In re N.N.B., 271 N.C. App. 199 (2020)

  • Facts: In 2017, the juvenile was adjudicated neglected and dependent in part due to his significant mental health issues. Respondent father had not seen the child since 2012 and has been incarcerated since 2014. Father’s rights were terminated on several grounds and he appeals. This opinion addresses the ground of dependency, where father challenges the lack of an alternative appropriate child care placement based on his proposal of either his mother or sister being available.
  • Dependency under G.S. 7B-1111(a)(6) requires petitioner prove by clear and convincing evidence that the parent is incapable of providing proper care and supervision such that the juvenile is dependent and that there is a reasonable probability that the incapability will continue into the foreseeable future.
  • Here, there was not an appropriate alternative child care arrangement. Respondent’s mother was not available due to her failing health and inability to have the child reside with her in her retirement community. Respondent’s sister was not a viable placement due to the child’s need level of treatment needs. Respondent’s sister resides in Georgia requiring compliance with the ICPC. Because the juvenile was in a level IV PRTF with a discharge recommendation to a level III PRTF and not relative, the plan to submit the ICPC request was deemed inappropriate. Although respondent argues his sister is appropriate, available, willing, and has a close relationship with the juvenile, she is not appropriate because of the child’s significant psychiatric needs.
Termination of Parental Rights
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