Mother gives up rights to children


With custody of four of her children having been with Highland County Children Services for more than two years, a mother on Friday agreed to the termination of her parental rights in regard to all six of her children.

The oldest four children have been in the custody of the agency since September 2012, and the youngest two since their births after that time.

Upon the two-year mark, which is the statutory limit for such a case, being reached in September, assistant prosecutor Molly Bolek in a hearing at that time asked that the court grant permanent custody to Children Services, in part based on the mother’s failure “to demonstrate a commitment to the children.”

The parental rights of the father of the children was severed in the September hearing, and the request for permanent custody with the county was denied, giving the mother another chance to be reunited with the children.

The court heard testimony in that hearing that the mother had worked her case plan, but had failed to find stable housing and employment, and had continued to associate with the children’s father, which she was not supposed to do.

She acknowledged in that September hearing that she had chosen the children’s father over the children.

Temporary custody was granted to the county in another case on Friday by emergency order of the court.

The case involves five children, the youngest of whom was born earlier this week. The mother tested positive for methamphetamine when she was admitted to the hospital to deliver the baby, according to the complaint. Additionally, she had tested positive for marijuana at a prenatal visit earlier this year.

Further hearings were set on the matter.

The mother in another case this week involving three kids, ranging in age from 8 to newborn, has agreed to temporary custody with the agency being extended another six months.

While the mother has made progress on her case plan through Children Services, she still has more to do before she can be reunified with her children.

The older two children were initially removed from the home last July due to the mother’s drug use.

Another case saw custody of a 7-year-old revested with the mother following her successfully completing her case plan.

The child was removed by emergency order of the court last summer because of allegations that the mother was attempting self-harm and because there was no food in the house, according to the complaint.

The custody will be under court-ordered protective supervision for the next six months.

In another case involving three children, custody of one of them, a 15-year-old, has been returned to the mother.

The other two cases involving the teen’s siblings are set for further hearing in the court.

A 17-year-old who’s been at a treatment facility since February was granted transitional release by the court this week.

Earlier this year the girl admitted to illegal conveyance of a drug of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony.

While the transitional release was granted by the court, the terms of the release, and when and how often it happens, is up to the facility.

The girl’s felony is the result of her carrying illegal drugs on her person as she was taken into the jail following a traffic stop that resulted in the girl, as well as three adults in the car, being arrested.

Parents in another Children Services case admitted dependency this week of their 11- and 13-year old. The children were initially removed from the home in May through an emergency order of the court following allegations of drug use in the home.

A dependent child is defined by Ohio law as: one who is homeless, destitute or lacking in adequate parental care through no fault of the child’s guardians; a child who lacks the adequate parental care due to the mental or physical condition of the child’s guardians; whose condition or environment is such as to warrant the state, in the interests of the child, in assuming the child’s guardianship.

A 16-year-old male this week was placed on indefinite community control and has a suspended commitment to the Department of Youth Services, which is the prison system for youth, following his admitting to third-degree felony grand theft.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

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