7B-912. Juveniles 14 years of age and older; Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement.

(a) In addition to the permanency planning requirements under G.S. 7B-906.1, at every permanency planning hearing for a juvenile in the custody of a county department of social services who has attained the age of 14 years, the court shall inquire and make written findings regarding each of the following:

(1) The services provided to assist the juvenile in making a transition to adulthood.

(2) The steps the county department of social services is taking to ensure that the foster family or other licensed placement provider follows the reasonable and prudent parent standard as provided in G.S. 131D-10.2A.

(3) Whether the juvenile has regular opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities.

(b) At or before the last scheduled permanency planning hearing, but at least 90 days before a juvenile attains 18 years of age, the court shall (i) inquire as to whether the juvenile has a copy of the juvenile's birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance information, drivers license or other identification card, and any educational or medical records the juvenile requests and (ii) determine the person or entity that should assist the juvenile in obtaining these documents before the juvenile attains the age of 18 years.

(c) If the court finds each of the following conditions applies, the court shall approve Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) as defined by P.L. 113-183, as the juvenile's primary permanent plan:

(1) The juvenile is 16 or 17 years old.

(2) The county department of social services has made diligent efforts to place the juvenile permanently with a parent or relative or in a guardianship or adoptive placement.

(3) Compelling reasons exist that it is not in the best interest of the juvenile to be placed permanently with a parent or relative or in a guardianship or adoptive placement.

(4) APPLA is the best permanency plan for the juvenile.

(d) If the court approves APPLA as the juvenile's permanent plan, the court shall, after questioning the juvenile, make written findings addressing the juvenile's desired permanency outcome. (2015-135, s. 2.6; 2015-136, s. 15.)