In the Matter of Kira J. (Anonymous). Nassau County Department of Social Services, respondent; and Lakisha J. (Anonymous), appellant. Docket No. B-12796-10
William A. Sheeckutz, East Meadow, N.Y., for appellant.
John Ciampoli, County Attorney, Mineola, N.Y. (David A. Tauster of counsel), for respondent.
John M. Zenir, Mineola, N.Y., attorney for the child.
MARK C. DILLON, J.P., SHERI S. ROMAN, ROBERT J. MILLER, SYLVIA HINDS-RADIX, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
In a proceeding pursuant to Social Services Law § 384-b to terminate parental rights on the grounds of permanent neglect and mental illness, the mother appeals from an order of fact-finding and disposition of the Family Court, Nassau County (Dane, J.), dated January 19, 2012, which, after a fact-finding hearing, found that she permanently neglected the subject child and that she is presently and for the foreseeable future unable, by reason of mental illness, to provide proper and adequate care for the subject child, terminated her parental rights, and transferred guardianship and custody of the subject child to the Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Social Services for the purpose of adoption.
ORDERED that the order of fact-finding and disposition is affirmed, without costs or disbursements.
Contrary to the mother's contention, the petitioner established by clear and convincing evidence that it made diligent efforts to encourage and strengthen the parental relationship by, among other things, developing a service plan, facilitating regular visitation with the child, and making referrals for mental health evaluations and counseling (see Matter of Carmine A. B. [ Nicole B. ], 101 A.D.3d 711; Matter of Joseph W. [ Monica W. ], 95 A.D.3d 1347; Matter of Austin C. [ Alicia Y. ], 77 A.D.3d 938; Matter of Darlene L., 38 A.D.3d 552). Additionally, the petitioner established that, despite these efforts, the mother failed to plan for the children's future (Matter of Joseph W. [ Monica W. ], 95 A.D.3d at 1347; Matter of Dileina M.F. [ Rosa F. ], 88 A.D.3d 998; Matter of Darlene L., 38 A.D.3d at 552). The mother failed to complete a mental health program, and her continued lack of insight into the reasons why the child was removed from her care prevented her from correcting such problems and reflected her failure to plan for the child's future. Accordingly, the Family Court properly determined that the mother permanently neglected the child.
Further, the Family Court properly found that there was clear and convincing evidence that the mother is presently and for the foreseeable future unable, by reason of mental illness, to provide proper and adequate care for the child (see Social Services Law § 384-b[c]). A licensed psychologist, who interviewed the mother and reviewed her medical records, concluded that the mother suffers from schizophrenia, and opined that the child would be at risk of neglect if placed in the mother's care since her impairment is severe and she is not amenable to treatment and intervention. Such evidence is sufficient to support the Family Court's determination that the mother is presently and for the foreseeable future unable, by reason of mental illness, to provide proper and adequate care for the subject child (see Social Services Law § 384-b[c]; Matter of B. Mc. ...