In re W.C.T., 280 N.C. App. 17 (2021)

  • Facts: This case involves 3 children, the youngest whom suffered second and third degree burns when he was 3 months old and was being watched by his paternal grandmother, with whom the parents and children lived. The infant’s injuries were not witnessed but various inconsistent and implausible explanations were provided. DSS became involved and ultimately filed a petition alleging the infant was abused, neglected, and dependent and his 2 siblings were neglected and dependent. After hearing, the juveniles were adjudicated as alleged. At initial disposition, the children were placed in DSS custody. Both parents appeal.
  • A juvenile is dependent when they are in need of assistance or placement and their parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide care and supervision and lacks an appropriate alternative child care arrangement. G.S. 7B-101(9).
  • The findings were unchallenged and are binding on appeal. The findings support the court’s conclusion of dependency. They include the respondents’ lack of care and supervision which resulted in one child’s severe injuries, the respondents inability to provide an alternative child care arrangement prior to DSS filing its petition, the failure to meet one child’s educational needs, and failure to meet the children’s medical needs.
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
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