• New Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, and Termination of Parental Rights Resources

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    I am so happy to announce the availability of the 2017 Manual — Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings in North Carolina.

    What’s In It?

    This Manual provides easily accessible information about the laws, procedures, and concepts related to abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings in North Carolina. The primary intended audience consists of district court judges, social services attorneys, parents’ attorneys, and guardian ad litem attorney advocates who work in this area of the law.

    This 2017 edition is a significant revision of the previous edition (2015) and contains hundreds of pages of new content. It includes changes made to the Juvenile Code by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 sessions as well as appellate decisions published through October 1, 2017. The new content discusses a variety of topics including mandatory concurrent permanency planning, cessation of reasonable efforts and the elimination of reunification as a permanent plan, medical decision-making for a child placed in DSS custody, the reasonable and prudent parent standard, and Foster Care 18−21.

    There are nine new checklists that supplement the chapter content and incorporate the legislative changes that apply to the various hearings in abuse, neglect, dependency, and related termination of parental rights proceedings. Before you bypass the chapters to get to the checklists, explore the Manual to see what is in there.

    What’s Different?

    In addition to the new content resulting from the changes to the Juvenile Code, this new edition differs from the prior edition. Parts of the Manual have been reorganized. For example, dispositional hearings and outcomes are now in one chapter, and there is a new chapter on confidentiality and information sharing.

    Chapter 13 discusses relevant federal laws that relate to juvenile proceedings. In addition to ICWA, MEPA, and SIJS, it now includes Title VI, the ADA, the SCRA, ESSA, and IDEA. If these acronyms mean nothing to you, Chapter 13 is for you. As a bonus, find the Chapter that has the federal PKPA (also new in this edition and another acronym you should be familiar with if you work in this area of the law).

    Access the Manual Here

    This Manual is designed for online use and can be viewed at no charge. The Manual will also be available soon for purchase as a soft-cover book. If you’d like to be notified when the Manual is available for purchase, click here.

    Many, Many Thanks

    Many people were involved in the making of the 2017 edition of this Manual, and they are recognized here. But I must specially thank my colleague, Jan Simmons, who embarked on this rewriting journey with me. Without her, this Manual would not have happened. Throughout this process, we challenged ourselves and each other, we laughed, we cried, and we wrote you all a new 2017 Manual! John Rubin provided ongoing consistent support and advice.

    The School’s partner for this Manual is the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Production of this Manual was made possible with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Children and Families, and the Court Improvement Program of the AOC.

    But Wait, There’s More!

    In addition to the Manual, there is another School of Government publication related to abuse, neglect, and dependency cases that became available earlier this month. The 2017 edition of Stages of Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases in North Carolina: From Report to Final Disposition is a 15-page primer with accompanying color-coded flow chart (some of you have heard me refer to as “candyland”). It updates the 2015 edition, incorporating changes to the Juvenile Code through the 2017 legislative session. It is available for purchase here.


    Questions, comments, and suggestions on the Manual, the primer, or new publication topics are welcome. Contact Sara DePasquale at sara@sog.unc.edu.

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