SENATE BILL NO. 201
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 5
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 11, 14, AND 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE CRIMINAL CODE, THE DEPARTMENT OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES, THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY AND THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM ACTS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend §612(a), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph designated §612(a)(10) as follows:
“(a)(10) A person who is 18 years of age or older and who recklessly or intentionally causes physical injury to another person who has not yet reached the age of six years. In any prosecution of a parent, guardian, foster parent, legal custodian, or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of a child victim pursuant to this paragraph, the State shall be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the absence of any justification offered by §468(1) of this Title. In any prosecution of a teacher or school administrator pursuant to this paragraph, the State shall be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the absence of any justification offered by §468(2) of this Title.”
Section 2. Amend § 612, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by redesignating the current § 612(c) as § 612(d) and by adding thereto a new §612(c) as follows:
“(c) It is no defense, for an offense under subsection (a)(10) of this section, that the accused did not know the person’s age or that the accused reasonably believed the person to be six years of age or older.”
Section 3. Amend §3001, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new paragraph designated as §3001(e), as follows:
“(e) All public and private providers contracting with the Department of Education pursuant to this section shall ensure that each and every employee receives a minimum of one hour of training every year in the detection and reporting of child abuse. Such training, and all materials used in such training, shall be prepared by the Division of Family Services.”
Section 4. Amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code by inserting as new section designated as §4123, which new section shall read as follows:
“§4123. Child Abuse Detection/Reporting Training.
(a) Each public school shall ensure that each full-time teacher receives one hour of training every year in detection and reporting of child abuse. This training, and all materials used in such training, shall be prepared by the Division of Family Services.
(b) Any in-service training required by this section shall be provided within the contracted school year as provided in §1305(e) of this Title.”
Section 5. Amend §906, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsections (b)(3) and (b)(4) in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
(b)(3) The Division may investigate any report, but shall conduct an investigation involving all reports, which if true, would constitute violations against a child by a person responsible for the care, custody and control of the child of any of the following provisions of Title 11 of the Delaware Code § 603, 604, 611, 612, 613, 621, 625, 626, 631, 632, 633, 634, 635, 636, 645, 763, 765, 766, 767, 768, 769, 770, 771, 772, 773, 774, 775, 776, 777, 778, 779, 780, 782, 783, 783A, 791, 1100, 1101, 1102, 1107, 1108, 1109, 1110, 1111, or 1259, or an attempt to commit any such crimes. The Division staff shall also contact the appropriate law enforcement agency upon receipt of any report under this section and shall provide such agency with a detailed description of the report received. The appropriate law enforcement agency shall assist the Division in the investigation or provide the Division, within a reasonable time, an explanation detailing the reasons why it is unable to assist. Notwithstanding any provision of the Delaware Code to the contrary, to the extent the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the case is unable to assist, the Division may request that the Delaware State Police exercise jurisdiction over the case and upon such request the Delaware State police may exercise such jurisdiction ;
(b)(4) The assisting law enforcement agency shall promptly conduct its own criminal investigation, and keep the Division regularly apprised of the status and findings of its investigation. Law enforcement agencies and the Division shall develop protocols to ensure compliance with this subsection.”
Section 6. Amend §910, Title 16, Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“(a) Whenever an investigation has been opened with the Division pursuant to Section 906 of this Title for potential abuse or neglect of a child, the Division shall have the authority to request an order from the Family Court (i) to obtain access to the child, or children, and the residence of child, or children, (ii) to compel the appearance of a person at an office of the Division in furtherance of the investigation, (iii) or to compel compliance with a treatment plan previously agreed to by a child’s parent or guardian, if non-compliance with the plan endangers a child’s safety. The Family Court shall issue such an order upon the showing of ‘need’ by the Division and shall enforce noncompliance with such an order pursuant to Section 925(3) of Title 10. Formal notice of a request under this section shall be provided to the respondent prior to the filing of the request with the Family Court provided that orders pursuant to this section may be granted on an ex parte basis if the child, or children, at issue are at risk of imminent physical danger. The Family Court shall consider all requests pursuant to this section within two business days of the request being made.
(b) For purposes of this section, ‘need’ shall mean:
(1) that the Division has in good faith attempted on at least two separate prior occasions, at least one of which was by written communication sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to contact the person in question without success; or
(2) that a child is in danger of imminent physical injury due to the Division’s inability to communicate with the person or see the child or the child’s residence. ”
Section 7. Amend §907, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by deleting the last sentence of §907(d) in its entirety and by inserting a new paragraph “(e)” as follows:
“(e) A Division investigator conducting an investigation pursuant to § 906 shall have the same authority as that granted to a police officer or physician in paragraph (a) of this section, subject to all the same conditions as those listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, provided that the child in question is located at a school, day care facility, or child care facility at the time that the authority is initially exercised. In no other case shall an employee of the Division exercise custody under this section.
Approved July 16,1999