FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT
[NO. 66FJV-15-299] HONORABLE LEIGH ZUERKER, JUDGE
Lanford, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for appellant.
A. Sharum, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad
litem for minor children.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.
Jacobs appeals the Sebastian County Circuit Court order
terminating her parental rights to her children, J.H., R.H.,
and Z.H. On appeal, she argues that the circuit court erred
in finding it was in the children's best interest to
terminate her parental rights. We affirm.
2, 2015, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS)
filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency neglect
of J.H., R.H., and Z.H. The affidavit attached to the
petition stated that police had responded to a
domestic-disturbance call at the residence where Jacobs was
staying with the children and then called DHS because the
home was inappropriate for the children and Jacobs appeared
to be under the influence of alcohol. When the DHS worker
arrived, Jacobs admitted that she had used methamphetamine
two days earlier but denied being under the influence of any
substance at that time. The affidavit further reported that
DHS had opened a protective-services case with Jacobs in 2014
because Jacobs had tested positive for methamphetamine during
her pregnancy with R.H., and R.H. had tested positive for
marijuana at birth. In the 2014 case, DHS offered Jacobs
services in the form of housing, food banks, transportation,
parenting classes, a drug-and-alcohol assessment, utility
assistance, and vouchers to be used at furniture and clothing
outlets. However, she refused to complete the
drug-and-alcohol assessment, continued to test positive for
marijuana, and evaded DHS. On the same day the May 2015
emergency petition was filed, the circuit court entered an ex
parte order for emergency custody.
12, 2015, the court entered a probable-cause order. On July
2, 2015, the court adjudicated the children
dependent-neglected as a result of Jacobs's
drug-and-alcohol abuse. The court set the goal of the case as
reunification and ordered Jacobs to obtain and maintain
stable housing, income, and transportation; comply with a
psychological evaluation and a drug-and-alcohol assessment;
submit to random drug screens; complete domestic-violence
classes; and resolve all criminal charges.
January 5, 2016, the court entered a review order. The court
found that DHS had not made reasonable efforts to provide
family services. The court continued the goal of
reunification and authorized DHS to arrange appropriate
visitation. The court found that Jacobs had partially
complied with the case plan by completing a drug-and-alcohol
assessment, inpatient drug treatment, and parenting classes
and submitting to drug screens. However, the court found that
she did not have housing or transportation.
April 28, 2016, the court held a permanency-planning hearing.
The court found that DHS had made reasonable efforts to
provide family services. The court further found that Jacobs
had only partially complied with the case plan. Specifically,
the court noted that she did not have housing or
transportation and had failed to complete the psychological
evaluation, domestic-violence classes, and outpatient-drug
treatment. The court authorized DHS to increase visitation at
its discretion, and it continued the goal of the case as
August 8, 2016, the court entered a fifteen-month review
order. The court noted that Jacobs had found housing,
although it was not stable or independent. The court found
that Jacobs had also completed an inpatient-drug-treatment
program but that she had not completed outpatient-drug
treatment and was in need of a new drug-and-alcohol
assessment. The court ordered DHS to refer her for an
assessment. The court noted that she had completed the
psychological evaluation and ordered DHS to provide referrals
for the services recommended in the evaluation. On September
9, 2016, the court entered an amended fifteen-month review
order to withhold a reasonable-efforts finding.
September 12, 2016, the court entered a sixteen-month review
order. The court noted that Jacobs had been arrested for
domestic battery on July 26, 2016. The court found that
Jacobs had complied with the case plan and that she had
"been candid about her illicit drug use." The court
noted that DHS had provided Jacobs with a second referral for
a drug-and-alcohol assessment, and it made a
October 26, 2016, DHS filed a petition for termination of
Jacobs's parental rights. DHS alleged three statutory
grounds: (1) the failure-to-remedy ground,  (2) the
subsequent-factors ground,  and (3) the
aggravated-circumstances ground. The court held a termination
hearing on January 19, 2017.
hearing, Jacobs testified about her first encounter with DHS
at R.H.'s birth in 2014. She explained that both she and
R.H. had tested positive for THC and that DHS had offered her
parenting classes and outpatient-drug treatment at that time.
As to the current case, Jacobs explained that she completed
inpatient-drug treatment in November 2015and had been sober
until March 2016 but that she relapsed after she took pain
medicine for a work injury. She further admitted that she had
used amphetamines in the summer of 2016and THC in November
2016. She explained that after she had relapsed, DHS took
almost four months to refer her for a second inpatient
program. She received outpatient assistance until she
obtained a second inpatient referral. She testified that she
completed the second inpatient program on January 16, 2017,
and that DHS had made a referral for a twelve-week outpatient
program. She ...