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In re S.A.D.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 13, 2014

In the Matter of S. A. D., a Child.
v.
M. D., Appellant DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,

Argued and Submitted August 22, 2014.

Jackson County Circuit Court No. 13JU01640. Patricia Crain, Judge.

Shannon Flowers, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With her on the brief was Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, Office of Public Defense Services.

Shannon T. Reel, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With her on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General.

Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

OPINION

Page 87

[266 Or.App. 790] ORTEGA, P. J.

Mother appeals a jurisdictional and dispositional judgment, challenging the juvenile court's determination that the Department of Human Services (DHS) had made " active efforts," as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to make it possible for the child to return home to mother and to address mother's mental health issues. Because the record was legally sufficient to support the juvenile court's determination as to DHS's efforts, we affirm.

" [W]e view the evidence, as supplemented and buttressed by permissible derivative inferences, in the light most favorable to the trial court's disposition and assess whether, when so viewed, the record was legally sufficient to permit that outcome." Dept. of Human Services v. N.P., 257 Or.App. 633, 639, 307 P.3d 444 (2013). We " assume the correctness of the juvenile court's explicit findings of historical fact if these findings are supported by any evidence in the record." Id.

The underlying facts are undisputed. Prior to child's birth, mother had been diagnosed with anxiety, depressive disorder, paranoia delusional disorder, schizophrenia, schizophrenia form disorder, and " possible paranoid schizophrenia." Mother gave birth to child on October 1, 2013, and, that same day, mother was placed on a psychological hold. The next day, DHS removed child from mother's care and placed child in community foster care. DHS then filed a dependency petition alleging that mother's " chronic mental health problems interfere with her ability to safely parent the child."

Twice in the first five weeks, DHS caseworkers met with mother to discuss child's safety and the conditions for returning child. Because mother indicated that she had been subjected to domestic violence from child's father, DHS caseworker Jennifer Nye proposed obtaining a neuropsychological evaluation to determine whether mother had a head injury that caused behavior resembling mental illness. Mother agreed to that referral.

In mid-November, Nye referred mother to Dr. Villanueva for a neuropsychological evaluation, but he was unable to [266 Or.App. 791] accept the referral. Nye then contacted Dr. Morell, who told her that a neuropsychological evaluation would not help to determine mother's capacity to parent or to be safe for her child, or what services should be provided. Instead, Morell recommended a psychological evaluation first, to determine whether a neuropsychological evaluation would be appropriate. Nye then scheduled a psychological evaluation with Morell on the first available date, which was February 27, 2014 (one month after the jurisdictional and dispositional hearing and nearly five months after child's removal). Nye testified that, if Morell had a cancellation, mother's appointment might happen sooner.

By the time of the hearing, Nye had met with mother on five occasions, but did not think that she was making progress with mother because mother did not seem to understand what Nye was saying. As a result, Nye had decided not to schedule any other services until after the psychological evaluation.

Initially, DHS allowed mother to have one two-hour supervised visit with child each week; DHS later increased the visits to three one-hour visits each week to promote bonding. DHS provided gas ...


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