(a)  When an investigation reveals the presence of abuse, neglect, or dependency, the social worker who conducted the assessment shall make every effort to provide personal written notice to the following persons or agencies:

(1)           any responsible individual who was alleged to have abused or seriously neglected the child or children;

(2)           any parent or other individual with whom the child or children resided at the time the county director initiated the investigation; and

(3)           any agency with whom the court has vested legal custody.

(b)  Personal written notice may be made by a social worker other than the social worker who conducted the assessment under G.S. 7B-302(a), if the social worker who conducted the assessment is unavailable. If the county department of social services is unable to provide the personal written notice to the responsible individual, there shall be documentation of efforts made to deliver the personal written notice to the responsible individual in the case record. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of G.S. 7B-320(b), the personal written notice shall also include:

(1)           a statement informing the responsible individual that employers may access the Responsible Individuals List to determine suitability for employment; and

(2)           a statement informing the responsible individual that the timeframes to request an expunction from the District Attorney or the District Court still apply, even if no notice is received from the Director after the Director has been requested to expunge.

(c)  The county director shall complete structured decision making assessments of every family in which an investigation of abuse, neglect or dependency is conducted. The assessment findings shall be used to evaluate the need for services and to develop a case plan.

(d)  In all cases in which abuse, neglect, or dependency is found, the county director shall determine whether protective services are needed and, if so, shall develop, implement, and oversee an intervention plan to ensure that there is adequate care for the victim child or children. The case plan shall:

(1)           be based on the findings of the structured decision making assessments;

(2)           contain goals representing the desired outcome toward which all case activities shall be directed; (3)                contain objectives that:

(A)          describe specific desired outcomes;

(B)          are measurable;

(C)          identify necessary behavior changes;

(D)          are based on an assessment of the specific needs of the child or children and family;

(E)           are time-limited; and

(F)           are mutually accepted by the county director and the client.

(4)           specify all the activities needed to achieve each stated objective;

(5)           have stated consequences that will result from either successfully following the plan or not meeting the goals and objectives specified in the plan; and

(6)           shall include petitioning for the removal of the child or children from the home and placing the child or children in appropriate care when protection cannot be initiated or continued in the child's or children's own home.

(e)  When an investigation leads a county director to find evidence that a child may have been abused or may have been physically harmed in violation of a criminal statute by a person other than the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker, the county director shall follow all procedures outlined in G.S. 7B-307 in making reports to the prosecutor and appropriate law enforcement agencies. The report shall include:

(1)           the name and address of the child, of the parents or caretakers with whom the child lives, and of the alleged perpetrator;

(2)           whether the abuse was physical, sexual or emotional;

(3)           the dates that the investigation was initiated and that the evidence of abuse was found;

(4)           whether law enforcement has been notified and the date of the notification;

(5)           what evidence of abuse was found; and

(6)           what plan to protect the child has been developed and what is being done to implement it.

(f)  When an investigation reveals the presence of abuse, neglect, or dependency in an institution, the county director shall complete the following steps:

(1)           the child's or children's legal custodian shall be informed;

(2)           an intervention plan for the care and protection of the child or children shall be developed in cooperation with the institution and the legal custodian; and

(3)           when abuse is found, a written report shall be made to the prosecutor in the county where the institution is located.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 7B-302; 7B- 307; 7B- 311; 7B-320(d); 143B-153;

Eff. January 1, 1980;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2006; April 1, 2003; February 1, 1995; September 1, 1994; July 1, 1993; June 1, 1990;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. October 3, 2017.