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In re S.J.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

August 27, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF: S.J., a Minor; APPEAL OF: YORK COUNTY OFFICE OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, Appellant

Argued May 27, 2014

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, York County, Juvenile Division, No(s): CP-67-DP-0000970-2008. Before COOK, J.

Kristina A. Bange, York, for appellant.

Daniel D. Worley, York, for I.L.; Thomas W. Gregory, Jr., York, for D.J.; Peter M. Vaughn, York, Guardian Ad Litem, for appellees.

BEFORE: LAZARUS, STABILE and MUSMANNO, JJ.

OPINION

Page 561

MUSMANNO, J.

York County Office of Children, Youth and Families (" CYF" ) appeals from the 90-day status hearing Order entered by the juvenile court on February 11, 2014. By that Order, the juvenile court found that S.J. (" Child" ) (born in October of 2008) was doing well in the care of her maternal great aunt, A.H. (" Aunt" ). Aunt is Child's Subsidized Permanent Legal Custodian (" SPLC" ).[1] The juvenile court found that although Child's mother, I.L. (" Mother" ), and father, D.J. (" Father" ), were exercising partial physical custody, Child would continue in the care of Aunt. The juvenile court's Order denied CYF's

Page 562

request to terminate the court's jurisdiction, and scheduled a review hearing for January 27, 2015. We reverse and remand with instructions.

In its Opinion filed pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a), the juvenile court set forth the relevant history of this appeal as follows:

[Child] was born premature ... to [Mother], a dependent youth, age 16 years at the time of [Child's] birth.... On November 17, 2008, legal and physical custody of [Child] was awarded jointly to []CYF and Mother; [Child] was placed with Mother at Pinkney's Vineyard of Faith, where Mother had been previously placed. [Subsequently, Child] was adjudicated dependent ... and continued in placement with Mother at Pinkney's Vineyard.
In March of 2009, paternity of [Child] was established in [Father]. A visitation schedule was established for Father. Father appeared at one visit in April of 2009, but then failed to have contact with [Child] or []CYF until January 2010. Mother turned 18 in November of 2009, but elected to remain in care.
[Child] and Mother began home passes from Pinkney's Vineyard to the home of [Aunt] between the March review hearing and a 90-day hearing held on May 26, 2010.... On May 26, 2010, [the juvenile hearing officer] noted that[,] during the time that Mother and [Child] were on home passes, Mother relinquished parenting of [Child] to [Aunt]....
A permanency review hearing occurred on August 11, 2010. [Aunt] ... was approved for kinship care.... Compelling reasons not to terminate parental rights were stated by []CYF to be the bond with Mother and the fact that [Child] and Mother had always been placed together.
* * *
[At a November 2010 review hearing,] concerns were raised regarding Mother's parenting of [Child] in the kinship home and her poor decision[-]making. On November 17, 2010, []CYF filed a [M]otion to change the goal from reunification ...

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