No. 336 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans Court Division, of Erie County, No. 133 In Adoption 1981.
Terrence P. Cavanaugh, Erie, for appellant.
Jeffrey A. Connelly, Erie, for appellees.
William A. Dopierala, Erie, for Childrens, participating party.
Cavanaugh, Brosky and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 552]
This is an appeal from a final order dated March 1, 1982, involuntarily terminating the parental rights of J.C. to her children K.S.C., age 15, and D.J.C., age 12.*fn1 For the reasons stated below, we vacate the order and remand the case to the lower court.
In December of 1977, J.C., who resided in Corry, Pennsylvania, voluntarily entrusted K.S.C. and D.J.C. to Children's Services for temporary placement in a foster home. At that time, J.C. was seriously handicapped from an automobile accident the previous year. On July 17, 1978, the children were adjudicated dependent and, at the same time, J.C. was ordered to cooperate with the services offered by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation. J.C. did, in fact, obtain employment, through B.V.R., at the Gertrude Barber Center in Corry, where she remained until July of 1979. K.S.C. and D.J.C. were placed in their present foster home in Erie (30 miles away from their mother) in February of 1979.*fn2 Short visits took place at J.C.'s residences. In April 1980,
[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 553]
three weekend visits were arranged at an apartment J.C. shared in Erie. The children were unruly after these visits and the visits were stopped.*fn3 On May 15, 1980, after a review hearing, it was ordered that visits take place only at J.C.'s or the children's request and J.C. was further ordered to provide her own transportation. In November 1980, two visits took place at the agency. Because of a variety of logistical problems,*fn4 there were no further visits until July 7, 1981, when J.C. went to the foster home. In April 1981, a further treatment plan had been proposed to J.C. which included: (1) setting up a stable household in one place;*fn5 (2) obtaining nutritional counseling;*fn6 (3) obtaining proper medical care for herself and the children; (4) obtaining mental health counseling; (5) improving her money management skills; (6) continuing her employment with Gertrude
[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 554]
Barber Center;*fn7 and (7) improving her parenting skills.*fn8 Sometime in June 1981, J.C. moved to a farm in the Corry area and the caseworker was unable to locate the farm. She did finally meet with J.C. in August 1981. After that meeting, the caseworker testified, the children said they did not want to visit J.C.*fn9 and the involuntary termination petition was filed. It is undisputed that J.C. did keep in touch with her children through letters and phone ...