In re T.W., ___ N.C. App. ___, 796 S.E.2d 792 (2016)

Held: 
Remanded
Vacated in Part
  • Although specific findings are not required by G.S. 7B-906.1(j), the court must verify that a non-parent who will obtain custody (or guardianship) of the child understands the legal significance of the placement and will have adequate resources to care for the child.
  • There was competent evidence in the record that showed the aunt, who was obtaining custody of the child, understood the legal significance of a custody order. The evidence included the department social worker’s report and information from the child’s guardian ad litem, the department social worker, and the aunt.
  • Evidence that a child has been successfully maintained in the home for several months is not sufficient evidence to verify that there are adequate resources. The court must make an independent determination that the resources available to the potential custodian are adequate to care for the child. The following evidence was insufficient: the child was successfully maintained in the aunt’s home for ten months and had his own room; the aunt was unemployed but receiving unemployment benefits and was looking for work; the guardian ad litem thought the aunt needed more financial support to care for the child; and other relatives were providing additional support and assistance to care for the child. 
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
Topic:
Custody Order
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