In re K.B., 253 N.C. App. 423, 801 S.E.2d 160 (2017)

Held: 
Affirmed
  • Findings and Conclusions
    • Review of a court’s adjudication order is based on whether the findings of fact are supported by clear and convincing evidence and whether the legal conclusions are supported by the findings. The trial court’s findings are binding if evidence exist to support the finding even if evidence supports a contrary finding. Unchallenged findings are binding on appeal.

 

  • Abuse: Self-Harm = Other than Accidental Means
    • GS 7B-101(1)a. and b. define abused juvenile to include a juvenile whose parent inflicts or allows to be inflicted serious physical injury on the juvenile by other than accidental means or who creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the child by other than accidental means.
    • The court concluded both criteria existed and found the supporting facts by clear and convincing evidence. The child has significant mental health issues that required placements outside the home, including residential care. Upon the child’s discharge from residential care, respondents allowed his psychotropic Rx to lapse after they failed to follow up with a psychiatrist. The child had several injuries (bruising on eyes and lips, a fractured finger, a puncture wound on his finger, and scratches on his nose) that the child provided conflicting explanations for which was supported by the testimony of two doctors and reports admitted in evidence that included respondent mother’s acknowledgement that the child gave different explanations.  
    • The adjudication of abuse is based in part on the respondents allowing the child to cause injuries to himself, which is supported by the finding that the lack of a reasonable explanation for the injuries created a condition likely to lead to serious physical injury. Specifically, respondents failed to properly supervise the child, who they knew had significant mental health and behavior issues, to make sure he did not cause injuries to himself. They allowed his medication to lapse. The child did not experience any substantial injuries when outside of the home which demonstrated those placements provided proper supervision. At home, he was injured and those injuries were by other than accidental means that the respondents allowed to occur as a result of their failure to maintain his Rx and provide adequate supervision to meet his special needs. 
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Adjudication
Topic:
Abuse
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