FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72JV-17-482],
HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE
Tabitha McNulty, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
J. HARRISON, Judge
Charity Allen-Grace appeals the termination of her parental
rights to her three children— A.S., A.G.1, and A.G.2.
On appeal, she argues that there was insufficient evidence to
support the courts best-interest determination. We affirm.
February 2018, we affirmed the Washington County Circuit
Courts determination that A.S., A.G.1, and A.G.2. were
dependent-neglected. Allen-Grace v. Ark. Dept of Human
Servs., 2018 Ark.App. 83, 542 S.W.3d 205. In April 2018,
the circuit court entered a permanency-planning order. It
found that Charity had complied partially with the case plan
by maintaining contact with DHS, maintaining a safe and clean
home, and staying employed. The court, however, also found
that Charity stopped submitting to random drug screens,
failed to complete individual counseling, and was arrested
for sexually assaulting A.S.s boyfriend, a minor. Charity
also had a previous misdemeanor-assault charge with A.S. as
the victim. The court further found that Charity married
Kenneth Shaw, a prisoner in Missouri. The court noted that
the juveniles were being cared for by relatives and
termination of parental rights was in the childrens best
interest. The court ordered Charity to cooperate with DHS,
complete a psychological evaluation, abstain from illegal
drugs or alcohol, not abuse prescription drugs, submit to
random drug screens twice a month, and "demonstrate
ability to protect juveniles and keep them safe from
harm," among other things. In May 2018, the Arkansas
Department of Human Services (DHS) filed a petition to
terminate Charitys parental rights.
circuit court convened hearings on DHSs termination petition
on 1 August, 14 September, and 4 October 2018. The parties
presented the prior orders in the case, a court report,
A.S.s counseling report, a court appointed special advocate
(CASA) report, a visitation log, and a letter from Charity to
the circuit court. The evidence showed that Charity owns a
house in Springdale, which a CASA worker observed to be
"clean, safe, and appropriate," that Charitys
marriage to Kenneth Shaw was annulled in June 2018, and that
Charity works as an accountant for a tile store.
the children were initially removed from their mothers
custody, the circuit court placed custody of A.S. with her
grandparents Peter Halpern and Leslie Halpern and custody of
A.G.1 and A.G.2 with their paternal grandparents, Joanne
Grace and Albert Grace. By all accounts, the children were
doing well living with their paternal grandparents. A.S.,
A.G.1, and A.G.2 had monthly sibling visits. The DHS
visitation log showed that Charity attended almost all weekly
visits with the children from 6 July 2017 to 2 October 2018.
According to DHSs drug-screen log for Charity, she had a
"verified prescription for Xanax" and tested
positive for "BZO" on more than one occasion.
Charity failed to show up for four of the thirteen ...