The Department of Children and Families surely could not be faulted for failing to make reasonable reunification efforts when the respondent father essentially vanished from his child's life. The trial court granted the petition to terminate the parental rights of the respondent father to his child, Kamal R, following a trial the respondent failed to attend. The respondent appealed claiming that the court improperly found that the department had made reasonable efforts to reunite him with his son. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The record supported the court's underlying findings and ultimate determination that the department made reasonable efforts to reunify the respondent with Kamal. The finding was not clearly erroneous. The trial court noted that the respondent had an extensive history with substance abuse, failed to show up at an intensive outpatient treatment center where he had been referred, and was convicted of assault in the second degree for hitting Kamal's mother in the head with a chair and beer bottle and pushing her down the stairs. While incarcerated, he participated in various programs and had monthly visits with Kamal. He left a halfway house in March 2012 and had no contact with Kamal since Feb. 2012. He failed to keep the department apprised of his whereabouts. While the respondent faulted the department for not being more involved in his programs during his incarceration, when he was in the custody of the Department of Correction, the Department of Children and Families was unable to offer him services. Thereafter, the department surely could not be faulted for failing to make reasonable efforts when the respondent essentially vanished from Kamal's life.

VIEW FULL CASE