In re J.C.L., ___ N.C. ___ (July 17, 2020)

Held: 
Affirmed
  • Under G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1), neglect is a ground to TPR. Neglect includes a parent’s lack of proper care, supervision, or discipline or an environment that is injurious to a child’s welfare. G.S. 7B-101(15).  When a parent and child have been separated for a long period of time, there must be both past neglect and a likelihood of future neglect by the parent.
  • An indication of the likelihood of future neglect is a parent’s failure to make progress on their case plan. There were numerous findings, that were supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence – the social worker’s testimony – that demonstrated the father did not make enough progress to support the court’s conclusion that neglect was likely to recur. Respondent continued to test positive for marijuana use, completed only part of his treatment after a long delay, did not follow through on recommendations for therapy, struggled with anger issues, was late in rent and was unable to maintain utilities, did not acknowledge his child’s special needs, and blamed others for his failure to complete his case plan. The progress father did make over the 2 years the juvenile was out of his home was limited and insufficient.
Category:
Termination of Parental Rights
Stage:
Adjudication
Topic:
Neglect
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