STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF C.R.F., JR., T.M.S., J.A.S., AND C.T.J. STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF J.K.M.S.
Appealed from the Sixth Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Tensas, Louisiana Trial Court Nos. 1106 and 1142
Honorable John D. Crigler, Judge
AID OF NORTH LOUISIANA By: Elizabeth C. Brown Counsel for
Appellants, C.R.F., JR., T.M.S., J.A.S., C.T.J. and J.K.M.S.,
BRADLEY T. STONE Assistant District Attorney Counsel for
Appellee, State of Louisiana
E. SKIDMORE Counsel for Appellee, State of Louisiana DCFS
INDIGENT DEFENDER'S OFFICE By: Clinton A. Magoun Counsel
for Appellee, J.M.S., Mother
COX, McCALLUM, and THOMPSON, JJ.
consolidated appeal arises out of the 6th Judicial
District, Tensas Parish. The children, C.T.J., J.A.S.,
C.R.F., Jr., T.M.S., and J.K.M.S. appeal the trial
court's judgment terminating their mother's parental
rights and certifying them for adoption. We affirm the trial
four oldest children were taken into State custody on
September 2, 2016, upon allegations that the mother was using
illegal drugs and leaving the children home alone. On January
30, 2018, the youngest child, J.K.M.S., was removed from the
mother's care after allegations of neglect and illegal
drug use. The two cases were consolidated and a hearing was
held for the termination of parental rights. After a full
hearing, the trial court terminated the mother's and
fathers' parental rights. The children have only appealed
the trial court's termination of their mother's
children all have the same mother, J.S. (hereinafter referred
to as "the mother"), whose date of birth is
December 31, 1984. Each child's birthday and named
father is as follows:
C.T.J. (M) 3/25/2004 Father: C.J., Sr.
J.A.S. (F) 5/17/2005 Father: C.J., Sr.
C.R.F., Jr. (M) 6/22/2007 Father: C.F., Sr.
T.M.S. (M) 3/20/2015 Father: F.M.
J.K.M.S. (F) 1/16/2018 Father: C.H. or P.S.
August 25, 2016, the Louisiana Department of Children and
Family Services (DCFS) received a report of alleged neglect
and lack of adequate supervision concerning the four oldest
children. Tamika White, with DCFS, investigated the
allegations and reported the following:
• The mother leaves her children home alone every night
to go use drugs. She returns home in the mornings to put the
kids on the bus and leaves again with the one-year-old
• The mother denied leaving her kids home alone.
• The two oldest children confirmed that their mother
leaves them home alone. They both stated that they have
smelled and seen their mother smoke weed. They described the
weed as a green substance that looks like grass.
August 25, 2016, a safety plan was put in place which listed
Wanda Bowman as the safety monitor. She was to report to the
agency if it was known that the mother left her children home
alone. The mother called DCFS on August 31, 2016, and stated
that she did not have any food and asked for help. DCFS spoke
with Ms. Bowman, who stated she would make sure the children
ate that night. DCFS provided groceries to the mother the
next day, September 1, 2016.
September 1, 2016, the mother tested positive for cocaine and
marijuana. She stated that her last cocaine use was about 2
½ weeks prior to the drug screen, but admitted that
she smokes marijuana daily.
mother was told on August 31, 2016, that she had to move out
of her home due to a lease disagreement and necessary repairs
to the home. On September 1, 2016, the safety plan was
changed and the mother and her children were to move in with
Ms. Bowman. The mother was told by DCFS that she and the
children could not stay with her sister. The mother violated
the safety plan by not staying at Ms. Bowman's home on
spoke with the police department and was told that the mother
had an arrest warrant and would be picked up once she was
the children were removed from her care, the mother enrolled
in Rayville Recovery, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment
center. She completed the program on October 16, 2016.
mother's initial family team meeting was held October 24,
2016, and she participated in developing her case plan goals.
The goal for each child was reunification with a concurrent
goal of adoption. The three older children were placed
together and the baby was placed in a separate foster home.
At the time of the case plan, family members were still being
assessed for possible placement. The mother was given
biweekly meetings with the children for one hour every other
Monday at the DCFS office. The father of J.A.S. and C.T.J.
was given visitation that included phone calls to his
children twice a week. C.R.F., Jr.'s father was given the
same visitation schedule as the mother, but he was scheduled
to visit in the hour after the mother's visit.
mother's action steps included: (1) random drug screens;
(2) a substance abuse assessment; (3) a safe, stable, and
clean home; (4) a mental health assessment; (5) a legal
income; (6) 6 months sobriety; (7) attending her
children's medical appointments; and, (8) parenting
classes. The trial court approved the mother's case plan.
from DCFS show the following acts occurred after the initial
• The mother admitted to using drugs on Halloween night
(2016) because she was depressed and missing her children.
• February 13, 2017: the mother consented to a drug
screen and tested positive for THC, methamphetamines, and
cocaine. She also reported that she had taken an Ecstasy pill
the previous day.
• March 29, 2017: the mother stated she would fail a
drug screen if given one that day.
• DCFS received reports from individuals stating they
had seen the mother walking around town "trying to get
drugs." It was also reported that she was exchanging
sexual favors for money to purchase drugs. Family members
expressed concern that she would be hurt or killed.
• It was suspected that the mother was under the
influence of drugs during some family visits.
• The mother did not consistently make her visitation
times with the children. She had to confirm her attendance on
the Fridays before the meeting. This confirmation had to be
added because of the distance the children had to travel for
the meetings and the mother failed to show at some meetings
or was unavailable when transportation arrived to take her to
the meetings. During the visits, she was affectionate with
all her children. She was observed playing on the floor with
the children, changing diapers, and wiping noses. She asked
the children about school, their placement, and other
• She was referred to The Family Resource Center for
parenting classes, but they recommended she gain control of
her substance abuse before entering the program. They did not
feel she would be able to successfully complete the program
until her substance abuse was treated. They were willing to
enroll her in a three-week program, and the longer ...