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ACS Not Required to Make Reasonable Efforts to Return Child to Mother

Judge Lillian Wan, sitting in Kings County Family Court, recently rendered a decision which eliminated the Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) obligation to take reasonable efforts to return a child to the custody of her mother. ACS brought a proceeding to eliminate the agency’s legal obligation to make reasonable efforts to return the child to the custody of the mother. In the lawsuit filed by ACS, they alleged the mother did not provide adequate guardianship and supervision of the child. They also provided documentation she had had prior neglect findings against her regarding the child’s brothers and sisters. In addition, mother’s parental rights were terminated with regard to her other children.

Child Had Been Neglected

ACS in their application to the court, alleged that the mother did not engage in and utilize services provided by ACS to reduce the risk to the child’s brothers and sisters. They alleged the child had been neglected and was in danger if left with the mother.

The court took notice the mother had been re-arrested in July 2013. She had been jailed as a result of her arrest. The court found the mother had acknowledged she did not have contact with the ACS case worker for months after her child’s birth. The mother also had not requested further services from ACS with regard to reestablishing her relationship with the child.

In the end, the court ruled the mother had failed to meet her burden of proof with regard to reestablishing her relationship with the child and the court granted the application by ACS to remove their responsibility from taking reasonable efforts to return the child to the mother.

About the Author

fighting against child neglectElliot S. Schlissel has represented men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area charged with child abuse and child neglect by ACS, CPS and other child abuse agencies. Elliot has been successful in exonerating his clients in numerous cases involving false charges brought against them.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore