Sufficient evidence supported the findings that parents’ substance abuse put minors at risk of serious physical harm and that removal was necessary. K.B., J.B., and J.N. were ordered removed from their parents after mother tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana during a hospital visit while 18 weeks pregnant and the parents neglected to enroll in a substance abuse program required by their safety plan. Mother initially denied having a history of substance use and denied present substance use, but later admitted she had used methamphetamine and marijuana. Her criminal record showed an arrest for possession of a controlled substance in 2012. Minors told the social worker that mother goes to sleep at 5 p.m. and they have to wake her up the following morning when it is time for school. Father also tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine but denied any recent drug use. Father had been arrested multiple times for substance-related offenses. Minors told the social worker that their parents fought about father’s drinking. The court exercised jurisdiction over the minors and ordered them removed from their parents. The parents appealed, and the appellate court affirmed. Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300, subdivision (b)(1), the court may exercise jurisdiction over a child who has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness as a result of the failure of the parent to adequately supervise or protect the child or to provide regular care for the child due to the parent’s substance abuse. The trial court properly found that mother’s conduct put her children at substantial risk of serious physical harm because mother routinely disappeared from her children’s lives after 5:00 p.m. until they woke her the next morning. The resulting failure to supervise the children put them at serious risk. Father’s criminal history and denial of his present substance abuse issues is sufficient evidence to support the court’s finding. A court is entitled to infer past conduct will continue where the parent denies there is a problem. (In re A.F. (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 283, 293.) The evidence supporting the jurisdictional findings was also sufficient to support the removal findings.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B305420.PDF