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Thursday, January 15, 2015

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY VS. N.C.M. AND T.E. AND J.C. ET AL. A-3666-13T3


NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY VS. N.C.M. AND T.E. AND J.C. ET AL.
A-3666-13T3
In this guardianship case, we reject defendant's argument that the Division's failure to provide services, including mental health evaluations and treatment when she was a minor under the Division's care, can be considered in evaluating the Division's reasonable efforts, now that she is a defendant in a guardianship proceeding.
Although the Division apparently failed to provide these services to defendant after her removal from a Division placement when she was fourteen, we are aware of no statutory authority or precedent holding that this failure can be considered in a subsequent guardianship proceeding involving that same child in her later capacity as a parent when assessing the adequacy of services required under prong three of the best- interests test. N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1(a).
We take this opportunity, however, to discuss the Division's obligation to provide services, specifically mental health evaluations and treatment, to minors under its care.