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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In September 2004, the Department of Family and Protective Services received a report that Paul Beckley, C.D.B.’s father, physically abused C.D.B. Beckley reportedly struck C.D.B., leaving a handprint-sized bruise on her back while Amber Dawn Armstrong, mother of C.D.B. and three other children, was out shopping at the time. Armstrong later confronted Beckley, who admitted hitting C.D.B. Armstrong’s father (C.D.B.’s grandfather) took the child to the police. The department interviewed and physically examined C.D.B. on Sept. 9, 2004, and C.D.B. made an outcry of physical abuse stating that her dad threw her. Before the department’s investigation, the children were under the care, custody and control of both parents. The department removed the children from the home. Afterward, a trial court entered temporary orders specifying the conditions for Armstrong to obtain return of the children, including submitting to a drug and alcohol assessment, completing an appropriate substance abuse treatment program as indicated by the drug and alcohol assessment, submitting to drug testing, submitting to and cooperating with a psychological evaluation, attending and successfully completing parenting and personal enrichment classes, and complying with the department’s family service plan. The record indicates that Armstrong went for the drug assessment, but refused to sign a release and did not complete the assessment. The evidence also indicates that Armstrong went for the psychological evaluation several times, but never completed the process. Armstrong testified she did not complete all the services because she did not have transportation and was in jail at the time of some of the appointments. She also testified that the payment voucher for the evaluation expired before she could return to complete the evaluation. Armstrong attended only six of the 15 visitations with her children scheduled during the 16-month period. The trial court instructed the jury that to terminate the parent-child relationship between Armstrong and her children, the department had to prove at least one of the four statutory grounds under Texas Family Code �161.001 for termination alleged in the case by clear and convincing evidence. Specifically, the department alleged that Armstrong: 1. knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the children to remain in conditions or surroundings that endangered their physical or emotional well-being; 2. engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the children with persons who engaged in conduct that endangered the physical or emotional well-being of the children; 3. failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary for the parent to obtain the return of the child who has been in the permanent or temporary managing conservatorship of the department for not less than nine months as a result of the child’s removal from the parent for the abuse or neglect of the child; and 4. used a controlled substance in a manner that endangered the health and safety of the children and failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program, or after completion of a court-ordered substance abuse program, continued to abuse a controlled substance. Thereafter, the trial court asked the jury a single question and gave the jury an opportunity to respond as to each child: “Should the parent-child relationship between [Armstrong] and between [each of the four children] be terminated?” The jury answered “yes” as to each child. HOLDING:Affirmed. After reviewing the record, the court concluded that sufficient evidence supported a firm belief or conviction that Armstrong failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary for the return of the children. Furthermore, the court concluded that sufficient evidence supported a firm belief or conviction that termination of Armstrong’s parental rights was in the best interests of each child. The court also found evidence sufficient to support termination on the other three grounds for termination alleged by the department. For example, the court cited Armstrong’s “history of ongoing drug abuse issues resulting in her inadequate care of C.D.B. and her other children.” The court also noted Armstrong’s failure to seek additional treatment for her youngest child who had jaundice, after the child’s release from the hospital. Finally, the court noted several instances of neglect, including evidence that Armstrong left the children with Beckley, despite the fact that he admitted hitting C.D.B. OPINION:Moseley, J.; Moseley, Francis and Lang, J.J.

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