No. 678 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Decision and Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Family Division, Juvenile Section, No. 1123 of 1977, dated July 18, 1980.
Eileen D. Yacknin, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Mark S. Drier, Pittsburgh, for Wesley Hall, appellee.
James Esler, Assistant County Solicitor, Pittsburgh, for Children Services, participating party.
Vincent DeFalice, Pittsburgh, for McHale, participating party.
Cavanaugh, Johnson and Shertz, JJ.
[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 497]
This is an appeal from an order authorizing the transfer of Wesley Hall, a nine-year-old boy, from the Home for Crippled Children ("HCC") in Pittsburgh to the Sarah Reed Children's Home ("Sarah Reed") in Erie, Pennsylvania. Appellant, John F. Hall, is Wesley's natural father, and Appellee Nancy McHale, who has joined Appellant's Brief, is Wesley's natural mother. They contend that the hearing judge erred (1) by failing to afford them a meaningful opportunity to participate in the planning for Wesley's transfer; and (2) by disregarding less restrictive alternative placements for Wesley. We disagree and affirm.
Wesley is a deeply disturbed, multi-problem child.*fn1 He has been under the supervision of the Children and Youth
[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 498]
Services ("CYS") by court order since May, 1973. In July, 1973, Wesley and his brother were found to be dependent and removed from their parents' home. Since that time, Wesley had had 18 placements, including foster homes, his own home, WPIC, HCC and Sarah Reed.
Wesley was placed at HCC, a very intensive treatment center that handles disabled, brain damaged and emotionally disturbed children, in May, 1979. Approximately one year after his placement at HCC, Wesley was considered ready for discharge,*fn2 and the clinical staff at HCC began to consider options available for Wesley's future placement and continued treatment.*fn3 Several alternatives, including specialized foster family care, placement at the Holy Family Institute, or Bradley Center, both located in Allegheny County, or at Sarah Reed, were considered at that time. In May, 1980, a second planning conference was held and possible placements for Wesley were again discussed. It was attended by a representative of CYS, a representative of HCC, and a representative of Allegheny County Mental Health/Mental Retardation.
CYS was then formally notified by HCC in June, 1980, that Wesley was ready for discharge from HCC. CYS, in turn, made referrals to Sarah Reed, Holy Family Institute, and Bradley Center, based on the recommendations of the HCC staffing conference and the subsequent planning conference.*fn4 Sarah Reed was considered the optimal placement for Wesley for several ...