Laurie K., Appellant. v. <<

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, New York.

Matter of STEVEN K. and Manley L., Jr. Wayne County Department of Social Services, Respondent; Laurie K., Appellant.

Decided: October 22, 1998

PRESENT:  DENMAN, P.J., GREEN, PINE, HAYES and BOEHM, JJ. Lisa A. Sadinsky, Rochester, for Appellant. Wayne County Dept. of Social Services by Gary Bennett, Lyons, for Respondent. Deborah Gerber Farber, Penfield for Law Guardian.

Family Court's determination that the children were permanently neglected by respondent is supported by clear and convincing evidence.   The record establishes that petitioner made diligent efforts to strengthen the relationship between respondent and the children (see, Social Services Law § 384-b [7][a] ) by providing “services and other assistance aimed at ameliorating or resolving the problems preventing [the children's] return to respondent's care” (Matter of Kayte M., 201 A.D.2d 835, 608 N.Y.S.2d 711, lv. denied 83 N.Y.2d 757, 614 N.Y.S.2d 386, 637 N.E.2d 277;  see, Matter of Michelle F., 222 A.D.2d 747, 748-749, 635 N.Y.S.2d 709).  Although respondent participated in some of the services offered by petitioner, she failed to address the sexual abuse that led to the removal of the children from the home (see, Matter of Rebecca D., 222 A.D.2d 1092, 635 N.Y.S.2d 847;  see also, Matter of Cathleen B., 231 A.D.2d 962, 648 N.Y.S.2d 382, appeal dismissed 90 N.Y.2d 840, 660 N.Y.S.2d 866, 683 N.E.2d 772).  “Because she failed to make any progress in overcoming the problems that initially endangered the children and continued to prevent their safe return, the court properly found that respondent was unable to make an adequate plan for her children's future” (Matter of Rebecca D., supra at 1092, 635 N.Y.S.2d 847).

Respondent failed to demonstrate that she was afforded less than meaningful representation by counsel (see, Matter of Matthew C., 227 A.D.2d 679, 682-683, 641 N.Y.S.2d 753;  see also, Matter of Alfred C., 237 A.D.2d 517, 655 N.Y.S.2d 589).   Finally, we reject the contention that termination of respondent's parental rights was not in the best interests of the children (see, Matter of Nathaniel T., 67 N.Y.2d 838, 842, 501 N.Y.S.2d 647, 492 N.E.2d 775).

Order unanimously affirmed without costs.

MEMORANDUM: