The Nevada Supreme Court just affirmed a termination of parental rights even though the parent had completed his case plan. The case is In the Matter of the Parental Rights as to A.P.M. and E.M.M. 131 Nev. Advance Opinion 66. The Supreme Court upheld the termination of parental rights because the children had been out of the home for more than 14 out of 20 months. While this is a legal basis for terminating parental rights it would have been nice to know why the kids didn’t go home even though the father completed his case plan.
Some background on CPS cases. When children are removed from the home there is a hearing within 72 hours to determine if there is probable cause to remove the children from the home. The Court is looking at the safety of the children. A plea hearing is then scheduled at which the Department (CPS) files a complaint and the parents then admit or deny the allegations. If the allegations are denied then a contested hearing is set. If the allegations are admitted or the allegations are substantiated the parents are required to complete a case plan developed by CPS. The goal is reunification. While the parents are working the case plan there are regular hearings to advise the Court of the progress being made on the case plan. However sufficient progress on the case plan is not made or the kids are out of the home for more than 14 or 20 months then termination of parental rights is pursued. The idea being that kids need permanency in their lives.
If you have any questions or need assistance regarding CPS please contact me.