Determining the Best Interests of the Child - North Carolina


Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-100 

This subchapter shall be interpreted and construed to implement the following purposes and policies:

  • To provide procedures for the hearing of juvenile cases that assure fairness and equity and that protect the constitutional rights of juveniles and parents 
  • To develop a disposition in each juvenile case that reflects consideration of the facts, the needs and limitations of the juvenile, and the strengths and weaknesses of the family
  • To provide services for the protection of juveniles by means that respect both the right to family autonomy and the juveniles' needs for safety, continuity, and permanence
  • To provide standards for the removal, when necessary, of juveniles from their homes and for the return of juveniles to their homes consistent with preventing the unnecessary or inappropriate separation of juveniles from their parents
  • To provide standards, consistent with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, P.L. 105-89, for ensuring that the best interests of the juvenile are of paramount consideration by the court and that when it is not in the juvenile's best interests to be returned home, the juvenile will be placed in a safe, permanent home within a reasonable amount of time

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-507

An order placing or continuing the placement of a juvenile in the nonsecure custody of a county Department of Social Services shall contain the following:

  • A finding that the juvenile's continuation in or return to the juvenile's own home would be contrary to the juvenile's health and safety
  • Specific findings as to whether a county department has made reasonable efforts to prevent the need for placement of the juvenile

In determining whether efforts to prevent the placement of the juvenile were reasonable, the juvenile's health and safety shall be the paramount concern.