H918: Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report SNAP/TANF. Latest Version

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2019

HOUSE BILL 918
RATIFIED BILL

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.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

PART I. ENSURE SAFETY FOR CHILDREN IN OUT-OF-HOME PLACEMENTS AND
EXPEDITE PERMANENCY PLANNING HEARINGS
SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 7B-100 reads as rewritten:
"§ 7B-100. Purpose.
This Subchapter shall be interpreted and construed so as to implement the following purposes
and policies:


(5) To provide standards, consistent with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of
1997, P.L. 105-89, for ensuring that the best interests of the juvenile are of
paramount consideration by the court and that when it is not in the juvenile's
best interest to be returned home, the juvenile will be placed in a safe,
permanent home within a reasonable amount of time.one year from the date
of the initial order removing custody."

SECTION 1.(b) G.S. 7B-101 reads as rewritten:
"§ 7B-101. Definitions.
As used in this Subchapter, unless the context clearlyrequires otherwise, the following words
have the listed meanings:

(15) Neglected juvenile. – Any juvenile less than 18 years of age (i) who is found
to be a minor victim of human trafficking under G.S. 14-43.15 or

G.S. 14-43.15, (ii) whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker does not
provide proper care, supervision, or discipline; or who has been abandoned;
or who is not provided necessary medical care; or who is not provided
necessary remedial care; or who lives in an environment injurious to the
juvenile's welfare; or the custody of whom has been unlawfully transferred
under G.S. 14-321.2; or who has been placed for care or adoption in violation

*H918-v-5* of law. law or (iii) 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. In
determining whether a juvenile is a neglected juvenile, it is relevant whether
that juvenile lives in a home where another juvenile has died as a result of
suspected abuse or neglect or lives in a home where another juvenile has been
subjected to abuse or neglect by an adult who regularly lives in the home.


(18a) Relative. – An individual directly related to the juvenile by blood, marriage,
or adoption including, but not limitedto, a grandparent, sibling, aunt, or uncle.
(18a)(18b) Responsible individual. – A parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker who
abuses or seriously neglects a juvenile.
(18b)(18c) Return home or reunification. – Placement of the juvenile in the home of
either parent or placement of the juvenile in the home of a guardian or

custodian from whose home the child was removed by court order.
…."
SECTION 1.(c) G.S. 7B-503(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) When a request is made for nonsecure custody, the court shall first consider release
of the juvenile to the juvenile's parent, relative, guardian, custodian, or other responsible adult.
An order for nonsecure custody shall be made only when there is a reasonable factual basis to

believe the matters alleged in the petition are true, and any of the following apply:

(7) The juvenile is an infant who was born drug-exposed to alcohol, unlawful
controlled substances, or controlled substances used in violation of the law. If
the parent is enrolled in and meeting or exceeding the benchmarks of a
substance abuse treatment program recommended by a medical provider or a
local management entity/managed care organization (LME/MCO), then any

alcohol, unlawful controlled substances use, or use of controlled substances
in violation of the law shall not be the sole ground for ordering nonsecure
custody.
A juvenile alleged to be abused, neglected, or dependent shall be placed in nonsecure custody
only when there is a reasonable factual basis to believe that there are no other reasonable means
available to protect the juvenile. The developmental and attachment needs of the juvenile must
be considered in making nonsecure custody determinations. In no case shall a juvenile alleged to

be abused, neglected, or dependent be placed in secure custody."
SECTION 1.(d) G.S. 7B-505(b) reads as rewritten:
"(b) The court shall order the department of social services to make diligent efforts to
notify relatives and other persons with legal custody of a sibling of the juvenile that the juvenile
is in nonsecure custody and of any hearings scheduled to occur pursuant to G.S. 7B-506, unless
the court finds the notification would be contrary to the best interests of the juvenile. The

department of social services shall use due diligence to identify and notify adult relatives, next
of kin, and other persons with legal custody of a sibling of the juvenile within 30 days after the
initial order removing custody. The department shall file with the court information regarding
attempts made to identify and notify adult relatives of the child, next of kin, and persons with
legal custody of a sibling of the juvenile. In placing a juvenile in nonsecure custody under this
section, the court shall first consider whether a relative of the juvenile is willing and able to
provide proper care and supervision of the juvenile in a safe home. If the court finds that the

relative is willing and able to provide proper care and supervision in a safe home, then the court
shall order placement of the juvenile with the relative unless the court finds that placement with
the relative would be contrary to the best interests of the juvenile.juvenile, including, but not
limited to, the developmental and attachment needs of the juvenile."

