§39.806(1)(c) AND FUTILITY-termination of father’s parental rights order reversed where the Department did not offer evidence to establish that the provision of mental health and substance abuse services to father would be futile.

C.W. v. Department of Children and Families, 2017 WL 4844895 (Fla. 1st DCA Oct.
27, 2017)[1D17-2696]

In another recent opinion addressing section 39.806(1)(c) as grounds for terminating
parental rights, the First DCA reversed the trial court’s order terminating father’s
parental rights based on the Department’s concession of error.

The trial court terminated father’s parental rights based on section 39.806(1)(c);
however, father was not offered any services to address his mental health or substance
abuse issues, and the Department did not offer any evidence to establish that the
provision of such services would be futile. No other grounds for termination were plead
in the petition, nor proved at trial.

Practice Tips: To avoid unnecessary delays to permanency, any and all relevant
grounds that exist in a case should be pled in a petition to terminate parental rights and
proved at trial.

Read the Opinion

Back