In the Matter of A. H., a Child.
T. L. H., Appellant. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
and submitted August 27, 2019
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss filed July 9, 2019,
Appellant's Response Filed July 23, 2019.
Columbia County Circuit Court 17J U0 34 57; Cathleen B.
Peterson, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for
appellant. Also on the briefs was Shannon Storey, Chief
Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense
C. Lucas, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for
respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum,
Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.
Lagesen, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Powers,
Summary: In this juvenile dependency case, father appeals
from a review hearing judgment, assigning error to the
juvenile court's order that he submit to a psychological
evaluation. Father contends that, under ORS 419B.387, the
court lacked authority to order the evaluation, arguing that
an evaluation did not qualify as "treatment or
training" and that sufficient proof had not been
established in a hearing to require the evaluation.
Held: In light of Dept. of Human Services v. D.
R. D., 298 Or.App. 788, 791, P.3d (2019), the Court of
Appeals concludes that ORS 419B.387 authorizes a
psychological evaluation when the evidence indicates that the
parent may require it as a component of [300 Or.App. 607]
additional treatment or training needed to "prepare the
parent to resume the care" of a child because of the
child's particular needs. In an evidentiary hearing, the
Department of Human Services established that father needed a
psychological evaluation as a component of such treatment or
training to resume care.
Or.App. 608] DEVORE, J.
juvenile dependency case, father appeals from a review
hearing judgment, assigning error to the juvenile court's
order that he submit to a psychological evaluation. Father
argues that, under ORS 419B.387, the court lacked authority
or evidence to order the evaluation, as related to
"treatment or training." In light of our recent
decision, Dept. of Human Services v. D. R. D., 298
Or.App. 788, ___ P.3d ___ (2019), we conclude that ORS
419B.387 authorizes a psychological evaluation when the
evidence indicates that the parent may require it as a
component of additional treatment or training needed to
"prepare the parent to resume the care" of a child
because of the child's particular needs.Because Department
of Human Services (DHS) established in an evidentiary hearing
that father needed a psychological evaluation as a component
of such treatment or training to resume care, we affirm.
review the juvenile court's legal conclusions for errors
of law and its findings for any evidence." Id.
at 791 (quoting Dept. of Human Services v. A. F.,
295 Or.App. 69, 71, 433 P.3d 459 (2018)). Father's child
became a ward of the court after removal from his mother in
April 2017, when he was two years old. The jurisdictional
judgment, as to father, asserted dependency jurisdiction over
the child due to (1) father having done nothing to assert
custody of his child despite his awareness of the allegations
against mother, and (2) his residential instability which
interfered with his ability to provide for his child. The
child was placed in foster care, and the case plan was to
reunify the child with his parents. As part of the
disposition, father was ordered to: (a) participate in a drug
and alcohol assessment and follow all related
recommendations; (b) engage in a psychological evaluation 60
days after sobriety and follow all related recommendations;
and (c) complete a parenting course.
the following year-and-a-half, father struggled with drug
addiction and homelessness. However, he participated in
services and, ultimately, secured housing. Meanwhile, the
child-who was diagnosed with adjustment [300 Or.App. 609]
disorder with anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity
disorder, speech sound disorder, and child neglect-was
receiving speech and occupational therapy, as well as mental
health counseling. Child also suffered from asthma so severe
that, on one occasion, it led to hospitalization.
progress towards reunification, DHS had concerns regarding
father's ability to provide appropriate care for his
child. The child began therapeutic visits at father's
residence, supervised by a counselor, who subsequently
recommended overnight visits. Father was also invited to
participate in his son's therapy appointments, but missed
about half. When he did attend, he appeared
"scattered," and he came in and out during the
therapy time. That, as well as reports of father's
continued substance abuse, and diluted and missed urinalysis
(UA) tests, raised red flags for DHS.
November 2018, DHS filed a motion requesting that the
juvenile court order father to submit to a psychological
evaluation. DHS noted the child's several diagnoses and
argued that the evaluation was necessary because "the
child has high behavioral needs, and the evaluation will
assess the father's ability to maintain a stable
residence while trying to parent a child whose needs are as
high as this child's needs." DHS highlighted that
father had only recently started engaging in services
addressing "his ability to maintain a stable and safe
residence for the child" and that he had done so without
"parenting the child full time." DHS also noted
father's past insobriety. DHS concluded that it needed
"to ensure that [father] has all services that he needs
in order to parent his ...