A family court terminated the parental rights of a mother because she permanently neglected her four children. The children, the youngest of which are twins, have been in foster care since 1997 after they were neglected based on the court’s findings of domestic violence by both the mother and the twins’ father. Sources said that the mother also sexually abused one of her children.
To strengthen the parental relationship while the children remained in foster care, the mother was required to attend a domestic violence support group, parenting classes, facilitated visitation with the children, counseling and sex offender treatment. Sources said that although the mother participated in all of the programs and services required, she failed to successfully complete the sex offender program because she refused to admit the abuse. The court also found that the mother had failed to adequately plan for her children’s future due to her sporadic continuing relationship with the twins’ father. The mother also failed to demonstrate progress in her parenting skills.
The mother refuted the allegations of negligence and sexual abuse. She related that the agency, to encourage a meaningful relationship between her and her children, referred her to a sex offender program which was predominately male and that she complained to the caseworker that she was uncomfortable being the only female in the group. The mother attended all of the required sessions in the program but she was deemed to have failed to complete the program due to her unwillingness to admit to the sexual abuse. According to the mother, she was unwilling to admit to the abuse because she maintains her innocence, rather than because of any discomfort she experienced in group therapy. In any event, her caseworker did inform the mother that she could attend a group at an alternate location but the mother failed to take advantage of that opportunity.
The court held that an agency may terminate the parental rights when it has made diligent efforts to reunite a family and that, despite those efforts, the parent facing termination has not met those goals and objectives. Once the agency shows that it has made diligent efforts to reunite the family, the parent facing termination must show a meaningful plan for the children’s future, including that he or she has addressed the problems that caused the removal. Where a parent mandated by a family court to enter or remain in a sex-offender program refused to do so, that parent had not adequately planned for the future.
A counselor who worked with the mother opined that the mother benefitted only marginally from the counseling and that at times she continued to reveal a lack of insight and empathy to Michael’s condition. According to the counselor, the mother’s refusal to accept responsibility for actions have so detrimentally impacted her son.
Domestic violence affects everyone, especially the children who witness or are victims of such. Being a victim of domestic violence is difficult for all. To ensure that your rights are protected, there are New York Domestic Violence Attorneys who will stand by you and help see you through your case. These Attorneys will argue your side and make sure you are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its NY Family Lawyers, has offices conveniently located throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys will provide you with advice to guide you through your difficult situations. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.
In addition to Family Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates will recommend Assault Lawyers who will help you.