In re J.C. & T.F., JuvenilesAnnotate this Case
Mother appealed a superior court order adjudicating the minors J.C. and T.F. to be children in need of care and supervision (CHINS). An in-home service provider with the Early Head Start program who visited the family on several occasions in 2014 observed a number of cruel and abusive interactions between mother and her stepdaughter K.P. Based on the Head Start provider’s report, a social worker with the Department for Children and Families also visited the home. She observed that mother appeared to be stressed, overwhelmed, and agitated throughout the visits, noted the cruel treatment of K.P., and also observed an incident in which mother grabbed J.C. by the arms and forced the child onto a couch. Mother testified that she regularly suffered from depression, and had been prescribed medication but was not taking it. Father testified about his own extensive history of drug abuse and struggles to stay clean and sober. Although his work kept him away from the home for much of the time, he testified that he had no concerns about mother’s treatment of the children. The court concluded that mother had emotionally and physically abused K.P., and further concluded that the evidence demonstrated mother’s general inability to properly care for J.C. and T.F. and her need for parenting education. The court noted father’s need for continued substance abuse treatment. Based on these conclusions, the court adjudicated both children to be CHINS, and set the matter for a disposition hearing. This appeal by mother followed. Mother argued that the evidence and findings failed to support the judgment, and that the court’s findings were conclusory and inadequate. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.