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Termination of Parental Rights and the Developmentally Delayed Parent. Hillary S. Kambour, Esq. What is Unique?. Rarely abuse, usually neglect cases Often loving relationship with the children Parent is often very sympathetic. Relatives.

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Termination of parental rights and the developmentally delayed parent l.jpg

Termination of Parental Rights and the Developmentally Delayed Parent

Hillary S. Kambour, Esq.


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What is Unique? Delayed Parent

  • Rarely abuse, usually neglect cases

  • Often loving relationship with the children

  • Parent is often very sympathetic


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Relatives Delayed Parent

  • If there is an appropriate relative who is willing to care for parent AND child, there is no basis for termination

  • If there is an appropriate relative who wants to adopt, then termination is the correct goal


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Ensure Services Delayed Parent

  • Proper diagnosis

  • Services designed to address problem

  • Read evaluations for recommendations


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Section 39.806(1)(c) Delayed Parent

  • Parent continues to engage in conduct that threatens the life, safety, well-being, or physical, mental, or emotional health of the child, irrespective of services

    • Services provided

    • Threat continues

    • Futility of further services

    • No need for adjudication of dependency


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Section 39.806(1)(e) Delayed Parent

  • Adjudication of Dependency

  • Case plan with Appropriate Services

  • Failure to Substantially Comply (i.e., Remedy the Circumstances)


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Expert Testimony Delayed Parent

  • Before and After Psychological Evaluations

    • Detailed testimony re: danger parent poses


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Provider Testimony Delayed Parent

  • Treating Provider and/or Therapist

    • Treatment plans and progress reports


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GAL Testimony Delayed Parent

  • Before and After Testimony

  • Prepare GAL for feelings of sympathy

  • Talk to Parent


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Competency Delayed Parent

  • Determine early if there are competency issues

  • If parent cannot “assist” defense attorney no Attorney ad Litem or Guardian Attorney appointed See, S.K v. Dep’t of Children and Families, 959 So.2d 1209 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)

  • An incompetent parent can have parental rights terminated

  • No surrenders