IN RE S.J.W. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 28, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Randall D. Fleming, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, T.R.D.

Attorneys 2:

Nicholas A. Schaefer, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, S.M.W.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Mary Byrd Ferrara, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): SUSANO

T.R.D. (“Mother”) and S.M.W. (“Father”) appeal the termination of their rights to four minor children, S.J.W., B.H.D., J.E.W., and J.C.D. (“the Children”). The Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) had been involved with the family since 2006. DCS received multiple referrals regarding environmental neglect and lack of proper care of the Children. DCS made efforts to assist the parents in providing the Children with suitable housing and basic physical and medical care. In August 2010, DCS received another referral alleging environmental, medical, and nutritional neglect. New services were provided without substantial improvement. In October 2010, the Children were removed from the parents’ home and taken into temporary, protective custody. The following month, they were adjudicated dependent and neglected and placed in foster care. A year later, DCS filed a petition to terminate the parents’ rights. Following a bench trial, the court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that multiple grounds for termination exist as to both parents and that termination is in the Children’s best interest. Both Mother and Father appeal. We affirm.