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Holdcraft v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

March 6, 2019

Carrie HOLDCRAFT, Appellant
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES and Minor Child, Appellees

Page 556

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 557

          APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, ELEVENTH DIVISION [NO. 60JV-16-1316], HONORABLE PATRICIA JAMES, JUDGE

          Tabitha McNulty, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for appellant.

         Ellen K. Howard, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.

         Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for minor child.

          Opinion

         DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge

          Carrie Holdcraft appeals the Pulaski County Circuit Court’s termination of her parental rights to her daughter, SH (DOB 5-23-12).[1] She argues it was not in SH’s best interest for her parental rights to be terminated. We affirm the termination of Holdcraft’s parental rights.

          The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) exercised a seventy-two-hour hold on SH on November 3, 2016, after receiving a child-maltreatment report that methamphetamine was within easy reach of SH in Holdcraft’s home and alleging Holdcraft was not an adequate caregiver due to her use of drugs. While investigating the report, the DCFS worker observed that Holdcraft appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance, was fidgety, and was constantly moving. While Holdcraft denied using any illegal substances, she admitted others in the house had done so; the DCFS worker could smell alcohol on Holdcraft, who admitted she had been drinking throughout the day. Holdcraft tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamines, and marijuana; cocaine and drug paraphernalia were discovered in the house; and a marijuana plant was found growing in the laundry room. Holdcraft was arrested on drug charges, and SH was taken into DHS custody due to neglect and parental unfitness. On November 7, 2016, DHS filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect; an order granting emergency custody was filed on that same day.

          On November 14, a probable-cause hearing was held, and the circuit court entered an order finding that based on the stipulation of the parties, there was probable

Page 558

cause to continue custody of SH with DHS. The circuit court found DHS had made reasonable efforts to prevent removal. At the time of the probable-cause hearing, Holdcraft was incarcerated in the Pulaski County jail. On December 19, an adjudication hearing was held, and the circuit court entered an order finding SH was dependent-neglected. The parties stipulated to the finding of dependency-neglect based on parental unfitness, specifically Holdcraft’s drug use, which affected her ability to parent SH. The goal of the case continued to be reunification, with a concurrent goal of adoption, and the circuit court found that DHS had made reasonable efforts to provide services and achieve the goal of the case.

          On April 24, 2017, a review hearing was held. The circuit court entered an order finding Holdcraft had made substantial progress since the last hearing by completing her psychological examination; attending outpatient therapy as recommended; participating in therapy; testing negative on all drug screens; visiting SH on a consistent basis; and being employed. The circuit court noted Holdcraft was considering divorcing SH’s father, David Holdcraft. The goal of the case ...


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