In re A.E.C., 239 N.C. App. 36 (2015)

Held: 
Vacated and Remanded

  • Although order of paternity was entered and father became a party to the A/N/D action after the entry of a cease reunification order that included a permanent plan of adoption and ordered DSS to file a TPR, the trial court is required to make G.S.7B-507(a) findings regarding “whether DSS made reasonable efforts to reunite father with” his child.
  • The trial court is required to make ultimate findings of the applicable statutory factor set forth in G.S. 7B-507(b) (in this case – 507(b)(1): reunification efforts would be futile or inconsistent with the juvenile’s health, safety and need for a safe, permanent home”) before ordering cease reunification. The ultimate finding of fact regarding reunification efforts being futile cannot be inferred from findings of fact in the order.
  • Relying on In re Eckard, 148 N.C. App. 541 (2002), an order that does not return a child home must include findings regarding reunification despite the father’s late appearance in the case

 

Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Cease Reunification
Topic:
Findings of Fact
Tags:
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.