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M.A. (08/07/87)

filed: August 7, 1987.

IN THE INTEREST OF M.A., A MINOR; YORK COUNTY CHILDREN & YOUTH SERVICES; B.R., NATURAL MOTHER; AND N.A., NATURAL FATHER


Appeal from the Order Entered April 8, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Juvenile, No. 26 JA 1985

COUNSEL

Daniel Fennick, York, for M.A., appellant.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Olszewski and Hester, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 365 Pa. Super. Page 180]

This is an appeal from an order terminating the legal custody of appellant which was held by York County Children and Youth Services (YCCYS). We affirm.

The sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court properly terminated YCCYS's legal custody of appellant, thereby discharging that agency's duty to provide certain services for the appellant.

[ 365 Pa. Super. Page 181]

The appellant, M.A., was born on January 14, 1972. Pursuant to a voluntary petition filed by appellant and her parents in February 1985, the trial court adjudicated her a dependent and awarded legal and physical custody of appellant to YCCYS.

In April 1987, the trial court was presented with an agreement by all the parties in interest whereby legal custody of the appellant in YCCYS was to be terminated. This would have the effect of ending the trial court's continuing supervisory role as well as ending appellant's eligibility to participate in certain rehabilitative and counseling programs. It seems that the appellant wants to discharge YCCYS from its custodial role, while at the same time enjoy the benefits of a Youth Advocate Program.*fn1

The trial court stated that the "issue now comes down to M.A. wanting to dictate which services she will use and insisting on the right to reject those services she chooses." The trial court described the stormy experience that the appellant had with YCCYS, but recognized that some improvement had resulted. Appellant was granted an extension of the benefits of the Youth Advocate Program beyond the termination of YCCYS's custody, until the beginning of June 1987 which was the end of her school year. Noting the budgetary restraints involved in contrast with the large number of people needing help, the trial court concluded that after early June of 1987, the services provided by the Youth Advocate Program should be used to afford other juveniles and their families an opportunity to benefit from them as appellant had.*fn2

Appellant argues that the Juvenile Act requires the Commonwealth to continue to provide the same services to which a dependent child would be entitled. The purpose of the Juvenile Act is "to preserve the unity of the family whenever possible and to provide for the care, protection, and wholesome mental and physical development of children

[ 365 Pa. Super. Page 182]

    coming within the provisions of this chapter," as well as "to achieve the foregoing purposes in a family environment whenever possible, separating the child from parents only when necessary for his welfare or in ...


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