AN ACT TO AMEND VARIOUS ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND DEPENDENCY LAWS TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN IN OUT-OF-HOME PLACEMENTS, EXPEDITE PERMANENCY PLANNING HEARINGS FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE HOME, CREATE A PRESUMPTION THAT FOSTER PARENTS WITH WHOM A CHILD HAS LIVED CONTINUOUSLY FOR NINE MONTHS ARE DEEMED NONRELATIVE KIN, CREATE AN AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE FOR THE EXPOSURE TO UNLAWFUL CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES IN UTERO OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES USED IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW IN UTERO, AND REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES, TO REPORT ANNUALLY CERTAIN EXPENDITURES FOR THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) AND TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) PROGRAM.
Senate committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.
Organizes the act's existing provisions, as amended, into Part I.
Deletes the proposed changes to GS 7B-100, which included in the purpose of Subchapter I (Abuse, Neglect, Dependency) providing juveniles under age 3 who are removed from custody of their homes with prospective permanent placement within one year from the date of the order removing custody. Instead, amends GS 7B-100 to include in the purpose of Subchapter I placing all juveniles in a safe, permanent home within one year from the date of the initial order removing custody in circumstances when it is not in the juvenile's best interest to be returned home.
Eliminates the proposed changes to the defined terms abused juveniles and nonrelative kin set out in GS 7B-101, thereby maintaining the terms' existing definitions under current law. Amends the term neglected juvenile to include any juvenile less than 18 years of age whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker uses an illegal controlled substance or abuses alcohol or a controlled substance and is unable to care for and provide a safe and appropriate home for the juvenile. Modifies the proposed definition for the new term relative to more specifically define the term to mean an individual directly related to the juvenile by blood, marriage or adoption.
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7B-503(a), concerning instances in which a nonsecure custody order must be made, to now include instances in which the juvenile is an infant who was born drug-exposed to alcohol, unlawful controlled substances, or controlled substances used in violation of the law (was, an infant who (1) was born drug-exposed and the drug exposure was not medically based, (2) the parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities due to a history of chronic drug abuse, and (3) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the parent's substance abuse will continue for a prolonged or indeterminate period based on the opinion of a licensed health care provider with substance abuse disorders experience).
Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7B-901(c)(1)e. by providing that if a disposition order places a juvenile in the custody of a county department of social services, the court must direct that reasonable efforts for reunification are not required if the court finds that a court has determined that aggravated circumstances exist because the parent has committed or allowed the continuation of chronic or toxic exposure to alcohol or controlled substances that causes impairment of or addiction in the juvenile, including, but not limited to, exposure to unlawful controlled substances in utero or controlled substances in violation of the law in utero (previously, specifically included exposure to nonmedical controlled substances in utero only).
Modifies and adds to the proposed changes to GS 7B-903, concerning placement of a juvenile in out-of-home care. No longer provides that a foster parent is deemed to be a nonrelative kin once a child under age 3 has resided in the foster parent's home for a continuous period of at least nine months. Instead, adds a new subsection to deem a foster parent to be nonrelative kin once a juvenile (no age requirement) who is not a member of a State-recognized tribe has resided in the foster parent's home for a continuous period of at least nine months. Makes organizational and conforming changes.
Deletes the proposed changes to GS 7B-906.1(a), concerning placement of children under age 3 in a prospective permanent home within 12 months of the initial order removing custody. Instead, amends existing law to require a permanency review hearing to be held within nine months (was, twelve) of the date of the initial order removing custody.
Deletes proposed GS 7B-1103(a)(8), which granted foster parents of a juvenile under age 3 who has resided for a continuous period of at least nine months with the foster parent standing to file a petition or motion to terminate the parental rights (TPR) of either or both parents. Instead, amends current law that establishes standing to file TPR petitions or motions for any person with whom the juvenile has resided for a continuous period of two months or more next preceding the filing of the petition or motion, to now provide standing for any person with whom the juvenile has resided for a continuous period of 15 months, rather than two months, or more next preceding the filing of the petition or motion.
Changes the effective date of the provision of Part I from October 1, 2019, to July 1, 2020.
Adds new provisions, set forth in Part II of the act, as follows.
Directs the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services (Division), to post on its website and make available biannually to the specified NCGA committee and legislative leadership a report on certain expenditures for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including the benefits accessed or expended out-of-state, by state, for each program, and details of each transaction in which benefits were accessed or expended in the state for each program, as provided. Requires the Division to redact personally identifying information of program recipients.
Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.
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