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Name: In re T.W.
Case #: D061960
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/05/2013
Summary

The minor was properly removed from mother where mother allowed father who sexually abused a sibling to spend time in the home. The minor T.W. was originally placed with father, Timothy, due to mother’s excessive discipline of a sibling in the minor’s presence. Two years later, an older sibling disclosed that Timothy had sexually abused her. The Agency filed a subsequent petition, alleging that T.W. was at risk in Timothy’s custody because of his sexual abuse of the half-sibling. The court sustained the allegations and placed T.W. with mother. Several months later T.W. was removed from mother when a social worker discovered that mother was allowing Timothy in the home. A 387 supplemental petition was sustained. On appeal, the parents contended that the evidence was insufficient to support the court’s findings. The appellate court rejected the argument. The social worker admonished the parents on several occasions that Timothy could not be in the home, but mother continued to allow him to spend time there. Timothy refused treatment, and mother refused to participate in therapy and did not understand the dynamics of sexual abuse or how to protect T.W. There was sufficient evidence to support the court’s conclusion that T.W. was at risk of sexual abuse by her father. Further, substantial evidence supported the court’s removal order as the previous disposition had not been effective in protecting the minor. The Agency considered less drastic alternatives to removal when it considered whether T.W. could remain in the home with a safety plan, but concluded that there were no services or precautions available to ensure her safety. The minor also appealed, arguing that the court erred by giving mother six more months of services, as she had already received 31 months of services. The appellate court agreed and remanded for the juvenile court to determine whether services should continue.