A 3-year-old is now in the temporary custody of Highland County Children Services after concerns about drug use in the home were raised in a hearing for the toddler’s older sibling.
On Monday, a 17-year-old male who has been at a juvenile rehabilitation facility since January for his own drug use was brought to the Highland County Juvenile Court on the matter of his release.
According to judge Kevin Greer, he denied the request for the teenager to be released on Monday because of concerns about the teenager’s mother that were indicated in the facility’s report, and that came up during the hearing. Those concerns, Greer said, were to the mother’s drug use and to the drug use of others in the home.
Greer said that following Monday’s hearing, the mother and another adult in the home each submitted to drug screens, and each tested positive for illicit drugs.
After that an emergency order was put in place for the 3-year-old, and the Hillsboro Police Department and Children Services, the judge said, were called to come and take the child, who had accompanied the adults to the courthouse.
On Tuesday, the mother did not speak on her own behalf in regard to the case because she was without an attorney present. Greer said that since she could be facing criminal charges, she could incriminate herself by speaking to the court without an attorney. An attorney was appointed for her. An attorney was also appointed to represent the interests of the child.
The mother did consent to the 3-year-old remaining in the temporary custody of Children Services. Greer continued those temporary orders put in place on Monday.
Greer said that while the case is ongoing, in the interest of being reunified with the 3-year-old and her teenage child currently at the rehabilitation facility, the mother would have to fulfill the requirements of a case plan through Children Services, which is meant to “satisfy the court” that it is safe for her children to be in her care.
When Greer denied the release of the 17-year-old on Monday, it was with the order that alternative placement be found for him. There is a review on the matter set for next week.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.