IN RE YOLANDA V. ET AL.[*]
October 17, 2019.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford,
Juvenile Matters, C. Taylor, J.
Michtom, assistant public defender, for the appellant
Rosemarie T. Weber, assistant attorney general, with whom, on
the brief, were William Tong, attorney general, and Benjamin
Zivyon, assistant attorney general, for the appellee
M. Helmrich, for the minor children.
DiPentima, C. J., and Elgo and Harper, Js. ELGO, J. In this
opinion the other judges concurred.
Conn.App. 335] ELGO, J.
respondent mother appeals from the judgments of the trial
court terminating her parental rights as to Yolanda V.,
Jennessy V., and Hailey V., her minor children. She contends
that the court improperly [195 Conn.App. 336] concluded that
(1) she failed to achieve the requisite degree of personal
rehabilitation required by General Statutes § 17a-112, and
(2) termination of her parental rights was in the best
interests of the children.  We affirm the judgments
of the trial court.
following facts, which the trial court found by clear and
convincing evidence,  are relevant to this appeal. The
respondent is a convicted felon and drug trafficker who has a
history of substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental
health issues. She has been diagnosed with depression,
anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorder, and
court noted in its memorandum of decision, the Department of
Children and Families (department) " has been involved
with [the respondent and her family] since 2002, due to
issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health,
parenting issues, physical neglect, and physical abuse."
In 2002, the respondent's two older children, Malaysha R.
and Damion B., were removed from her care following her
arrest on drug related charges and subsequent incarceration.
Their guardianship ultimately was transferred to a relative,
and efforts to reunify them with the respondent were
Conn.App. 337] Yolanda was born in 2006, and was twelve years
old at the time of trial. She has " significant special
needs," having been diagnosed with autism spectrum
disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Jennessy was eleven years old at the time of trial and
suffers from ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
multiple learning disorders. Hailey was ten years old at the
time of trial and has been diagnosed with ADHD, multiple
learning disorders, and pica. 
January 25, 2010, Hailey sustained a cut to her forehead. The
department received a report from emergency medical
technicians who responded to a 911 call, who " did not
feel that the coffee table, that [the respondent] reported
the child had hit, had sharp enough edges to inflict such
injury." Although a subsequent investigation concluded
that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the
allegations of physical abuse, the case remained open and
ongoing services continued.
24, 2010, the department received a report from a teacher
concerned by red sores on Yolanda's hands because Yolanda
" had made statements accusing [the respondent of]
hitting her." The department ultimately could not
substantiate those allegations.
February 16, 2011, the department received a report of
emotional neglect stemming from a physical and verbal
altercation between the respondent and the father, which
later was substantiated. As the court recounted in its
memorandum of decision: " The caller stated that police
went to the home and learned that [the respondent] and [the
father] had a physical and verbal altercation. According to
the caller, this occurred [195 Conn.App. 338] quite often.
The caller stated that there were holes all over the walls
and the caller was unsure if they were from both parties.
There was spaghetti splattered over the wall. There were
numerous items broken in the home from past fights which were
never reported. [The father] had injuries. According to the
caller, both parties were hitting each other. However, [the
respondent] did not have any visible injuries. The children
were present but not injured. The caller stated that the
children were 'scared out of their minds.' The caller
stated that neighbors heard the children screaming. The two
older children told the caller that 'mommy and daddy
fight all the time.' Both parents were arrested. [The
respondent] was charged with assault in the third degree,
disorderly conduct, and interfering. [The father] was charged
with disorderly conduct and interfering. Both parties
remained in police custody. The children remained at the home
with a relative. The allegations were substantiated and the
case was transferred to ongoing services. The children
entered care at this time." 
minor children thereafter were adjudicated neglected and
committed to the custody of the petitioner, the Commissioner
of Children and Families, on November 10, 2011. At that time,
the court issued specific steps for both the respondent and
the father. Following the implementation of services by the
department, the court returned custody of the children to the