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In Re J.M. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. M.S

May 30, 2012

IN RE J.M. ET AL., PERSONS COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
M.S., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. JD231464, JD231465 & JD231466)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Duarte , J.

In re J.M.

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

M.S., mother of B.M. (born July 1994), K.M. (born September 1996), and J.M. (born January 2004), appeals from the juvenile court's dispositional orders. On appeal, mother contends the juvenile court erred in imposing conditions on her right to control her children's education. Mother also contends the juvenile court failed to give proper notice under the Indian Children Welfare Act (ICWA). We are not persuaded by either claim; accordingly, we shall affirm the juvenile court's orders.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND*fn1

Removal and Detention

Mother's three children (minors) have varying degrees of special needs and mental health issues, ranging from autism to oppositional behavior and suicidal ideation. Minors were previously assessed and qualified for ALTA Regional Center services.

Prior to removing minors from mother's custody, El Dorado Department of Health Services (EDDHS) received 12 child welfare referrals regarding the family. Seven referrals required Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation, two were deemed unfounded, four were deemed inconclusive, and one (for "general neglect") appears to have been substantiated.*fn2

In December 2010, EDDHS removed minors from mother's care and took them into protective custody. EDDHS also filed a petition pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code*fn3 section 300, alleging minors suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of mother and their stepfather.

Educational Issues

When B.M. was two years old, he was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder and high functioning autism. K.M. was diagnosed as "compulsive" when she was seven years old, and at 18 months old, J.M. was diagnosed with autism. B.M. began receiving services through the San Andreas Regional Center in 1998. In 2005, all three children began receiving services through the local ALTA Regional Center (ALTA).

From 2005 to 2007, mother received a multitude of in-home services for minors through ALTA. Services included the in-home support of tutors who set goals and objectives for minors and worked with them on behavior management. Mother also had in-home respite and daycare. In 2007, mother fired the vendor who provided the tutoring but continued to utilize the in-home respite and daycare.

After she fired the in-home support vendor, mother refused to give ALTA access to minors. Without access to minors, ALTA was precluded from preparing Individual Program Plans (IPP) for minors, plans which "drive[] [ALTA's] ability to provide services to the children." Specifically, mother failed to follow through with her promises to provide ALTA with assessments for minors and refused to sign the paperwork necessary to allow ALTA to assess minors' needs.

ALTA provides support services for minors and works from a "collaborative model," which requires it be involved with minors' schools and be made aware of any mental health issues. Mother, however, refused to allow ALTA to participate in minors' Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings at school. Moreover, mother repeatedly refused to "sign-off" on minors' IEPs or assessments. As a result of mother's conduct, the services being provided to minors were based on assessments that were "old and outdated."*fn4

B.M.'s Services and IEP

In December 2010, B.M. was in the tenth grade and was struggling in school. The school psychologist, Jennifer Glaspell, was concerned about B.M.'s attendance; he was missing an average of 60 days each school year. Glaspell also reported that in October 2010, B.M. threatened to kill himself while he was at school. The school could ...


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