In re K.J.B., 248 N.C. App. 352 (2016)

  • For a child to be adjudicated neglected pursuant to G.S. 7B-101(15), the evidence must support findings that the child has suffered emotional, mental, or physical harm or there is a substantial risk of such harm.
  • The findings are not supported by competent and clear and convincing evidence. A parent’s substance abuse is not per se neglect; there must be evidence showing a nexus between the parent’s substance abuse and the harm or substantial risk of harm to the child. Evidence that respondent mother was intoxicated one night when she left her infant in another person’s (the babysitter’s) care and was not intoxicated the next day when she went to pick up her child do not support an adjudication of neglect.  
  • In a neglect adjudication, it is relevant whether the child lives in a home where another child has been abused or neglected by an adult who regularly lives in the home. Although the mother’s rights to two of her other children were terminated, there was no evidence that the termination of parental rights was based on abuse or neglect. Without such evidence, the court cannot infer that this child is neglected.     


Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
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