[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72JV-17-974],
HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE
Lanford, Arkansas Commission for Parent Counsel, for
K. Howard, Jonesboro, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
S. HIXSON, Judge
Appellant Shantel Redden appeals from the termination of her
parental rights to her children Av.R., Ar.R., Du.H., and
Do.H., who range in age from six to ten years
old. On appeal, Shantel argues that the
termination order should be reversed because there was
insufficient evidence of statutory grounds and insufficient
evidence that the termination was in the childrens best
interest. We affirm.
review termination-of-parental-rights cases de novo.
Mitchell v. Ark. Dept of Human Servs., 2013
Ark.App. 715, 430 S.W.3d 851. At least one statutory ground
must exist, in addition to finding that is in the childs
best interest to terminate parental rights; these must be
proved by clear and convincing evidence. Ark. Code Ann. §
9-27-341 (Supp. 2017); M.T. v. Ark. Dept of Human
Servs., 58 Ark.App. 302, 952 S.W.2d 177 (1997). Clear
and convincing evidence is that degree of proof that will
produce in the factfinder a firm conviction as to the
allegation sought to be established. Anderson v.
Douglas, 310 Ark. 633, 839 S.W.2d 196 (1992). The
appellate inquiry is whether the trial courts finding that
the disputed fact was proved by clear and convincing evidence
is clearly erroneous. J.T. v. Ark. Dept of Human
Servs., 329 Ark. 243, 947 S.W.2d 761 (1997). A finding
is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to
support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is
left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been made. Yarborough v. Ark. Dept of Human Servs.,
96 Ark.App. 247, 240 S.W.3d 626 (2006).
December 27, 2016, appellee Arkansas Department of Human
Services (DHS) opened a protective-services case due to a
true finding of threat of harm to the children based on
allegations that Durod had committed aggravated assault
against a household member. Shortly thereafter, there was a
true finding of inadequate supervision by Shantel. During the
protective-services case, the children remained in Shantels
custody. DHS provided Shantel with multiple services, such as
counseling, home visits, a drug-and-alcohol assessment, drug
screens, and parenting classes.
December 18, 2017, DHS filed a petition for
dependency-neglect. DHS alleged that the children were
dependent-neglected and at substantial risk of serious harm
as a result of Shantels parental unfitness. An attached
affidavit of a family-service
worker stated that Shantel had failed to avail herself of the
services provided in the protective-services case. During the
case, Shantel had been arrested for terroristic threatening,
possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug
paraphernalia. Shantel was listed as a suspect on charges of
breaking or entering and felony theft. Shantel had tested
positive for methamphetamine and THC. The affidavit stated
that Shantel had been repeatedly contacted by the school
about the childrens need for counseling but that Shantel had
failed to get them into counseling.
January 4, 2018, the trial court entered an order finding
probable cause that the children were dependent-neglected and
placing them in emergency DHS custody. The trial court found
that, despite reasonable DHS efforts to provide services to
prevent removal, immediate removal of the children ...