Page 2 House Bill 918-Ratified SECTION 1.(e) G.S. 7B-901(c)(1)e. reads as rewritten:
"(c) If the disposition order places a juvenile in the custody of a county department of
social services, the court shall direct that reasonable efforts for reunification as defined in
G.S. 7B-101 shall not be required if the court makes written findings of fact pertaining to any of
the following, unless the court concludes that there is compelling evidence warranting continued
reunification efforts:
(1) A court of competent jurisdiction determines or has determined that

aggravated circumstances exist because the parent has committed or
encouraged the commission of, or allowed the continuation of, any of the
following upon the juvenile:

e. Chronic or toxic exposure to alcohol or controlled substances that
causes impairment of or addiction in the juvenile.juvenile, including,
but not limited to, exposure to unlawful controlled substances in utero

orcontrolledsubstances usedin violationofthelawin utero. Thecourt
shall considerwhethera parent is enrolledin and meetingor exceeding
thebenchmarks ofasubstanceabusetreatment program recommended
by a medical provider or a local management entity/managed care
organization (LME/MCO)."
SECTION 1.(f) G.S. 7B-903 reads as rewritten:

"§ 7B-903. Dispositional alternatives for abused, neglected, or dependent juvenile.

(a1) In placing a juvenile in out-of-home care under this section, the court shall first
consider whether a relative of the juvenile is willing and able to provide proper care and
supervision of the juvenile in a safe home. If the court finds that the relative is willing and able
to provide proper care and supervision in a safe home, then the court shall order placement of the
juvenile with the relative unless the court finds that the placement is contrary to the best interests

of the juvenile. juvenile, including, but not limited to, the developmental and attachment needs
of the juvenile. In placing a juvenile in out-of-home care under this section, the court shall also
consider whether it is in the juvenile's best interest to remain in the juvenile's community of
residence. Placement of a juvenile with a relative outside of this State must be in accordance with
the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

(a4) If the court does not place the juvenile with a relative, the court may consider whether

nonrelative kin or other persons with legal custody of a sibling of the juvenile are willing and
able to provide proper care and supervision of the juvenile in a safe home. The court may order
the department to notify the juvenile's State-recognized tribe of the need for nonsecure custody
for the purpose of locating relatives or nonrelative kin for placement. The court may order
placement of the juvenile with nonrelative kin if the court finds the placement is in the juvenile's
best interests.

(a5) Once a juvenile who is not a member of a State-recognized tribe as set forth in
G.S. 143B-407(a), has resided in the home of a foster parent for a continuous period of at least
nine months, the foster parent is deemed to be nonrelative kin for purposes of this subsection.
…."
SECTION 1.(g) G.S. 7B-906.1 reads as rewritten:
"§ 7B-906.1. Review and permanency planning hearings.
(a) The court shall conduct a review hearing within 90 days from the date of the initial

dispositional hearing held pursuant to G.S. 7B-901 and shall conduct a review hearing within six
months thereafter. Within 12 nine months of the date of the initial order removing custody, there
shall be a review hearing designated as a permanency planning hearing. Review hearings after
the initial permanency planning hearing shall be designated as subsequent permanency planning

House Bill 918-Ratified Page 3hearings. Subsequent permanency planning hearings shall be held at least every six months
thereafter or earlier as set by the court to review the progress made in finalizing the permanent
plan for the juvenile, or if necessary, to make a new permanent plan for the juvenile.

