CHAPTER 277

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 351

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF THE CHILD ADVOCATE.

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

Section 1. Amend Title 29, Section 9007A(c) of the Delaware Code by striking the phrase "The attorney guardian ad litem shall" and inserting the following in lieu thereof:

"The attorney guardian ad litem's duty is to the child. The scope of the representation of the child is the child's best interests. The attorney guardian ad litem shall have the duty of confidentiality to the child unless disclosure is necessary to protect the child's best interests. As such, the attorney guardian ad litem shall"

Section 2. Amend Title 29, Section 9007A(c)(1) of the Delaware Code by inserting after the word "proceedings" the phrase ", and explain to the child, taking into account the child's ability to understand the proceedings, the duties of the attorney guardian ad litem".

Section 3. Amend Title 29, Section 9007A(c)(3) by striking that paragraph in its entirety and inserting the following new paragraph (3) in lieu thereof:

"(3) Conduct an independent investigation of the circumstances of a case of appointment, which shall include but not be limited to interviews and/or observations of the child and relevant individuals, as well as a review of all relevant records and reports;"

Section 4. Amend Title 29, Section 9007(c)(4) of the Delaware Code by striking that paragraph in its entirety and inserting the following new paragraph (4) in lieu thereof:

"(4) Present evidence to the Court in support of his or her position;"

Section 5. Amend Title 29, Section 9008A of the Delaware Code by inserting ", or volunteering for," after the words "contracted by" in the first sentence.

Section 6. Amend Title 29, Section 9007A(a)(2), of the Delaware Code, by inserting the phrase "and/or the Family Court" after the word "Department" in the first sentence.

Approved June 10, 2002