AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE JUVENILE LAWS PERTAINING TO ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND DEPENDENCY.
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.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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