State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-507

§ 7B‑507.  Reasonableefforts.

(a)        An order placing orcontinuing the placement of a juvenile in the custody or placementresponsibility of a county department of social services, whether an order forcontinued nonsecure custody, a dispositional order, or a review order:

(1)        Shall contain afinding that the juvenile's continuation in or return to the juvenile's ownhome would be contrary to the juvenile's best interest;

(2)        Shall containfindings as to whether a county department of social services has madereasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for placement of thejuvenile, unless the court has previously determined under subsection (b) ofthis section that such efforts are not required or shall cease;

(3)        Shall containfindings as to whether a county department of social services should continueto make reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for placement ofthe juvenile, unless the court has previously determined or determines undersubsection (b) of this section that such efforts are not required or shallcease;

(4)        Shall specify thatthe juvenile's placement and care are the responsibility of the countydepartment of social services and that the agency is to provide or arrange forthe foster care or other placement of the juvenile; and

(5)        May provide forservices or other efforts aimed at returning the juvenile to a safe home or atachieving another permanent plan for the juvenile.

A finding that reasonable effortshave not been made by a county department of social services shall not precludethe entry of an order authorizing the juvenile's placement when the court findsthat placement is necessary for the protection of the juvenile. Where effortsto prevent the need for the juvenile's placement were precluded by an immediatethreat of harm to the juvenile, the court may find that the placement of thejuvenile in the absence of such efforts was reasonable.

(b)        In any orderplacing a juvenile in the custody or placement responsibility of a countydepartment of social services, whether an order for continued nonsecurecustody, a dispositional order, or a review order, the court may direct thatreasonable efforts to eliminate the need for placement of the juvenile shallnot be required or shall cease if the court makes written findings of factthat:

(1)        Such efforts clearlywould be futile or would be inconsistent with the juvenile's health, safety,and need for a safe, permanent home within a reasonable period of time;

(2)        A court of competentjurisdiction has determined that the parent has subjected the child toaggravated circumstances as defined in G.S. 7B‑101;

(3)        A court of competentjurisdiction has terminated involuntarily the parental rights of the parent toanother child of the parent; or

(4)        A court of competentjurisdiction has determined that: the parent has committed murder or voluntarymanslaughter of another child of the parent; has aided, abetted, attempted,conspired, or solicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter of the childor another child of the parent; or has committed a felony assault resulting inserious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent.

(c)        At any hearing atwhich the court finds that reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for thejuvenile's placement are not required or shall cease, the court shall directthat a permanency planning hearing as required by G.S. 7B‑907 be heldwithin 30 calendar days after the date of the hearing and, if practicable,shall set the date and time for the permanency planning hearing. At any hearingat which the court finds and orders that reasonable efforts to reunify a familyshall cease, the affected parent, guardian, or custodian or that parent,guardian, or custodian's counsel may give notice to preserve the parent,guardian, or custodian's right to appeal the finding and order in accordancewith G.S. 7B‑1001(a)(5). Notice may be given in open court or in writingwithin 10 days of the hearing at which the court orders the efforts to reunifythe family to cease. The party giving notice shall be permitted to make adetailed offer of proof as to any evidence that person sought to offer inopposition to cessation of reunification that the court refused to admit asevidence or to consider.

(d)        In determiningreasonable efforts to be made with respect to a juvenile and in making suchreasonable efforts, the juvenile's health and safety shall be the paramountconcern. Reasonable efforts to preserve or reunify families may be madeconcurrently with efforts to plan for the juvenile's adoption, to place the juvenilewith a legal guardian, or to place the juvenile in another permanentarrangement. (1998‑229,ss. 4.1, 21.1; 1999‑456, s. 60; 2001‑487, s. 2; 2005‑398, s.1.)