Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re A.W.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

April 11, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF: A.W., A MINOR APPEAL OF: R.W., FATHER

         Appeal from the Order Entered September 30, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of York County Juvenile Division at No(s): CP-67-DP-0000206-2015

          BEFORE: PANELLA, J., OTT, J., and MUSMANNO, J.

          OPINION

          OTT, J.

         R.W. ("Father") appeals from the September 30, 2016 order in the Court of Common Pleas of York County changing the placement goal to adoption with a concurrent goal of placement with a legal custodian with respect to his son, A.W. ("Child"), born in July of 2015.[1] We reverse and remand in accordance with the following decision.

         The record reveals the following facts and procedural history. On

         September 15, 2015, the trial court placed Child in the legal and protective custody of York County Children, Youth, and Families ("CYF" or "Agency"). CYF then placed Child in kinship foster care. Adjudication, 9/24/15, at 1. On September 24, 2015, the court adjudicated Child dependent, and his placement goal was return to parent with a concurrent goal of adoption.

         At the time of Child's placement, Father was incarcerated. The order of adjudication required Father to comply with family service plan ("FSP") goals including but, not limited to, securing stable employment, housing, and in-home services. Adjudication, 9/24/15, at 3. With respect to visits with Child, the order provided, "Father may request supervised visitation upon approval from SCI [State Correctional Institution] or upon his release [from prison] and return to York County." Id. at 2.

         On December 17, 2015, a status review hearing[2] occurred before a dependency master, who found that Father remained incarcerated at SCI Coal Township, and, although he has had no telephone contact with CYF, he "telephones about once a week to speak with the child." Order, 12/18/15, at 2. The court adopted the findings of the master by order dated December 18, 2015.

         On March 9, 2016, the trial court held a permanency review hearing, during which the CYF caseworker, Wanda Muhly, and Father testified via telephone from SCI Coal Township. Based on the testimony, the trial court found that Father has been moderately compliant with the permanency plan "in that [he] remains incarcerated at Coal Township SCI. He is eligible for parole in late April or early May, 2016. Father would like to be a resource for his son. He contacts the kinship parents once a week and writes letters to his son." Order, 3/9/16, at 1.

         On April 25, 2016, Father was transferred to a halfway house in Harrisburg. Order, 6/9/16, at 2. Thereafter, on June 9, 2016, a status review hearing was held before the master, who found that Father "works with the Agency to arrange visits and with the Agency to arrange a home team. He opened with Catholic Charities yesterday." Id. at 2. Further, the master found that Father is employed full-time at Old Country Buffet in Harrisburg, inter alia. The trial court adopted the master's findings by order dated June 9, 2016.

         The master held the next permanency review hearing on August 30, 2016, and found that Father was released from the halfway house in Harrisburg five days earlier, on August 25, 2016, and that he had moved to the York area. Order, 8/30/16, at 1. The master concluded that Father was in minimal compliance with the permanency plan based on finding that "Father was assigned a Catholic Charities Team on June 8, 2016, but that he missed appointments, and the therapeutic portion of the team closed out unsuccessfully." Id. Further, the master found that "[t]he GAL notes that Father had the opportunity to visit the Child, attend doctor's appointments and call the Foster Parents regarding the welfare of the Child and did not." Id. at 1-2.

         However, the master recommended as follows on August 30, 2016.

Father states that he has a lot on his plate since being out of prison and he wants to have the opportunity to try to work towards reunification now that he is in the York area. [Catholic Charities] is willing to reopen if the Agency makes a referral. The Agency will make the referral for the team to reopen with Father. Should there be a delay in [Catholic Charities] starting, the Agency is to work with Father to arrange supervised visitation through the Agency.

Id. at 2. The trial court adopted the findings of the master by order dated August 31, 2016.

         On September 30, 2016, the trial court held a status review hearing during which Brandon Ambrose, the CYF caseworker, testified.[3] By order the same date, the court changed the goal to adoption with a concurrent goal of placement with a legal custodian. The court directed CYF "to start the termination of parental rights process in regards to both parents." Order, 9/30/16, at 2.

         Father timely filed a notice of appeal and a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(a)(2)(i) and (b). The trial ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.