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[U] In re R.C.R.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

January 14, 2014



Appeal from the Order of July 2, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Family Court, at Nos. CP-51-AP-0000418-2013, CP-51-AP-0000419-2013.




R.R. ("Father") appeals from the orders entered on July 2, 2013, which terminated Father's parental rights to his son, R.C.R. (born in August 2003) and to his daughter, A.C.R. (born in July 1997) (collectively "the Children"). We affirm.[1]

The court made the following findings of fact:

On September 24, 2010, the Department of Human Services (DHS) received a Child Protective Serves (CPS) Report alleging that A.C.R. and her sister, A.R.2 were the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by [Father] and that [J.R. (Mother)] knew about the abuse but failed to protect the children. The report also alleged that Father forced his daughters to watch child pornography and had a history of sexual abuse of children. The report stated that Father had been indicated as a perpetrator of sexual abuse of A.C.R. and A.R. for which he had served three months in prison. The report indicated that A.R. was fifteen years old at the time of the abuse and had a learning disability and that R.C.R. was seven years old and suffered from autism as well as a learning disability.
2 A.R. is currently eighteen years old and remains committed to DHS via a board extension. Her case was not before this Court on July 2, 2013.
In addition to the allegations of sexual abuse, it was alleged that Mother and Father hit the children on a daily basis, that Father possessed firearms in the home[, ] and that he was extremely violent. The report indicated that Father was a correctional officer at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and that he had threatened to shoot his sister-in-law and blow up her home. Upon investigation, the CPS report was indicated with Father as the perpetrator of abuse and Mother as a perpetrator by omission.
On September 24, 2010, DHS visited the family's home and met with Mother, A.C.R. and R.C.R. DHS found the home in a deplorable condition and infested with roaches. Mother denied that she used corporal punishment to discipline her children and was unable to provide the contact information for a seventeen[-] year[-]old daughter who did not reside in the home.
On this same date, DHS implemented a Safety Plan signed by maternal cousins, which indicated that the three children, A.C.R., R.C.R., and A.R. would reside in the home of maternal cousins, that they would not permit the children to have contact with their parents, and that once the children's seventeen[-]year[-] old sister was located, they would ensure that she was sent to the home of a relative.
The following day, DHS met with the maternal cousins who were to care for the children and observed a bruise on R.C.R.'s arm and a bruise on A.C.R.'s back. DHS learned that [sexual abuse occurred] as recently as September 5, 2010. On September 27, 2010, DHS made a referral for the children to be interviewed by the Philadelphia Children's Alliance. The same day, DHS learned that maternal cousins were not willing to continue caring for R.C.R. and A.C.R. due to their behavior, but they would continue caring for A.R.
On September 28, 2010, DHS again met with [Mother, ] who denied that the children were being sexually abused by Father, stating that the children had made these allegations in the past and that they were lying. Mother confirmed to DHS that Father continued to reside with her.
Also on September 28, 2010, DHS obtained an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) for the children. At the shelter care hearing on September 30, 2010, the OPC was lifted, and the temporary commitment to DHS was ordered to stand. On October 8, 2010, an adjudicatory hearing was held, and temporary legal custody was transferred to DHS. DHS reported at that time that R.C.R. was placed in a foster home through Caring People Alliance; A.C.R. was placed through Women's Christian Alliance; and A.R. remained in kinship care. At the time of the adjudicatory hearing, parents were offered supervised visits with R.C.R. only, and sibling visits were to be arranged.
The initial Family Service Plan (FSP) meeting was held on October 27, 2010 at which time the goal for the children was reunification. The FSP objective for parents were stated as: 1) to eliminate the health and safety issues in the home; 2) to comply with all psychiatric and sex offender evaluations and resulting recommendations; 3) to sign authorization and release forms; and 4) to participate in parent education and/or sex offender treatment to ...

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