CHAPTER 334

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 303

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 3 AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10, TITLE 11 AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE CUSTODY, CARE AND TREATMENT OF DELINQUENT, NEGLECTED AND DEPENDENT CHILDREN.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Section 901, Title 10, Delaware Code by striking the definitions of "delinquent child", "dependent child", "neglected child" and "family" as they appear therein, and substituting in lieu thereof the following definitions:

"Delinquent child" means a child who commits an act which if committed by an adult would constitute a crime.

"Dependent child" means a child whose physical, mental or emotional health and well-being is threatened or impaired because of inadequate care and protection by the child's custodian, who is unable to provide adequate care for the child, whether or not caused by the child's behavior; provided, however that for the purposes of this chapter,

dependent child may include a child who has been placed in a non-related home on a permanent basis without the consent and approval of the Division of Social Services or any agency licensed thereby to place children in a nonrelated home; or who has been placed with a licensed agency which certifies it cannot complete a suitable adoption plan.

"Neglected child" means a child whose physical, mental or emotional health and well-being is threatened or impaired because of inadequate care and protection by the child's custodian, who has the ability and financial means to provide for the care but does not or will not provide adequate care; or a child who has been abused or neglected as defined by Section 902, Title 16, Delaware Code. No child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religiou3 denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall for that reason alone be considered a neglected child for purposes of this chapter.

"Family" means husband and wife; a man and woman cohabiting in a home; custodian and child; or any group or person related by blood or marriage.

Section 2. Amend §933, Title 10, Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

§933. Duties of Officer Having Child in Custody; Duties of Division of Social Services Having Child in Custody; Prohibited Acts

(a) A peace officer may take into custody a child he believes to be dependent, neglected or delinquent. Any peace officer having taken such a child into custody shall immediately notify the child's custodian citing the reasons therefore. If the custodian refuses to accept the child or cannot be located or cannot provide adequate care for the child, the peace officer shall:

(1) when the child is not charged with a delinquent act, immediately contact the Division of Social Services of the Department of Health and Social Services, who shall be responsible for further pursuing the whereabouts of the custodian or providing shelter and care for the child in a shelter home, foster home, group home, private agency home or other appropriate facility for children. The child shall not be placed in the same facility or institution for children charged with or found to be delinquent. After making every reasonable effort to locate the custodian, the Division of Social Services of the Department of Health and Social Services may release the child to the child's custodian or forthwith file with the Court a petition for custody alleging dependency or neglect.

(2) When the child has been charged with a delinquent act, take the child directly before the Court if the Court is in session or take the child before a court or commissioner for disposition in accordance with §934 of this title. After taking the child into custody, the peace officer shall forthwith file with the Court, a sworn complaint alleging delinquency with a report for the reason of his apprehension."

Section 3. Amend Section 937, Title 10, Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (f) at the end thereof to read as follows:

"(f) A dependent or neglected child shall not be placed in the same facility or institution for children charged with or found to be delinquent."

Section 4. Amend Section 1103, Title 11, Delaware Code, by striking subsections (a) and (b) in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof new subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) 'Delinquent child' means a child who commits an act which if committed by an adult would constitute a crime.

(b) 'Neglected child' means a child whose physical, mental or emotional health and well-being is threatened or impaired because of inadequate care and protection by the Child's custodian, who has the ability and financial means to provide for the care but does not or will not provide adequate care; or a child who has been abused or neglected as defined by Section 902, Title 16, Delaware Code."

Section 5. Amend Section 301, Title 31, Delaware Code by striking the said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§301. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

'Delinquent child' means a child who commits an act which if committed by an adult would constitute a crime."

Section 6. Amend Section 1102, Title 11, of the Delaware Code by striking the period at the end of paragraph (2) and substituting in lieu thereof a ";" followed by a new paragraph thereto to be designated as paragraph (3) to read as follows:

"(3) He knowingly encourages, aids, abets or conspires with the child to run away from the home of his parents, guardian or custodian; or he knowingly and illegally harbors a child who has run away from home."

Section 7. Amend Section 921, Chapter 9, Title 10, Delaware Code by striking subsection (6) and substituting the following:

"(6) Actions and proceedings wherein:

(1) A member of a family alleges that some other member of the family is by his conduct imperiling any family relationship and petitions the Court for appropriate relief.

(2) The Division of Social Services or a licensed youth service agency alleges that the conduct of a child, or of his parents or custodians, or members of a family, imperils any family relationship or imperils the morals, health, maintenance or care of a child and petitions the Court for appropriate relief; provided, however, that where a parent, to ensure the safety or welfare of his child, fails to cause the child to attend school, such parent has not imperiled the family relationship, nor has he imperiled the morale, health,

maintenance or care of the child.

(3) In such actions and proceedings the Court may make such adjudications and dispositions as appears appropriate."

Section 8. If any section, subsection, sentence, phrase or work of this Act or circumstances arising out of the application thereof shall be declared unconstitutional under the Constitution of the State of Delaware or of the United States by a State or Federal Court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Act shall be unimpaired and shall continue in full force and effect and proceedings thereunder shall not be affected.

Section 9. All Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with this Act are to the extent of such inconsistency hereby repealed.

Section 10. This Act shall become effective 90 days after its approval by the Governor.

Approved June 20, 1978.