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Name: In re Y.G.
Case #: B210847
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/23/2009

A mother’s physical abuse of an unrelated child could be considered as evidence of risk to the minor. Mother appealed from the order adjudicating Y.G. as a dependent child based on allegations that she had physically abused an unrelated child who was the same age as Y.G. She contended that the statutory language does not permit the juvenile court to consider abuse of an unrelated child in determining the truth of a section 300, subdivision (b) petition. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The Legislature has expressly provided that evidence of a parent’s misconduct with another child is admissible at a hearing on the petition. A parent’s abuse of an unrelated child may well tend to prove that the parent has characteristics which place her own child at risk. Any other interpretation of the statute would not be consistent with the broad purpose of dependency law, which is to protect the safety of children who are at risk of harm.