Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Appeals released on: October 29, 2020

By Kapnick, J.P., Gesmer, González, Scarpulla, JJ. 2019-1648. IN RE XAVIER BLADE LEE BILLY JOE S., ETC., AND ANOTHER, DEPENDENT CHILDREN UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, ETC., THE CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY, pet-app, JOSEFINA S., res-res; THE ARC, THE AUTISTIC SELF-ADVOCACY NETWORK, THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND ENFORCEMENT CENTER, DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES, PROFESSOR ROBYN M. POWELL, AND PROFESSOR CHARISA SMITH, AMICI CURIAE — Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, PLLC, New York (Douglas H. Reiniger of counsel), for appellant — Mary Anne Mendenhall, The Bronx Defenders, Bronx (Saul Zipkin of counsel), and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, New York (Brittany Llewellyn of counsel), for respondent — Larry S. Bachner, New York, attorney for the child, Xavier S — Law Office of Thomas R. Villecco, P.C., Jericho (Thomas R. Villecco of counsel), attorney for the child Claudia C — Family Defense Clinic, NYU School of Law, New York (Amy Mulzer and Christine Gottlieb, of counsel), and the Disability & Civil Rights Clinic, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn (Sarah Lorr, of counsel), for, The Arc, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the Civil Rights and Enforcement Center, Disability Rights Advocates, Professor Robyn M. Powell, and Professor Charisa Smith, amici curiae — Order, Family Court, Bronx County (Valerie Pels, J.), entered on or about January 9, 2019, which dismissed the petition to terminate the parental rights of respondent mother as to the subject children Xavier S. and Claudia S., unanimously affirmed, without costs. As discussed in Family Court’s well-reasoned decision, petitioner did not meet its burden of showing that it exercised diligent efforts to strengthen the parent-child relationship and reunite the family (Social Services Law §384-b[7]). To satisfy its obligation, the agency must offer services adapted to the particular needs of the parent and children (see Matter of Shelia G., 61 NY2d 368, 385 [1984]; Matter of Colinia D. [Thomas F.], 84 AD3d 1755 [4th Dept 2011]). Here, petitioner does not address its failure to assign this matter, which involved a cognitively impaired mother, to a caseworker with relevant expertise, or ensure that its caseworker was appropriately trained or consulted at the outset with individuals with relevant expertise in devising the mother’s service plan. Nor does petitioner adequately acknowledge its failure to expand visitation, but justifies it based on its caseworker’s safety concerns, and provides no reason to revisit Family Court’s determination that those concerns were exaggerated. Petitioner further fails to address the logistical challenges presented by the visitation space provided for the mother and her four special needs children. Petitioner also did not refer the mother to ongoing day habilitation services offered by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Petitioner became aware that the mother should have such services in October 2012, but the caseworker testified that she was unaware OPWDD offered such services and was not familiar with how to refer an adult to OPWDD. Furthermore, the record shows that the mother substantially completed the services to which she had been referred. As amici curiae note, people with intellectual disabilities possess the ability to be successful parents and should receive services and support appropriately tailored to their needs. We have considered petitioner’s remaining arguments and find them unavailing. M-3154 – In re S., Children Motion by The Arc, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the Civil Rights and Enforcement Center, Disability Rights Advocates, Professor Robyn M. Powell, and Professor Charisa Smith for file leave to file a brief as amici curiae granted and the brief accepted as filed. THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

New York Legal Awards 2021

October 13, 2021
New York, NY

The New York Law Journal honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in New York.


Women Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021

October 07, 2021
Washington, DC

Women Influence & Power in Law Awards honors women lawyers who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.


Women Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) 2021

October 06, 2021 - October 08, 2021
Washington, DC

WIPL is the original global forum facilitating women-to-women exchange on leadership and legal issues.


Legal Assistant/Case Manager

Houston, Texas, United States

We are looking for EXPERIENCED personal injury case managers/legal assistants to join our team. Come work with us!   The right team m...

Apply Now ›

Employee Benefits Associate

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Duane Morris seeks an associate with 3-4 years of experience to join its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group. Candidate shoul...

Apply Now ›

Employment Attorney- Long Island- New York

Mineola, New York, United States

Growing Nassau County firm seeks experienced Employment litigator with 2-6 years experience who wants to collaborate with others at establis...

Apply Now ›



JAVERBAUM WURGAFT HICKS mourn the passing of our Co-Founding Partner, collegue, and friend.

View Announcement ›



Barton Gilman Expands Into Connecticut

View Announcement ›



Barton Gilman LLP is excited to announce that its expansion into Philadelphia

View Announcement ›