biological parents of Shirley, Jordan, Davon and Cedric (collectively, "the Children"). In 2005, the Children were referred to Prince George's County Department of Social Services following reports of neglect and sexual abuse. A subsequent psychological evaluation revealed that Ms. B. was cognitively impaired, and that the Children had special needs of their own. Ms. B. was largely unresponsive to the Department's assistance, and she allowed vital benefits to lapse. She also allowed unauthorized adults to move into her home, exposing the Children to drug use and sexual activity. After a violent altercation between Ms. B., Mr. T. and Shirley, the Department sought to remove the Children from Ms. B.'s care. Proceedings at juvenile court ended with the Children being permanently removed from their home. Ms. B. appealed the decision, arguing the Department failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite her with her children, claiming she did not receive any specialized parenting services. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the juvenile court's decision. On appeal, the Supreme Court reviewed the lower courts' records and affirmed their decisions: "the Department actively tried to connect the mother with services that could potentially assist her in her parental role… Accordingly, it made reasonable efforts toward unification."