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Renee F. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 3, 2013

RENEE F., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, J.F., Appellees.

         Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD20254 The Honorable Cari A. Harrison, Judge

Thomas A. Vierling, Phoenix Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Eric Devany Counsel for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security

Judge Jon W. Thompson delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop and Judge Margaret H. Downie joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

THOMPSON, JUDGE

¶1 Renee F. (Renee) appeals from the juvenile court's order severing her parental rights to her child, J.F.[1] For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 J.F. was born in 2003. One day in April 2011, Renee failed to pick J.F. up from school, and when the school could not reach Renee by phone Phoenix police went to Renee's home. Upon entering the home, police found roach and animal feces, black mold, spider webs, five-foot high piles of clothing and trash, and a non-working kitchen sink and stove. A police officer opined that the house was "uninhabitable for any living creature." Renee disclosed to police and a Child Protective Services (CPS) case manager that she had been addicted to heroin and cocaine and had recently relapsed. She later admitted that she started using marijuana at the age of fourteen, heroin at the age of fifteen, and that she had last used cocaine a few days prior to the intake, at the age of fifty. J.F. had been born cocaine exposed. CPS removed J.F. from Renee's home and placed him in foster care. J.F. had a tick on his skin and disclosed that he had had other ticks on his body that Renee had removed.

¶3 The Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) filed a dependency petition. The juvenile court found that J.F. was a dependent child as to Renee and as to J.F.'s unidentified father.[2] The court approved a case plan of family reunification, and CPS put services into place.

¶4 Renee's participation in services was inconsistent. She participated in a psychological consultation with Dr. Shane Hunt in May 2011. Dr. Hunt recommended that Renee complete a substance abuse education program at TERROS, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and that she complete bi-weekly urinalysis testing. He recommended supervised visitation, and that Renee complete a psychological evaluation. Dr. Hunt further recommended that Renee become self-sufficient by obtaining employment and appropriate housing.

¶5 Renee began urinalysis testing in May 2011. She was required to complete five tests from May 10, 2011 to May 31, 2011, but failed to test at all that month. From June to August 2011, Renee completed four tests which were negative for drugs and alcohol, but missed five tests and had nine tests which were positive for alcohol. From September to December 2011, Renee completed seven tests which were negative for drugs and alcohol, missed thirteen tests, and tested positive three times: once for alcohol, once for cannabinoids, and once for cocaine. From January to May 2012, she completed eleven negative tests, missed ten tests, and tested positive for cocaine on May 29. In June and July 2012, Renee failed to test altogether, and testing had to be set up again. From August through December 2012, Renee had four negative tests, one invalid test, and nineteen missed tests.

¶6 Renee did an intake with TERROS in May 2011. However, TERROS closed out the referral because Renee had been receiving outpatient services at Chicanos por la Causa and she wanted to continue there. CPS agreed with this arrangement. Chicanos por la Causa provided Renee with both individual and group counseling sessions.

¶7 Renee began sessions with a parent aide in September 2011. By January 2012, the parent aide had concerns about Renee's lack of stable housing, lack of employment, and her failure to complete parenting homework assignments on time. These concerns continued throughout the dependency, until at least November 2012. Additionally, Renee missed several skills sessions, and the ...


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