The 2023 edition of this Manual, by Sara DePasquale, provides easily accessible information about the law, procedures, and concepts that apply to abuse, neglect, dependency, and related termination of parental rights proceedings in North Carolina. This Manual is meant to be a useful and reliable reference manual and training tool, with an intended primary audience of district court judges, social services attorneys, parents’ attorneys, and guardian ad litem attorney advocates who are involved in this important and challenging work.

The text of the chapters combines applicable statutes, relevant case citations, additional resources, and practical explanations for particular topics. This 2023 edition includes opinions published by the North Carolina appellate courts through December 31, 2023, and legislative changes made through that same time period by the North Carolina General Assembly. To supplement the information in this Manual, see the School’s juvenile law microsite, which contains hyperlinks to the Child Welfare Case Compendium, recent legislation, blog posts, publications, and other available resources in this field.

You can view the complete Manual and each chapter individually. The search box on the right side navigation bar allows you to conduct a text search of the entire Manual. Separate search functions (using control F) are also available when viewing individual chapters. Although the online version of this Manual is available at no charge, a soft-cover book is available for purchase from the School’s online bookstore.

Production of this Manual was made possible with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children and Families, and the Court Improvement Program of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. This Manual is copyrighted to the UNC School of Government.

© UNC School of Government

Faculty Coordinators

individual image for Sara DePasquale
Professor of Public Law and Government
individual image for Jan S. Simmons
Jan S. Simmons
Research Attorney
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Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government