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In the Interest of Kb*Fn1

December 20, 2012

IN THE INTEREST OF KB*FN1


APPEAL FROM THE FAMILY COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (FC-S NO. 07-11642)

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS OR THE PACIFIC REPORTER

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

(By: Nakamura, C.J., Fujise and Reifurth, JJ.)

Appellant Father ("Father") appeals from the Order Terminating Parental Rights ("Order"), filed on December 5, 2011 in the Family Court of the First Circuit ("Family Court").*fn2 More than four years after Appellee State of Hawaii Department of Human Services ("DHS") first filed a Petition for Foster Care Custody over Mother and Father's daughter ("KB"), the Order terminated Mother and Father's parental rights and awarded permanent custody of KB, who was six years old at the time, to DHS. Mother did not appeal.

On appeal, Father argues that (1) the service plans ordered by the Family Court did not include him and, due to his incarceration until April 2009, he should not have been expected to demonstrate the skills required by DHS until a service plan was created upon his release, (2) DHS failed to use reasonable efforts to reunify him with KB because timely referrals for services were not provided, and (3) DHS failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he failed to complete any recommended services prior to the termination of his parental rights in February 2010.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, we resolve Father's points of error as follows:

At a termination of parental rights hearing for a child under the age of fourteen, the Family Court must determine whether there exists clear and convincing evidence that:

(1) A child's parent whose rights are subject to termination is not presently willing and able to provide the parent's child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan;

(2) It is not reasonably foreseeable that the child's parent whose rights are subject to termination will become willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan, within a reasonable period of time,

which shall not exceed two years from the child's date of entry into foster care; [and]

(3) The proposed permanent plan is in the best interests of the child. In reaching this determination, the court shall:

(A) Presume that it is in the best interests of the child to be promptly and permanently placed with responsible and competent substitute parents and family in a safe and secure home; and

(B) Give greater weight to the presumption that the permanent plan is in the child's best interest, the younger the child is upon the child's date of entry into foster care[.]

HAW. REV. STAT. ยง 587A-33(a)(1)-(3) (Supp. 2011). With a single exception discussed below, Father does not challenge the Family Court's relevant conclusions of law ("COL") and findings of fact ("FOF"). Instead, Father's arguments focus on DHS's alleged failure to provide every reasonable opportunity to help him "to succeed in remedying the ...


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