In re Lamani C.H., and Others, Children Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Lucia T.G., Respondent-Appellant, Catholic Guardian Services, Petitioner-Respondent.
J. Baer, New York, for appellant.
T. Gatti, New York, for respondent.
A. Mitchell, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Marcia Egger of
counsel), attorney for the children.
Friedman, J.P., Richter, Kern, Singh, JJ.
of disposition, Family Court, Bronx County (Fiordaliza A.
Rodriguez, J.), entered on or about November 28, 2018, to the
extent they bring up for review a fact-finding order, same
court and Judge, entered on or about April 20, 2018, which
found that respondent mother neglected/abandoned the subject
children, unanimously affirmed, without costs. Appeals from
the fact-finding order, unanimously dismissed, without costs,
as subsumed in the appeals from the orders of disposition.
mother's argument that the petitions were defective for
failing to specify the diligent efforts the agency made to
encourage and strengthen the parental relationship (Family Ct
Act § 614 [c]) is raised for the first time on appeal
and is therefore unpreserved (see Matter of Ana M.G.
[Rosealba H.], 74 A.D.3d 419');">74 A.D.3d 419 [1st Dept 2010]; Matter
of Christopher S. [Elizabeth S.], 155 A.D.3d 630, 631
[2d Dept 2017]), and we decline review in the interest of
justice. As an alternative holding, we find that the
petitions sufficiently specified the agency's efforts,
which included, inter alia, developing an appropriate service
plan, making arrangements for respondent to visit the subject
children, and providing counseling, assistance and referrals
to appropriate programs to resolve or ameliorate the problems
preventing the discharge of the children from foster care,
and informed respondent of each child's progress,
development and health (see Matter of Ana M.G. at
419 ; Matter of Toshea C.J., 62 A.D.3d 587, 587 [1st
Dept 2009]). Any alleged deficiency was cured by the
introduction into evidence at the fact-finding hearing of the
case progress notes and the testimony of the caseworker,
which demonstrated the diligent efforts made by the agency
(Matter of Kayla Emily W. [Atara W.], 67 A.D.3d 477,
478 [1st Dept 2009]).
the evidence at the fact-finding hearing was clear and
convincing with respect to the agency's diligent efforts.
The evidence showed that the agency made diligent efforts as
to reunification by formulating a service plan tailored to
address respondent's anger management issues and
parenting challenges, to assist in domestic violence
prevention, and by arranging visits between respondent and
the children (see Social Services Law §
384-b[f]). Despite these efforts, respondent failed to
communicate with the agency for a year, and missed all
visitation set up by the agency (see e.g. Matter of
Shaquel A.M. [Jamel C.M.], 176 A.D.3d 575');">176 A.D.3d 575 [1st Dept
2019]; Matter of Richie N.V. [Stephanie M.], 174
A.D.3d 427 [1st Dept 2019], lv denied 34 N.Y.3d 901');">34 N.Y.3d 901
finding of permanent neglect is warranted despite a
parent's participation in programs when the problem that
caused the children to enter foster care has not been
ameliorated (see Matter of Amanda R., 215 A.D.2d
220, 220 [1st Dept 1995], lv denied86 N.Y.2d 705');">86 N.Y.2d 705
). As respondent continued to exhibit behaviors that
the programs she attended were supposed to help remedy, she
failed to gain insight into her parenting problems which
undercut the value of having participated in them (see
Matter of Jaheim B. [April M.], 176 A.D.3d 558');">176 A.D.3d 558 [1st Dept
2019]). Moreover, respondent failed to visit the ...