The Appellate Group

In re K.T.

In re K.T., 2023 UT App 5 (Christiansen Forster, J.)

Child Welfare

The Division of Child and Family Services filed a Verified Petition for Protective Supervision requesting that the juvenile court to find that Mother’s son “abused, neglected and/or dependent and to grant protective supervision of [Son] to DCFS.” Later, Mother and DCFS reached an agreement, and DCFS amended its petition asking the court to find Son “neglected and/or dependent” while still granting protective supervision. The juvenile court ultimately entered a finding of neglect and, after a later disposition hearing, issued a written order substantiating three DCFS supported findings of abuse. Mother appealed the order. She raised three issues. The Utah Court of Appeal affirmed, holding:

  • The juvenile court did not exceed its statutory authority to substantiate the DCFS finding of abuse.
  • The juvenile court can consider all allegations of an amended petition, regardless of how DCFS and a parent have settled a case.
  • Mother failed to show that her decision to settle with DCFS stemmed from ineffective assistance of counsel.

Read the full court opinion