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Judge Jacqueline Deane

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A hearing was held on an abuse petition involving allegations of burns on the 4-year old child, Vinny, he received while in the care of respondents parents. Respondents moved for the return of both children from foster care. Administration for Children’s Services filed the petition seeking removal of both children after a doctor ascertained Vinny’s injuries were not consistent with his mother’s explanation for how they occurred. Yet, a doctor at a different hospital, where Vinny was transferred to treat his burns, informed a caseworker he did not suspect abuse. NYPD investigated the incident, but no criminal charges were brought. The court found the account by mother, father and child always remained consistent. It concluded no safety concerns were raised about respondents’ interactions with the children during any of the visits over more than six months, nor did the children appear to fear their parents. Also, given respondents’ high degree of cooperation with ACS over the past six months and compliance with all prior court orders, the court was convinced both parents would continue to obey court orders, including not permitting mother to be home alone with the children for any significant period of time. Thus, it granted parents’ application for return of the children.