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In re M.M.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

December 2, 2014

IN RE: M.M., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: R.H., BIRTH MOTHER; IN RE: I.M., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: R.H., BIRTH MOTHER; IN RE: T.M., JR., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: R.H., BIRTH MOTHER

Submitted September 29, 2014

Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Orphan's Court Division, No(s): TPR 191 of 2003, TPR 192 of 2013 and TPR 1901 of 2013. Before HENS-GRECO, J.

Raymond N. Sanchas, Pittsburgh, for R.H, appellant.

Amy L. Berecek, Pittsburgh, for M.M, appellee.

Diann R. Stein McKay, Pittsburgh, for Allegheny County Children You and Families, participating party.

BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., BENDER, P.J.E., and LAZARUS, J. Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq., Prothonotary.

OPINION

Page 115

BENDER, P.J.E.

Appellant, R.H. (" Mother" ), appeals from the orders involuntarily terminating her parental rights to M.M. (born in November of 2003), I.M. (born in December of 2005), and T.M. (born in November of 2002) (the " Children" ) pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511(a)(2), (5), (8), and (b).[1] We affirm.

In its opinion, the orphans' court set forth the following extensive history of this case:

CYF [the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families] first became involved with the case in November 2003, when it was reported that Mother was abusing the children's elder sibling, who is not a party to this case. That case was opened in January 2004, and the family received services. At that point, the Court was not involved. A second case was opened in June 2004, when Mother left children T.M. and M.M. with [M]aternal [A]unt and grandmother, who contacted CYF and asked for their removal.3In August 2004, T.M. and M.M. were adjudicated dependent. The adjudication was based on, among other things[,] Mother's use of crack cocaine and marijuana and the alleged maltreatment of the children. The home was also unlivable, with garbage all over the floor and no utilities in the home. CYF established Family Service Plan goals during the June 2003 [through] June 2007 period. The goals included: obtain safe and appropriate housing with utilities, eliminate verbal and physical abuse and use alternative methods of discipline, to stay in contact and cooperate with the agency. Mother also had a goal to achieve sobriety and maintain recovery from substance abuse. This goal was achieved in December 2005. Although CYF provided significant services, there was limited progress. In March and April of 2006, the children were returned to their [M]other, but the case was kept open so that CYF could monitor for physical maltreatment and Mother's drug use. In November 2006, the Court closed its case; CYF kept its case open until May 2007.
3I.M. was not yet born.
The second time a case was opened was in January 2009. The Court issued an Emergency Custody Authorization for I.M., who was discovered wandering outside, alone in a diaper. The home was found to be in a deplorable condition with rotten food in the kitchen, inadequate bedding, and clothing piled everywhere. All three children were placed

Page 116

with maternal grandmother, who was living in the home; Mother was forbidden from residing there. The children also displayed injuries consistent with those intentionally inflicted by a cord or a belt; M.M. had a burn mark on her right forearm that appeared to be from an iron. There were additional concerns about the children's medical health. They were not up to date on their immunizations. Mother was charged with two counts of simple assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of children. She was convicted in May 2010 and sentenced to two years['] probation. The children were adjudicated dependent on March 4, 2009. Again, goals were established and services implemented. The agency and the Court closed the case on August 17, 2009.
The third time the case was opened was in Februaiy 2010, when CYF received a referral that the children had missed a week of school. There was also an allegation that I.M. was outside again, in dirty pajamas, looking for food. CYF investigated and found there to be lack of clothing, and inadequate supervision and housing. Family Group Decision Making was implemented to assist Mother. ChildLines were filed in December 2010, and Mother was charged with endangering the welfare of the [C]hildren. She pleaded guilty and [was] placed on five years['] probation. CYF reestablished the Family Service Plan goals: supervision of the [C]hildren, not leaving the [C]hildren with unsuitable ...

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