In re Interest of Jeffrey S. and Ronnie S.

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In re Interest of Jeffrey S. and Ronnie S.

Caselaw No.
Filed on
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SUMMARY: Termination of parental rights was proper where the father, over 30 months of the children being in foster care, failed to make significant progress in maintaining income and housing, could not manage the children’s special needs, did not consistently attend therapy.

Jeffrey S., DOB 1/06, and Ronnie S., DOB 6/07, were removed from the mother’s care on March 27, 2008. She eventually relinquished her parental rights. On April 1, 2008, a 3a petition was filed alleging the father, Jeffrey, did not have independent housing, worked part-time and was not in a position to parent his children. Jeffrey admitted to the allegations in August 2008. For the next 30 months, Jeffrey was offered supervised visitation, therapy, job and housing assistance. However, he was inconsistent with visits, could not show certain parenting skills and was never able to progress past supervised visits. Jeffrey was also inconsistent with therapy and eventually stopped attending. He also had positive drug tests in September and November 2010 and did not maintain stable housing and employment. Finally, Jeffrey did not consistently attend planning meetings to address the children’s special needs and, when he did, he was argumentative to the point that it disrupted the meeting. After a series of dispositional hearings, the State filed a motion to terminate his parental rights in September 2010. After trial, the court terminated Jeffrey’s parental rights. Jeffrey appealed.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the court’s order. The Court of Appeals noted Jeffrey’s failures to take advantage of services and noted the caseworkers’ testimony that termination was in the children’s best interests before agreeing with their conclusion.