A. O. was born in 1999 when her mother was in prison. Her grandmother, Delores O’Brien Heffernan, was granted temporary custody and then guardianship. Heffernan’s housing and employment situation were unstable, and A. O. changed schools frequently. In July 2010, Heffernan was arrested in Fairfax, Virginia, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after she and A. O. were caught shoplifting. A. O. was then 10 years old. Heffernan reported that A. O. was homeschooled, but that she was not registered in a homeschool program as required by law because they were homeless. Further investigation found that A. O. had not been in school or had stable housing since February 2009. A. O. was subsequently placed in foster care. Heffernan sought to disrupt A. O.’s placements, displayed erratic behavior, and refused to take the steps required by social services to regain custody of A. O. After two years, the courts terminated Heffernan’s rights and barred her from contact with A. O. until the girl reached 18.
Date: July 2010
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
|Delores O’Brien Heffernan v. Arlington County Department of Human Services, 1520124 (Va. Ct. App. 2013)||2013-08-13|