W.K.1, (respondent-mother) appeals from a permanency planning order dated 31 October 2003 granting guardianship of T.K., D.K., and T.K. to the maternal aunt (C.C.) and a plan for reunification of J.K., the youngest child, with either or both parents.
*36On 7 May 2002 the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) initiated juvenile petitions alleging three minor children (T.K. age 12, D.K. age 10, and T.K. age 3) were neglected and dependent. At the time the juvenile petitions were filed, the children were living in a motel with their mother, stepfather, maternal aunt and cousin, as the family had been evicted from their home. On 6 September 2002, DSS initiated another juvenile petition alleging that newborn J.K. (born 5 September 2002) was a neglected and dependent child as J.K. tested positive for cocaine at birth. The court granted DSS non-secure custody of all the children.
‘On 17 July 2002 at the adjudicatory hearing, T.K., D.K., and T.K. were determined to be neglected and dependent juveniles, based on a number of findings by the trial court.2 After a dispositional hearing on 22 August 2002, wherein the court approved a plan of reunification, on 29 October 2002, the court conducted an adjudication hearing as to J.K. and a review hearing as to T.K., D.K., and T.K. J.K. was adjudicated neglected and dependent. The plan for T.K., D.K., and T.K. was changed from reunification to termination of parental rights and adoption. At that time, the court found:
The following progress has' been made towards alleviating and mitigating the problems that necessitated placement: parents have a serious substance abuse problem which affects their ability to care for children . . . [p]arents have complied with some of plan goals but insufficient progress for children to be returned to them.
Thereafter, at the permanency planning hearing almost one year later on 16 October 2003, the court found that efforts to reunite T.K., D.K., and T.K. would have been futile and inconsistent with their health, safety, and need for a permanent home within a reasonable time. The court, however, continued the permanent plan of reunification for J.K.
Respondent-mother raises two issues on appeal from the permanency planning order: whether the trial court erred in ceasing reunification with the three older children when (I) the respondent-mother, had made progress toward correcting conditions that led to the removal of the minor children and (II) the primary focus was on how well the children were doing in their placement rather than the progress of the parents. Respondent-mother’s six remaining assign-*37merits of error are not argued in her brief and are therefore deemed abandoned. N.C. R. App. P. 28(a); McManus v. McManus, 76 N.C. App. 588, 591, 334 S.E.2d 270, 272 (1985).
 In her first assignment of error, respondent-mother alleges the trial court erred in failing to consider her progress to reunite her and her three minor children. We disagree.
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 7B-907(c), the court is required to make findings regarding the “best plan of care to achieve a safe, permanent home for the juvenile within a reasonable period of time.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-907(c) (2003). In determining the best plan, the court must consider several factors, including but not limited to, how long DSS has provided efforts to the family before non-secure custody is obtained. Id. The court must also consider any substantial change after non-secure custody is obtained. Id. N.C.G.S. § 7B-507(a) requires the court to make a finding of reasonable efforts at each hearing. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-507(a) (2003). “[T]he court may direct that reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for placement. . . shall cease if the court makes written findings of fact that... [s]uch efforts clearly would be futile or would be inconsistent with the juvenile’s health, safety, and need for a safe, permanent home within a reasonable period of time.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-507(b)(l) (2003).
The court’s relevant findings are:
2. That the parents have made some progress since the adjudication; however, progress began after a period of time. The respondent father has entered into substance abuse treatment and has maintained sobriety. Since entering, his urinalyses have been negative. He has secured employment; however, does not have housing. . . .
3. That respondent mother has submitted NA/AA forms to this [cjourt.... The mother maintains she is substance abuse free; however, she tested positive for marijuana four months ago. The mother has employment, but does not yet have housing. . . .
4. That the mother has had seven (7) negative random urinalyses. The most recent sample was negative as well. However, based on the history of this case and the fact that the mother tested positive for controlled substances as *38recently as four months ago and has attended visits with someone who smells of alcohol suggest to this [c]ourt there are still concerns regarding the mother’s stability.
21. That [the stepfather, J.L.] has made greater progress than [the mother]; however, the [c]ourt does not find that six more months will make it more likely that his [youngest daughter, T.K.] could or should be removed from the household where she has resided for over a year. The [cjourt specifically finds to the contrary that six more months will serve to strengthen that home environment and relationship for [the daughter]. The [c]ourt specifically finds there is a greater chance [the stepfather] can assume custody of [J.K.] within six months than [T.K.] if he continues to make progress.
22. That the mother is given credit for addressing her addiction and the efforts made to change her life which is difficult; however, the time line in the life of the children is not the same as that of an adult. One and a half years in the life of a child is vastly different than that of an adult. Children cannot wait for parents to get their lives together, get sober and do the things necessary to be an adequate parent.
Clearly the court considered that some progress had been made by respondent-mother and father toward correcting the conditions which lead to removal of the children; however that progress was not nearly enough. The issues that led to the children being removed from the home were substance abuse by the parents, inadequate housing, employment, the children failing to attend school regularly, the parent’s failure to maintain D.K’s prescription for medication associated with his ADHD and the parent’s failure to provide counseling for T.K. Thereafter, the three older children were in and out of placement for 18 months. After careful consideration, the court had no assurances respondent-mother had made sufficient progress for the children to be returned to her care. This assignment of error is overruled.
