AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE JUVENILE LAWS PERTAINING TO ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND DEPENDENCY.
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).
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