K.D. v. Department of Children and Families, 2018 WL 1769747 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018)
The Department filed an expedited petition to terminate mother’s parental rights under sections 39.806(1)(c), (i), (j) and (l). Despite a decade of involvement with the Department due to mother’s chronic substance abuse, including the removal of seven other children since 2008, the child, C.D., tested positive for cocaine and marijuana at birth. The trial court found all four grounds were proved by clear and convincing evidence and that termination of parental rights was the least restrictive means of protecting the child from harm.
Mother appealed only the finding regarding the least restrictive means because the Department did not offer her a case plan. The First DCA affirmed, noting that in “extraordinary circumstances” such as mother’s decade-long substance abuse and involvement with the Department, the Department was not obligated to offer her a case plan and that termination was the least restrictive means of protecting the child from harm.