IN THE MATTER OF: K.H. (DOB 3-12-01) MINOR CHILD S.C. (DOB 12-9-02) MINOR CHILD
from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Family Court
Division, Case Nos. 2016JCV00175 and 2016JCV00176
Plaintiff-Appellant mother S.H. WAYNE GRAHAM
Defendant-Appellee BRANDON J. WALTENBAUGH Stark County DJFS
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E.
Appellant S.H. appeals from the August 18, 2017 Judgment
Entries of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Family
Court Division, granting permanent custody of her two
children to Stark County Department of Jobs and Family
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
K.H. (DOB 3/12/01) and S.C. (DOB 12/9/02) are appellant's
biological children. The two have different fathers. On March
2, 2016, appellee Stark County Department of Jobs and Family
Services (SCDJFS) filed a complaint in Case No. 2016JCV00175
alleging that K.H. was dependent and neglected. On the same
date, appellee SCDJFS filed a complaint in Case No.
2016JCV00176 alleging that S.C. was dependent and neglected.
The two girls were placed in the temporary custody of the
On May 26, 2016, the trial court found K.H. and S.C. to be
dependent children and placed them in temporary custody of
Thereafter, on June 6, 2017, appellee SCDJFS filed complaints
in both cases seeking permanent custody of K.H. and S.C. A
hearing on the motions was held on August 16, 2017.
At the hearing, Barbara Ballway, a caseworker at SCDJFS,
testified that she was assigned to the family in March of
2016. She testified that K.H. and S.C. had remained in the
temporary custody of the agency since May 26, 2016 and that
such period of time was in excess of twelve of the last
twenty-two months. Ballway testified that appellant last
visited with K.H. and S.C. on October 11, 2016 because her
visits had been suspended by the court after she was late for
more than two consecutive visits in a row. While Ballway
asked appellant to come in and meet with her to pursue having
the visits reinstated, appellant did not do so. Ballway
further testified that K.H. and S.C. had gone AWOL from their
placement several times during the life of the case and had
told her that they had seen appellant during those times.
Ballway was questioned about appellant's case plan. She
testified that appellant was initially ordered in March of
2016 to complete a parenting evaluation through Northeast
Ohio Behavioral Health, to submit to drug testing as
requested and to submit to an assessment through CommQuest
Services. According to Ballway, appellant was unsuccessfully
discharged from CommQuest for lack of compliance, had not
completed the parenting evaluation, and was inconsistent in
her drug screens. Appellant was discharged from CommQuest on
April 19, 2016 for failure to appear. Ballway testified that
appellant had not been able to maintain housing or employment
throughout the case and that she had been unable to maintain
consistent contact with appellant because appellant's
phone numbers and living situation changed frequently.
Ballway also testified that appellant had criminal charges
throughout the case. The following is an excerpt from her
testimony at the hearing:
Q: Okay. And has mother had some uh…criminal issues
throughout the case?
A: Yes, she has.
Q: And do you know the nature of those criminal issues?
A: I do. Um…mom was charged um…in November of
'16 with possessing drug abuse instruments. She was
charged in February of this year with Interference of
Custody. She was charged in March of this year with
Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. April of this year with
Possession of drug abuse instruments. Um… the end of
April of this, uh…4-29 of this year, she was also
charged with possessing drug abuse instruments and possession
Q: Okay. And do those particular criminal incidents cause
concern as it relates to the mothers ...