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In re Roxanne B.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Third Division

January 30, 2015

In re ROXANNE B., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent, MARIA B. et al., Defendants and Appellants.

APPEAL from a judgment and order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County No. DK02607, Tony Richardson, Judge.

Page 917

COUNSEL

David A. Hamilton, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Maria B.

Marissa Coffey, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Daniel B.

Richard D. Weiss, County Counsel for Petitioner and Respondent.

Page 918

OPINION

KITCHING, Acting P. J.

INTRODUCTION

Maria B. (Mother) and Daniel B. (Father) appeal from the juvenile court’s judgment finding jurisdiction over their daughter Roxanne under Welfare and Institutions Code[1] section 300, subdivision (c). We affirm because the jurisdictional finding was supported by substantial evidence that Roxanne was suffering from serious emotional damage and at risk of suffering further serious emotional damage at the time of the jurisdiction hearing, and that through their failure to obtain mental health services for Roxanne, Mother and Father caused Roxanne to continue to suffer and be at risk of suffering such emotional damage.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Mother and Father (the Parents) live together with their two children, 16-year-old Roxanne and her sibling. Only Roxanne is at issue in this child dependency proceeding, as the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) did not pursue a petition as to her sibling. In November and December of 2011, Roxanne began exhibiting signs of possible emotional problems. On one occasion, Roxanne cried at school and told her counselor she was upset because Father yelled at her, her sibling, and Mother. DCFS investigated the referral based on this incident, found the allegations of emotional abuse to be unfounded, and indicated to Mother that Roxanne may need counseling. On another occasion, Roxanne told a classmate that she wanted to kill herself and showed the classmate marks on her wrists. DCFS investigated and determined that the allegations of abuse were unfounded because there were no marks or bruises on Roxanne, Roxanne denied any thoughts of suicide, and Roxanne stated that she did not fear her Parents. DCFS again told Mother that Roxanne may have some underlying issues of which she is not making others aware, and may need counseling. DCFS provided Mother with information about counseling services for Roxanne in her area. Beginning in December 2011, the school counselor also urged the Parents to take Roxanne to counseling, but the Parents failed to do so.

Several months later, in March 2012, Roxanne e-mailed her teachers stating that she had suicidal thoughts because she was being bullied at school. Despite the school counselor’s request for Mother to come to school due to Roxanne’s mental state, Mother did not show up. Only after the school counselor went to the Parents’ home, did Mother reluctantly come to school. At school, Mother was unsupportive ...


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