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In re S.G.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 29, 2013



Kathy Szelagiewicz, Guardian Ad Litem Holly Simpson, for appellant.

Richard W. Moyer, for appellee.

William C. Randolph, for appellee.

Lauren Raizk, for Stephen Goins.



{¶ 1} Appellant, biological mother of S.G., appeals a decision of the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, granting permanent custody of S.G. to Clinton County Children Services ("CCCS"). For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

{¶ 2} On October 25, 2010, CCCS filed a complaint alleging that S.G. was an abused, neglected, and dependent child. In the complaint, CCCS alleged that when S.G. was sick at school, school personnel attempted to call appellant to pick up S.G. Appellant allegedly hung up on school personnel on several occasions. Eventually, school personnel reached appellant. Appellant allegedly later arrived at school via taxi after stopping at a convenience store to purchase two bottles of liquor. Appellant admitted to drinking.

{¶ 3} An initial hearing was held on November 16, 2010 where CCCS was granted protective supervision on an interim basis. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for December 15, 2010. Appellant was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with S.G. At the pretrial hearing, the juvenile court found that it was in the best interest of S.G. to be in the custody of CCCS, and S.G. was removed from placement with her maternal grandmother ("grandmother").

{¶ 4} At the adjudication hearing on January 3, 2011, appellant admitted to S.G. being a dependent child. All other allegations regarding S.G. were dismissed. Appellant was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with S.G., and the matter was set for disposition on January 18, 2011.

{¶ 5} At disposition, the juvenile court heard testimony and received evidence over a period of two days. The court ordered temporary custody of S.G. to CCCS, granted grandmother liberal visitation, and gave CCCS discretion over placement of S.G. Additionally, the court ordered a case plan to be adopted by CCCS that required appellant to complete parenting classes and demonstrate her understanding of parenting skills, learn to budget her finances in order to maintain a safe and clean environment, complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow through with recommendations, and maintain consistent visits with S.G. The case plan also required S.G. to obtain a mental health assessment. On October 31, 2011, the juvenile court ordered that the case plan be amended to include a requirement that appellant complete a mental health assessment and follow through with recommendations.

{¶ 6} Following several review hearings maintaining temporary custody of S.G. with CCCS, CCCS filed a motion to modify temporary custody to permanent custody on October 3, 2012. A hearing was held on the motion on February 11, 2013. An ongoing protective caseworker for CCCS, appellant, and a professional counselor who provides therapy to S.G. testified. S.G.'s guardian ad litem also briefly testified and filed a written report.

{¶ 7} The caseworker testified as to S.G.'s placement history and relationship with appellant, grandmother, father, and foster family. The caseworker testified that S.G. has been in the custody of CCCS since December 15, 2010. Prior to being placed in a foster home, S.G. lived temporarily with grandmother. After living with a foster family for approximately three months, S.G. was removed from this foster placement following hospitalization for exhibiting aggressive behavior, destroying property, and threatening to kill her foster parents. While waiting for a new foster family to complete foster training, S.G. lived with a second foster family for a period of approximately three months before moving to her current foster home. After moving to her current foster home in June 2011, S.G. sexually acted out, was aggressive, destroyed property, and urinated on the floor. As a result, she was placed in a treatment center for approximately six months. At this time, S.G. was only six years old. In September 2012, S.G. returned to the same foster home in which she was placed prior to treatment.

{¶ 8} The caseworker also testified as to S.G.'s relationships with her parents, her grandmother, and foster family. Regarding S.G.'s relationship with appellant, the caseworker testified that appellant struggled interacting with S.G. During supervised visits, appellant would often color by herself while S.G. played with other children. Additionally, the caseworker testified that S.G. stated appellant had "humped" and hurt her. The caseworker testified that S.G. also stated that she would not be sad if appellant died and that she wanted to take a knife to appellant's throat. As a result, CCCS decided that it was detrimental for appellant to have contact with S.G. The caseworker testified that grandmother initially participated in counseling with S.G. at the treatment center. However, grandmother has not visited with S.G. since she left the treatment center. S.G.'s brother lives with grandmother and concerns were raised regarding the prudence of placing S.G. and her brother together as S.G. had stated that she would stick a needle into her brother's eye to his brain until he died. The caseworker testified that S.G.'s father never visited. While he had expressed interest, S.G.'s father failed to attend an initial appointment to evaluate whether visitation was appropriate. When S.G.'s father wanted to visit S.G. while she was in the treatment center, the caseworker testified that S.G. stated that her father had "humped" her and she wanted to kill herself by cutting her throat. As a result, S.G. was ...

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