Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E
Not for Publication -103(G) Ariz. R.P. Juv. Ct.; Rule 28 ARCAP
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD-508567 The Honorable Brian K. Ishikawa, Judge.
Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General By Eric Devany, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security Mesa.
The Stavris Law Firm, PLLC By Alison Stavris Attorneys for Appellant.
MARGARET H. DOWNIE, Judge.
¶1 Veronica A. ("Mother") appeals an order terminating her parental rights. For the following reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 Mother's five older children ("the Children") are R.A., born in September 1998; D.A., born in September 2001; A.R., born in September 2004; T.R., born in January 2006; and V.R., born in May 2008. R.A. has cystic fibrosis and requires multiple daily breathing treatments, use of an airway clearance device ("vest") at least twice a day, and daily medications.
¶3 Between 2000 and 2010, Child Protective Services ("CPS") received several reports about the family, including concerns that: (1) Mother was not meeting R.A.'s special needs; (2) the family home was "filthy" and infested with cockroaches; (3) Mother was using methamphetamine and marijuana; and (4) the Children were dirty, and had lice, rotten teeth, and insufficient food.
¶4 Mother participated in Family Builders services in 2006 and 2008. In early 2010, she voluntarily placed the Children with others because she was "overwhelmed." During that time, R.A. "improved physically, gained weight, and appeared healthier." After about a month, though, the Children returned to Mother.
¶5 CPS continued to receive "continuous concerns and calls" about the Children's safety, including Mother's failure to attend to R.A.'s medical needs, and the Children having lice and missing excessive amounts of school. In April 2010, CPS noted that the family had been without water for more than a week. R.A.'s vest was broken "again, " and a social worker expressed "continued concerns" about Mother's irresponsibility in caring for R.A. R.A.'s physician, Dr. Radford, advised that Mother expected R.A. to care for herself and failed to provide daily medical treatments. Mother also admitted smoking marijuana "a couple times a week."
¶6 In May 2010, CPS removed the Children from the home, which smelled strongly of marijuana and had cockroaches on the walls. R.A. had missed 95 out of 166 school days; D.A. had missed 55 out of 196 days; and A.R. had gone to kindergarten one week, was "sent away because of his discipline problems, " and never re-enrolled. Dr. Radford advised CPS that Mother was so inconsistent with R.A.'s care that the child required antibiotics and/or hospitalization every couple of months. R.A.'s weight and lung function were not stable, reducing her life expectancy. Meanwhile, V.R.'s foster mother took her to urgent care, where medical staff spent an hour removing wax and dirt from her ears.
¶7 On May 10, 2010, the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("ADES") filed a dependency petition, alleging Mother was unable to parent due to: (1) medical neglect of R.A.; (2) a chronic history of neglecting the Children; (3) neglect due to substance abuse; and (4) mental health issues. ADES agreed to provide services, including a parent aide, substance abuse assessment/treatment/testing, and mental health services. The case plan goal was family reunification.
¶8 Also in May, R.A. was admitted to the hospital because her lung capacity was down 30% and she needed intravenous antibiotics. During a follow-up appointment, the physician noted dramatic improvement and released R.A. to her foster ...