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Child Welfare Law BETA Exam Structure

  • Exam scheduled on October 21 or 25, 2022, at the State Bar building in Raleigh or with ExamSoft Remote Proctoring
  • Four 90-minute modules (six hours long)
  • Exam Sessions will begin around 8 AM and finish prior to 5 PM.

Morning Module 1

  • Includes 50 objective (multiple choice) questions. 

Morning Module 2

  • Includes 50 objective (multiple choice) questions. 

60-minute lunch break

Afternoon Module 1

  • Includes one long essay question.
  • Includes ten short answer questions.

Afternoon Module 2

  • Includes one long essay question.
  • Includes ten short answer questions.

All questions are allocated "points" and require responses that demonstrate accuracy, clarity, sound reasoning, recognition of the problem presented, knowledge of the principle of law involved, and correct application of those principles. Full or partial credit for essay and short answer questions may be given.

Study tips:

Read Chapter 7B, Articles 1-12, Article 29, and Article 38.

Review the 2022 Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings in North Carolina Manual published by the UNC School of Government.

Read 10A NCAC 70A,

Read Chapter 131-D Article 1A

The chart below shows the exam content categories and distribution of questions covering each topic:

Child Welfare Law BETA Exam Topics

Hearings

Nonsecure and Temporary Custody

 

Aspects of Adjudication and Its Consequences

 

Dispositional Hearings and Alternatives

 

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Procedure, Grounds Phase, Best Interests Phase and Legal Consequences

 

Post TPR/Relinquishment, Adoption, Reinstatement of Parental Rights

30% of Exam Topics

Estimated 1 essay, 4 short answer and

30-35 multiple choice questions

Procedure

Jurisdiction, Venue, Overlapping Proceedings

 

Procedures Regarding the Petition, Summons and Service

 

How a Case Enters the Court System

 

Parties, Appointment of Counsel, and Guardians ad Litem

 

Applicability of Rules of Evidence and Evidentiary Standards

 

Responsible Individuals List

 

Appealable Orders, Notices of Appeal and Expedited Appeals

25% of Exam Topics

Estimated 1 essay, 4 short answer and

20-25 multiple choice questions

Sources of Legal Authority

State and Federal Sources of Authority: Laws, Rules, Policy and Funding

 

Relevant Federal Laws Including, but not limited to, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and the Indian Child Welfare Act

 

Substance Abuse, MH and HIPPA records

 

15% of Exam Topics

Estimated 3 short answer, and

15-20 multiple choice questions

Constitutional Issues

The Constitutional Rights of Parents and Children and Requirements of State Intervention

15% of Exam Topics

Estimated 4 short answer, and

10-15 multiple choice questions

Legal Decision Making and Balancing Rights of Parties Post-Adjudication

Visitation and Trial Home Placement

 

Medical Decision Making

 

Reasonable, Prudent Parent Standard (Normalcy)

 

Permanency Outcomes

 

Voluntary Placements of Juveniles and Foster Care (ages 18-21)

10% of Exam Topics

Estimated 4 short answer, and

5-10 multiple choice questions

Ethics

Confidentiality and Information Sharing

5% of Exam Topics

Estimated 1 short answer, and

5-10 multiple choice questions

 

Exam Summary excerpted from 27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Rules of the Standing Committees of the North Carolina State Bar:

.3405 Standards for Certification as a Specialist in Child Welfare Law

(e)   Examination - The applicant must pass a written examination designed to test the applicant's knowledge and ability in child welfare law.

1) Terms - The examination shall be in written form and shall be given annually. The examination shall be administered and graded uniformly by the specialty committee.

2) Subject Matter - The examination shall cover the applicant's knowledge and application of the law relating to abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights, child custody, adoptions, and education law including, but not limited to, the following:

A. State and Federal Sources of Authority: Laws, Rules, and Policy

B. The Constitutional Rights of Parents and Children and Requirements of State Intervention

C. Jurisdiction, Venue, Overlapping Proceedings

D. Procedures Regarding the Petition, Summons and Service

E. How a Case Enters the Court System

F. Responsible Individuals List

G. Parties, Appointment of Counsel, and Guardians ad Litem

H. Purpose and Requirements of Temporary and Nonsecure Custody

I. Aspects of Adjudication and Its Consequences

J. Dispositional Hearings and Alternatives

K. Visitation

L. Permanency Outcomes

M. Voluntary Placements of Juveniles and Foster Care (ages 18-21)

N. Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Procedure, Grounds Phase, Best Interests Phase and Legal Consequences

O. Post TPR/Relinquishment, Adoption, Reinstatement of Parental Rights

P. Applicability of Rules of Evidence and Evidentiary Standards

Q. Appealable Orders, Notices of Appeal and Expedited Appeals

R. Relevant Federal Laws Including, but not limited to, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and the Indian Child Welfare Act

S. Confidentiality and Information Sharing