(d) At each hearing, the court shall consider the following criteria and make written
findings regarding those that are relevant:

(3) Whether efforts to reunite the juvenile with either parent clearly would be
unsuccessful or inconsistent with the juvenile's health or safety and need for a
safe, permanent home within a reasonable period of time. time, including
whether a parent has engaged in any of the factors described under
G.S. 7B-901(c). The court shall consider efforts to reunite regardless of
whether the juvenile resided with the parent, guardian, or custodian at the time
of removal. If the court determines efforts would be unsuccessful or

inconsistent, the court shall schedule a permanency planning hearing within
30 days to address the permanent plans in accordance with this section and
G.S. 7B-906.2, unless the determination is made at a permanency planning
hearing.

(n) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Article, the court may waive the holding of

hearings required bythis section, mayrequire written reports to the court bythe agencyor person
holding custody in lieu of review hearings, or order that review hearings be held less often than
every six months if the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence each of the
following:

The court may not waive or refuse to conduct a review permanency planning hearing if a
party files a motion seeking the review. hearing. However, if a guardian of the person has been

appointed for the juvenile and the court has also made findings in accordance with subsection (n)
of this section that guardianship is the permanent plan for the juvenile, the court shall proceed in
accordance with G.S. 7B-600(b).
…."
SECTION 1.(h) G.S. 7B-905(b) reads as rewritten:
"(b) A An initial dispositional order under which a juvenile is removed from the custody
of a parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker shall direct that the review hearing required by

G.S. 7B-906.1 be held within 90 days from of the date of the initial dispositional hearing and, if
practicable, shall set the date and time for the review hearing."
SECTION 1.(i) G.S. 7B-906.2(b) reads as rewritten:
"(b) At any permanency planning hearing, the court shall adopt concurrent permanent
plans and shall identify the primary plan and secondary plan. Reunification shall remain a
primary or secondary plan unless the court makes or has made written findings under

G.S. 7B-901(c) or makes written findings that reunification efforts clearlywould be unsuccessful
or would be inconsistent with the juvenile's health or safety. The court shall order the county
department of social services to make efforts toward finalizing the primary and secondary
permanent plans and may specify efforts that are reasonable to timely achieve permanence for
the juvenile."
SECTION 1.(j) G.S. 7B-1103(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) A petition or motion to terminate the parental rights of either or both parents to his,

her, or their minor juvenile may only be filed by one or more of the following:

(5) Anyperson with whom the juvenile has resided for a continuous period of two
years 15 months or more next preceding the filing of the petition or motion.

Page 4 House Bill 918-Ratified …."
SECTION 1.(k) This section becomes effective October 1, 2020, and applies to
actions filed or pending on or after that date.

PART II. 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
SECTION 2.(a) The Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social
Services (Division), shall post on its Web site and make available by June 30 and December 31
of each year to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives Minority Leader, the
President of the Senate, and the Senate Minority Leader a report on certain expenditures for the

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) program. The report, at a minimum, shall include each of the following:
(1) The dollar amount and number of transactions of SNAP benefits accessed or
expended out-of-state, by state.
(2) The dollar amount and number of transactions of TANF benefits accessed or
expended out-of-state, by state.

(3) Thedollar amount,numberof transactions, and timesoftransactions ofSNAP
benefits accessed or expended in this State, byretailer, institution, or location.
(4) Thedollaramount,numberoftransactions, andtimesoftransactions ofTANF
benefits accessed or expended in this State, byretailer, institution, or location.
SECTION 2.(b) The Division shall properly redact any information subject to
reporting under subsection (a) of this section to prevent identification of individual recipients of
SNAP or TANF benefits.

SECTION 2.(c) This section is effective when it becomes law.
SECTION 3. Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes
law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 25 day of June, 2020.

s/ Philip E. Berger

President Pro Tempore of the Senate

s/ David R. Lewis
Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives

_____________________________________
Roy Cooper
Governor

Approved __________.m. this ______________ day of ___________________, 2020

House Bill 918-Ratified Page 5