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Name: T.J. v. Superior Court
Case #: A153034
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/29/2018

Where services were not tailored to mother’s intellectual disability and were repeatedly delayed, the court erred in finding services were reasonable and setting a 366.26 hearing. Mother was intellectually disabled and raising three boys alone when the Department removed the children due to unsanitary living conditions and mother’s failure to administer medications to one of the minors. Numerous services were ordered for mother, but mother was waitlisted on many of the services. At the 12-month review hearing, the court found that although mother had made adequate progress, she was unlikely to be able to reunify with the children within the requisite time period, and terminated services. In mother’s writ petition, she argued the services were not tailored to her individual needs due to her developmental disability and history of mental health issues. Further, there were significant delays that occurred throughout the dependency in actually getting mother engaged in services. The appellate court granted the writ petition. Mother was an intellectually disabled parent with some accompanying mental illness struggling to raise her children in abject poverty. Mother was penalized heavily for failing to provide adequate housing, yet given no assistance with the special challenges of doing so. Mother was also waitlisted for a significant time on critical components of her plan. The court held that the remedy was to award mother more services up to 24 months from removal.