CHAPTER 409

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 737

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO REQUIRE CERTAIN PERSONS TO FURNISH INFORMATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 3, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Section 309, to read as follows:

§309. Criminal History Information Relating to Child Care Personnel and Foster and Adoptive Parents.

(a) "Child Care Facility" as used in this Section means residential child care facilities under contract to or operated directly by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(b) "Child Care Personnel" as used in this Section means all persons who seek employment for compensation or persons who volunteer to provide direct child care service or persons who for any reason have regular direct access to children and/or adolescents under the age of 18 at any facility as referred to in subsection (a) of this Section. This definition shall include any employee or volunteer of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families or one of its contractors who have regular direct access to children and/or adolescents under the age of 18, but who do not provide child care services at a facility as referred to in subsection (a) of this Section. Child Care Personnel, for purposes of this Section, shall also include applicants wishing to become adoptive or foster parents.

(c) All prospective child care personnel are covered by the provisions of this Section as well as current child care personnel who have been providing said child care for a period of less than one year. In the case of adoptive parents, criminal background checks shall be performed in all cases in which a final adoption decree has not yet been filed.

(d) All child care personnel covered by this Section shall be required to submit their fingerprints and other necessary information in order for the following to be obtained:

(1) Report of the individual's entire criminal history record from the Delaware State Police or a statement from the Delaware State Police that the State Police central repository contains no such information relating to that person.

(2) A report of the individual's entire Federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544. The Division of State Police shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this paragraph.

(3) A certification from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families as to whether the individual is named to the central register as the perpetrator of a report of child abuse.

(e) Costs associated with obtaining said criminal history information and child abuse registry information shall be borne by the State.

(f) All information required in section (d) shall be forwarded to the DSCYF which will assess the information and make a determination of suitability for employment based upon the types of offenses, recency, record since the offenses and responsibilities of the position which the individual has obtained or is seeking to obtain. The DSCYF must exercise case-by-case judgment on the results. Any adverse judgment affecting the current or prospective child care individual shall be reviewed subject to regulations promulgated by the DSCYF under subsection (h).

(g) Upon making its determination of suitability, the DSCYF shall forward the determination, together with the results of the investigation, to the applicant and to the prospective or current employer or agency.

(h) The DSCYF shall, in the manner provided by law, promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section. These regulations shall:

(1) Set forth criteria for unsuitability for employment in or certification for child care services. Such criteria shall relate to criminal history record information and may include other information in addition to that set forth above. Such criteria and information shall be reasonably related to the prevention of child abuse.

(2) Prohibit any individual convicted of a sexually related offense or offenses against children or adolescents from employment in child care services.

(3) Set forth sanctions for employers who willfully hire or retain individuals in violation of this section or in violation of the regulations promulgated hereunder.

(4) Provide for the confidentiality of information obtained pursuant to subsection (d).

(5) Provide for administrative review of an adverse judgment by the DSCYF.

(i) Facilities and agencies which are subject to this section may provisionally hire an employee or a volunteer or place a child, pending the determination of the DSCYF. The failure of an Individual to disclose any relevant criminal history Information requested by the DSCYF as part of an application process that is subsequently disclosed as a result of a criminal history check performed pursuant to this chapter shall be grounds for immediate termination or removal of a placement.

(j) The DSCYF shall Issue its determination in a reasonable amount of time following the receipt of information obtained pursuant to subsection (d)."

Section 2. This Act shall take effect September 1, 1990.

Approved July 18, 1990.