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PETITIONER grandmother, Joyce, sought custody of her granddaughter, Sierra, who was voluntarily placed in foster care. Respondent, Amber, Sierra’s mother, was found a mentally retarded person and appointed a guardian ad litem, who opposed petitioner’s motion. The court noted that despite being provided specially designed services over a two-year period, Amber was not capable of caring for her daughter without 24-hour supervision. It also noted there was no proof Amber had the capacity to develop the needed judgment and skills to independently care for Sierra. The court stated foster care was designed to be a short-term plan, yet Sierra has been in foster care more than two years. It ruled that while Amber, through no fault of her own, lacked the ability and judgment to manage her own life or safely care for her child, she has not progressed in her parenting ability enough to be left alone with Sierra. Thus, in granting custody to Joyce, the court concluded she was better able to provide for Sierra’s future development.

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