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Mother's parental rights terminated where she fails to participate in parenting classes, drug testing, and counseling

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the children. On appeal, she claimed that the DHS did not provide her with a service plan to achieve reunification. She wrongly asserted that the DHS did not formulate an initial service plan to help her regain custody of her children. Actually, a foster-care worker informed the trial court that the DHS "had created a treatment plan that involved parenting classes, drug testing, and counseling." Respondent chose not to participate in or avail herself of the services. She never attended the scheduled supervised parenting time, and did not maintain contact with her caseworker, the trial court, the guardian ad litem, or her attorney. She testified that she had not fully complied with drug screens or attended parenting classes. Respondent also acknowledged that the DHS gave her a full opportunity to reunite with the children. She further claimed that the services she was provided were not designed to address her heroin addiction, or to help her obtain housing and employment. However, she located and participated in treatment programs to help her overcome her heroin addiction. The "fact that respondent sought treatment independently in no way compels the conclusion that petitioner's efforts toward reunification were not reasonable, and, more to the point, does not suggest that respondent would have fared better if the worker had offered those additional services to [her]." Respondent, who accepted no personal responsibility to participate in the services provided to her by the state, could not now blame the DHS for her own failings. Affirmed.


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