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Mother's inability to care for children despite two years of services from DHS results in termination of parental rights

The court held that the trial court did not err by finding that the DHS made reasonable efforts to reunify the respondent-mother with the children (AG and AL). It also held that statutory grounds supported terminating her parental rights, and termination was in the children's best interests. Respondent (a developmentally delayed adult with an IQ of 61) complained that termination was improper as she "complied with the treatment plan to the best of her ability given her cognitive delays and the lack of services provided by the DHS." The DHS recognized her special needs and attempted to accommodate her. "Unfortunately, precursory hurdles had to be jumped." Respondent failed to follow through with paperwork, appointments, and meetings. She failed to inform her caseworker when she needed assistance with applications. AG and AL cannot remain indefinitely in foster care without a permanency plan awaiting respondent's cooperation to begin appropriately geared services. Moreover, termination was supported by two statutory grounds. As to § (c)(i), AG had been in care for nearly two years and AL for 1½ years. Yet, respondent had remedied none of the conditions that led to trial court intervention. She still lived with her mother and siblings in an unsuitable home. She remained unemployed and had made no educational gains. The most serious impediment to reunification - inability to manage the children's medical needs - also remained a concern. Given her "lackadaisical approach to important medical concerns," the trial court could determine that respondent would be unable to rectify this condition within a reasonable time. As to § (g), she admitted to case workers that she would be unable to care for the children's medical needs. Moreover, during parenting time sessions, she exhibited that she could not safely care for AG and AL without supervision, despite two years of services. She often ignored AL and failed to feed her, and she allowed AG to engage in activities. Given her inability to consistently comply with and benefit from services, the trial court did not err in finding that she would not be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time. Affirmed.


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