 In her second assignment of error, the respondent-mother contends the trial court erred in ceasing reunification efforts with the three older children when the primary focus was how well the children were doing rather than the progress of the parents.
*39Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 7B-907(a), in determining whether it is possible for the children to return home within six months of the permanency planning hearing, the court must look at the progress the parents have made in eliminating the conditions that lead to the removal of the children. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-907(a) (2003). Further, if the court determines it is not possible for the juvenile to return home within that time, the court must then make findings as to why it is not in the juvenile’s best interest to return home. Id.
“In determining the best interests of the child, the trial court should consider the parents’ right to maintain their family unit, but if the interest of the parent conflicts with the welfare of the child, the latter should prevail.” In re Parker, 90 N.C. App. 423, 431, 368 S.E.2d 879, 884 (1988). Thus, in this context, the child’s best interests are paramount, not the rights of the parent. In re Smith, 56 N.C. App. 142, 150, 287 S.E.2d 440, 445, cert. denied, 306 N.C. 385, 294 S.E.2d 212 (1982). In this case, the court determined that it was not in the three older children’s best interest to return home before determining whether it was possible for them to return home. The court made the following findings of fact:
7. That in July 2002, the juveniles, [T.K., D.K., and T.K.] were placed with [C.C.], the maternal aunt, and all three have remained there since that time. The children have made great progress while in her home. [D.K.] has significant needs which are being addressed in therapy. Based on the history of the home at the time the children came into custody, the two older children are very vocal about not returning to the home of the mother and the stepfather.
8. That the children have thrived in the home of [C.C.] and the two older children have no interest in visiting with the mother though visitation has been offered. [D.K.] has expressed a desire to kill [her stepfather].
9. That the therapist reports [the youngest daughter, T.K.] recognizes [C.C.’s] home as her family home ....
10. That the children have resided with each other and look to each other for support and stability. It is, therefore, not in the best interest of the three older juveniles to separate one from the other.
11. That DSS has made reasonable efforts to implement a permanent plan for the juveniles. The permanent plan for [T.K., *40D.K. and T.K.] is guardianship with [C.C.]. The permanent plan for [J.K.] currently is reunification with either the mother or the father or both.
12. That the reports to the [c]ourt clearly indicate that it is not in [T.K., D.K., and T.K.’s] best interest to transition into the home of their mother.
13. That the [c]ourt specifically finds that efforts to reunite would be futile and inconsistent with the juveniles, [T.K., D.K., and T.K.’s] health, safety, and need for a permanent home within a reasonable period of time.
15. That it is not possible for [T.K., D.K., and T.K.] to be returned home immediately or within six months and the [c]ourt finds it is not in the best interest of these three juveniles to be returned home in light of the issues yet to be resolved.
16. That because the children’s return home is not likely within six months, the [c]ourt has considered whether legal guardianship should be established. [T.K., D.K., and T.K.] have been placed with [C.C.] . . . for over a year. She has met the needs of the juveniles and provides a permanent safe environment.
24. That at this time, the juveniles’ continuation in or return to their home is contrary to their best interest.
25. That guardianship in this [c]ourt’s opinion is better because the children need to deal with the hurt and the anger they feel toward their parents, in particular [the oldest daughter, T.K. and D.K.].
The court then made the following conclusions of law:
2. [DSS] has made reasonable efforts since the last hearing to prevent or eliminate the need for foster care placement.
3. Continuation of the juveniles in or return to their home will be contrary to their best interest, health, safety and welfare.
4. Reasonable efforts to reunite [T.K., D.K., and T.K.] should be suspended as the permanent plan is guardianship with [C.C.]. *41Reasonable efforts to reunite [J.K.] should not be suspended at this time.
6. It is in the best interest of [T.K, D.K., and T.K.] to be placed under guardianship with [C.C.].
7. It is in the best interest of [J.K.] to remain in the legal custody of the [DSS] with placement in foster care.
8. The [c]ourt further concludes that termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of [T.K., D.K., and T.K.] as the permanent plan is guardianship with a relative.
Respondent-mother argues the court ceased reunification by disregarding the progress of the parents and focusing solely on the three older children’s best interests. This argument is without merit. As noted above, the court made specific findings and conclusions of law based on the parents’ progress. The court found that respondent-mother had addressed her drug addiction and changed her lifestyle, noting that while she had tested negative for drugs seven times, she had tested positive four months prior. The court also noted the father of the two oldest children had made greater progress than the respondent-mother in making lifestyle improvements, finding it was more likely the father would regain custody of the youngest child than the mother. Here the court properly made findings of fact as to the respondent-mother’s progress (or lack thereof) and as to the best interest of the children. However, as we stated above, at this stage the best interests of the children, not the rights of the parents, are paramount. In re Smith at 150, 287 S.E.2d at 445; See also, In re Isenhour, 101 N.C. App. 550, 553, 400 S.E.2d 71, 73 (1991) (trial court did not abuse its discretion in maintaining custody arrangements before it, given the mother’s relatively recent compliance with the trial court’s orders and the children’s stated desires to remain in their current placement). This assignment of error is overruled.
Judge LEVINSON concurs.
Judge TYSON concurs in part and dissents in part.