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Name: In re Ashly F.
Case #: B250742
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/28/2014

Where DCFS failed to provide evidence of reasonable efforts to prevent removal of minors, reversal was required for a new disposition hearing. The minors were removed due to physical abuse by their mother. In its report, DCFS concluded that there were no reasonable means to protect the children other than removal, but did not mention any reasonable alternatives to removal which had been attempted or considered. The juvenile court removed the children without discussing its reasons for removal. On appeal, mother contended that there was insufficient evidence to support the juvenile court’s removal order. The appellate court agreed and reversed. DCFS is required to submit a social study which includes a discussion of the reasonable efforts made to prevent removal. The juvenile court must also state the facts on which its decision to remove the minor is based. Here, DCFS’s report was conclusory, and the juvenile court offered no further explanation. A finding of parental abuse is not sufficient by itself to justify removing the child from the home. Therefore, the dispositional order had to be reversed and remanded for a new hearing.