Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Permanent Neglect — Parental Motivation and Involvement
Matter of Kelsey
Appealed from Family Court, Jefferson County
Background: The respondent parents appealed from an order terminating their parental rights on the ground of permanent neglect. The parents contend that the petitioner Department of Social Services did not make diligent efforts to encourage and strengthen the relationship between the parents and their children.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court found that the petitioner had offered the parents with the opportunity to obtain appropriate housing, provided supervised visitation with the children and provided the parents with counseling. The parents opted to obtain different housing and then denied the petitioner access to their home after one visit. Further, visitation was stressful for the children and the parents failed to make progress in counseling due to their refusal to acknowledge the sexual abuse inflicted on the children.
David M. Abbatoy Jr. of the Abbatoy Law Firm and Leah K. Bourne for the respondents-appellants; Kristopher Stevens for the petitioner-respondent; Lisa A. Proven, attorney for the children