Bill Summaries: H669 (2015-2016 Session)

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Jul 2 2015 - View summary

    AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE JUVENILE LAWS PERTAINING TO ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND DEPENDENCY. Enacted July 2, 2015. Section 3 is effective July 2, 2015. The remainder is effective October 1, 2015.


  • Summary date: Jun 29 2015 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition:

    Amends GS 7B-101, deleting the term and definition for aggravated circumstances.

    Amends GS 7B-505 to provide that, unless contrary to the child’s best interests, the court must order the department to make diligent efforts to notify relatives and other persons with legal custody of the juvenile’s siblings that the juvenile is in nonsecure custody (previously, required diligent efforts to notify relatives and custodial parents of the juvenile’s siblings). Provides that the court can consider whether persons with legal custody of a sibling of the juvenile can provide proper care and supervision for the juvenile (was, could consider placement with a custodial parent of the juvenile’s sibling).

    Amends proposed GS 7B-505.1, Juvenile placed in nonsecure custody of a department of social services, by adding that when a juvenile is placed in nonsecure custody of the county department of social services, the director of that department can also arrange, provide, or consent to testing and evaluation of that juvenile in exigent circumstances. 

    Amends proposed GS 7B-505.1, deleting provisions that provided immunity for a director who acts in good faith.

    Amends GS 7B-506(h)(2a) and GS 7B-800.1(a)(4), making conforming changes.

    Amends GS 7B-901, Initial dispositional hearing, amending the enumerated factors that, when found by the court via written finding, authorizes a court to not require efforts for reunification. Provides that reunification efforts are not required if the court has determined that the parent has committed or encouraged the commission of, or allowed the continuation of any of six conditions, including sexual abuse, torture, or abandonment (previously, factor specified if it was found that the parent subjected the child to aggravated circumstances as specified in GS 7B-101; reunification efforts were not required).

    Amends GS 7B-906.1(g) concerning permanency planning hearings, adding language that requires judges to inform parents, guardians, or custodians that failure or refusal to cooperate with the established plan can result in an order in a subsequent permanency planning hearing that reunifications efforts cease.  

    Amends proposed GS 7B-906.2, Permanent plans; concurrent planning, to provide that reunification must remain a primary or secondary plan unless the court made findings as specified or makes written findings that such reunification efforts would be unsuccessful (previously, required reunification efforts to remain a primary or secondary plan until such efforts were clearly futile) or inconsistent with the juvenile's health or safety.  Also adds language requiring the court to make specified written finds at permanency planning hearings that demonstrate lack of success, including whether the parent is making adequate progress within a reasonable period of time under the plan and whether the parent is actively participating in or cooperating with the plan. 

    Deletes proposed GS 131D-10.2A, which required a reasonable and prudent parenting standard to be employed for children in foster care or in a child care institution.  

    Makes technical and clarifying changes. 

    Amends the effective date provisions, providing that changes made to GS 7B-502, Authority to issue custody orders; delegation, are effective when the bill becomes law (previously, changes were effective October 1, 2015). 


  • Summary date: Apr 29 2015 - View summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends GS 7B-505.1 to add that when placing a juvenile in nonsecure custody of a county department of social services, the court may allow the director to consent to a Child Medical Evaluation upon written findings that demonstrate the director's compelling interest in having the juvenile evaluated before the require hearing. Makes conforming, clarifying, and technical changes.

    Amends GS 7B-903(d) to provide that subject to GS 7B-903.1, if the court finds the juvenile to be in need of medical, surgical, psychiatric, psychological, or other treatment (no longer requires the juvenile to not be in the custody of the department of social services), the court must allow the parent or other responsible persons to arrange for treatment.

    Amends GS 7B-906.2 to require that reunification remain a primary or secondary permanent plan unless the court made findings under GS 7B-901(c) or makes written findings that reunification efforts clearly would be futile or would be inconsistent with the juvenile's health or safety.

    Amends GS 7B-1001 by no longer deleting the provision concerning the ability to appeal an order entered into under GS 7B-507(c). Instead, allows the appeal of an order entered under GS 7B-906.2(b), concerning concurrent permanent plans (was, entered under GS 7B-507(c)) and requires the Court of Appeals to review the order eliminating reunification as a permanent plan along with an appeal of the termination of parental rights order if all of the specified conditions apply.

    Adds a section to the act amending GS 7B-906.1 to make conforming changes.


  • Summary date: Apr 14 2015 - View summary

    Amends G.S 7B-101 to add definitions for Department and nonrelative kin.

