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In re M.B.N.

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

April 13, 2015

IN THE INTEREST OF: M.B.N., a child under seventeen years of age. GREENE COUNTY JUVENILE OFFICE, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
E.R.N., Respondent-Appellant

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable David C. Jones, Circuit Judge.

         Attorney for Appellant - Arthur E. Olson of Springfield, MO.

         Attorney for Minor Child - Kristoffer Barefield of Springfield, MO.

         Attorney for Respondent Greene County Juvenile Office - Paul Shackelford of Springfield, MO.

         Attorney for Respondent Missouri Children's Division - Jon Thomas Wagner of Springfield, MO.

         Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J., Opinion Author, Mary W. Sheffield, P.J., Don E. Burrell, J. - Concurs.

          OPINION

         Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J.

Page 869

          E.R.N. (" Mother" ), the mother of M.B.N. (" Child" ), brings this appeal from the judgment terminating her parental rights to Child. In her first three points, she challenges the statutory bases for the termination and in her fourth point she challenges that it is in the best interest of Child to have Mother's parental rights terminated. We affirm the judgment.

         Child, who was born in 2002, came into the care of the Children's Division in 2010, as a result of his own severe behavioral problems. At the same time, Child's older sibling, who was at C-Star for substance abuse issues, was taken into protective custody. A hotline was received that Child had such a severe meltdown at school that the classroom was evacuated. The principal stated that Child behaved

Page 870

when he was on his medication but, over the few weeks prior to the meltdown, Child's behaviors had gotten worse and more aggressive. Mother had told the school principal that she was running low on Child's medication, which was a patch. The Children's Division worker felt that Mother was unreceptive to input from the Children's Division, but Mother was told that she needed to address Child's medication issue immediately. Mother told the principal that she did not have money for medication and was giving Child half the dosage of his medication.

         Mother had received services from the Children's Division during several periods of time prior to this hotline referral. Mother took Child to the emergency room due to an " accidental" overdose; she said she gave him more medication because his behavior had been worsening. Custody was taken in June 2010, after a juvenile conference with a determination that Mother was acting " very erratic." Mother was told she needed to address her own mental health needs. The court found removal was necessary due to Mother's improper supervision of Child, inappropriate parenting, and abuse by intentionally giving an overdose of medication. After custody had been taken, Mother was put on a 96-hour hold because of her comments concerning going to sleep and not waking up.

         While Child was in foster care, his behavior continued to regress. He was first in a traditional foster home but was moved because the foster parent was afraid for the life of her biological child. Child was hospitalized and then moved to a career foster home, with all placements indicating he had the same behavior issues that he had before he came into custody. He was placed in at least three different facilities. At the time of trial he was in a very structured group facility, Butterfield, and continued to have negative behavior issues, causing him to be in seclusion. He is on at least six different medications at Butterfield. An aunt had a home study requesting custody, but was not approved. No other family members stepped forward as a possible placement and there was no future placement ...


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