Child Planning Conferences
 
A Child Planning Conference (CPC) is a formal meeting between court staff, respondents and community agencies to discuss the case history, make recommendations, and determine what is in the best interest of the child. If all parties agree to the recommendations, all the parties and a Family Court Judge sign an order that stipulates the conditions.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS THAT PRECEDE THE CHILD PLANNING CONFERENCE?
  1. Department of Social Services (DSS) determines that removal is in the best interest of the child.
  2. DSS files a petition with the court.
  3. The Juvenile Court Case Manager receives a copy of the petition and notifies attorneys and participants of the date and time of the CPC.
  4. Hearing date is confirmed in three ways:
    • Social Worker will leave notification when children are taken into custody, if possible.
    • At the first non-secure hearing
    • The assigned attorney will confirm information with their clients.
  5. Parents are encouraged to bring supportive family members or friends to the CPC.
WHEN ARE THE CHILD PLANNING CONFERENCES HELD?

The CPC will be held in Wayne County on Monday or Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. within five days of the petition being filed. In Lenoir County, the CPC will be held on Monday or Friday within five days of the petition being filed. In Greene County, the CPC will be scheduled as needed.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CHILD PLANNING CONFERENCE?
  1. The Juvenile Court Case Manager provides a brief overview of the process, sets expectations, and discusses potential benefits and outcomes and introduces all participants.
  2. The Juvenile Court Case Manager facilitates discussion regarding placement, services, visitation and tentative case plan.
  3. Parties discuss concerns and identify points of agreement.
  4. Issues are negotiated with participants actively participating.
  5. When the conference is completed, the parties will be given a copy of any agreements.
  6. After the conference, the Court will:
    • Enter any agreement into record.
    • Rule on any issues not resolved.
    • Conduct a non-secure custody hearing, or first appearance hearing if no agreements have been reached unless the hearing is waived by the parties.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE CHILD PLANNING CONFERENCE?
  1. To focus on what is in the best interest of the child(ren).
  2. To reach an agreement on services to the family, visitation and placement.
  3. To gather input from the extended family members and friends.
  4. To discuss possible amendments to the petition and/or stipulation.
  5. To move the parties and the process from adversarial to cooperative roles.
  6. To provide the family with information about the court process.
  7. To reach an agreement on the case plan process.
  8. To identify possible relative and kinship placement early in the case.
  9. To identify all family resources and needs early in the case.