    Amends G.S. 7B-401.1 to specifically address when a foster party may move to intervene in an A/N/D proceeding.

    Amends G.S. 7B-502 to allow a nonsecure custody order to be entered ex parte and requires telephonic notice to a respondent’s attorney or the attorney’s office of the intent to seek a nonsecure custody order if the department has written notice that the respondent has an attorney for the juvenile matter, or if there is an attorney for the respondent in a juvenile proceeding involving another child within the same county.

    Amends G.S. 7B-505 to comply with federal law by requiring the department, unless contrary to the child’s best interests, to make diligent efforts to notify relatives and custodial parents of the juvenile’s siblings that the juvenile is in nonsecure custody, and to consider placement with  a custodial parent of the juvenile’s sibling.

    Enacts G.S. 7B-505.1 to address medical consent issues for a juvenile who is placed in nonsecure custody with a department of social services. It also addresses disclosure of confidential medical information and provides immunity for a director who acts in good faith.

    Removes from G.S. 7B-506(h)(2a) the definition of nonrelative kin. 

    Amends G.S. 7B-507 by limiting the application to nonsecure custody orders only. It repeals subsections (b), (c), and (d), which address when a court may order reasonable efforts are not required or shall cease.  This eliminates an order ceasing reunification efforts.

    Amends G.S. 7B-800.1(a)(4) by requiring the court to consider if a custodial parent of the juvenile’s sibling or nonrelative kin has been identified and notified as a potential resource for the juvenile.

    Enacts G.S. 7B-901(c) and (d) to authorize a court to find reasonable efforts for reunification are not required if the court makes a written finding of one of three enumerated factors (aggravated circumstances, the involuntary termination of parental rights of another child of the parent, or a parent has committed certain crimes).  Within 30 days of a court ordering reunification efforts are not required, a permanency planning hearing must held so that the court can order a permanent plan for the juvenile.

    Amends G.S. 7B-903 by rewriting and reformatting the subsections. Substantive amendments include adding the appointment of a G.S. 7B-600 guardian as a dispositional alternative for the juvenile, requiring findings for a juvenile who is placed (or continues to be placed) in out of-home care that a return to the juvenile’s home would be contrary to the juvenile’s health and safety and whether the department made reasonable efforts to prevent the need for placement, and replaces the language about a department’s authority to consent to health care.

    Enacts G.S. 7B-903.1, which addresses the department’s authority when a juvenile is placed in its custody.  It references proposed G.S. 7B-505.1 regarding medical care and the ability to make decisions a juvenile’s custodian would normally make so long as not prohibited by federal law and allows the court to delegate part of the department’s authority to the juvenile’s parent, foster parent, or other person. It makes amendments to conform with federal law and the newly proposed G.S. 131D-10.2A regarding a juvenile’s participation in “normal childhood activities.”  It addresses a department’s change in placement for the juvenile including giving the juvenile’s GAL 72 hours notice of its intent to move the juvenile unless emergency circumstances exist, and then the notice must be made within 72 hours of the placement change.

    Repeals G.S. 7B-905(c) and (d) so as to conform with the amendments proposed in the bill.

    Enacts G.S. 7B-906.2, which identifies possible permanent plans for the juvenile that a court shall order when finding it is in the juvenile’s best interests and requires the court to adopt concurrent permanent plans and identifying which is the primary and secondary plan. Further requires the court to make findings about the efforts the department has made toward the primary and secondary permanent plans and whether those efforts were reasonable. References findings required for a juvenile who is 14 or older.

    Enacts G.S. 7B-912 to require specific findings be made for a juvenile who is 14 years old or older, to inquire at least 90 days before a juvenile’s 18th birthday if the juvenile has received certain documents, such as a educational records, a social security card, and medical records, and specifies when “another planned permanent living arrangement” may be ordered for a 16- or 17-year-old.

    Repeals G.S. 7B-1001(5) to conform with the amendment removing an order ceasing reunification efforts by removing the appeal provision of an order ceasing reunification efforts.

    Enacts G.S. 131D-10.2A to conform with federal law, which requires a reasonable and prudent parenting standard be employed for children in foster care or in a child care institution. This allows a caregiver to provide or withhold permission for a child in foster care or under supervision of  a county department to participate in “normal childhood activities,” such as extracurricular and social activities including sleepovers from 24-72 hours. It provides immunity from injuries to a child for the caregiver or county department acting in good faith.