In re C.C.G., 2022-NCSC-3

Held: 
Affirmed
  • Facts:  The juvenile was adjudicated neglected. At a permanency planning hearing, the court ordered no visitation for mother and concurrent permanent plans of adoption and custody or guardianship. DSS filed a TPR petition. At the TPR hearing, mother was not present and her attorney requested a continuance, which was denied. The TPR was granted and mother appeals, challenging the denial of her motion to continue, noncompliance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the denial of visits in the permanency planning order. This summary focuses on the denial of visitation and elimination of reunification.
  • G.S. 7B-906.1(d)(2) requires the court to consider at review and permanency planning hearings whether there is a need to create, modify, or enforce the visitation plan. G.S. 7B-905.1 authorizes the court to order visitation that is in the child’s best interests, including an order of no visitation. The court did not abuse its discretion in ceasing visitation between mother and child based on findings that showed the child’s improved behaviors when not having contact with her mother; the child’s regressed behaviors when having contact with her mother; mother’s inappropriate behaviors at visits; and mother’s failure to comply with the case plan. The findings were supported by the social worker’s testimony, which is reliable evidence.
  • Respondent’s challenge to the court’s finding that DSS made reasonable efforts for reunification when visitations did not occur is overruled. DSS repeatedly contacted and attempted to contact mother, including when she was in jail and mother refused to meet; maintained contact with the child and her placement providers; obtained an updated psychological evaluation for the child; coordinated a supervised visit for mother that mother cancelled; offered transportation assistance mother rejected; and conducted child and family team meetings. Court did not abuse its discretion in eliminating reunification as a permanent plan.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Cease Reunification
Topic:
Findings of Fact
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