STATE BOARD OF CHARITIES.
AN ACT to amend Chapter 41 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware and creating a State Board of Charities and prescribing the powers and duties of the said Board.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That Chapter 41 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, consisting of Paragraphs 1003, 1004 and 1005 be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Chapter and Paragraphs and inserting in lieu thereof a new Chapter to be known as Chapter 41, as follows:
1003. Section 1. That there is hereby created the State Board of Charities which shall consist of five suitable persons, at least two of whom shall be women, who shall be appointed by the Governor. The members so appointed shall be, during their terms of office, citizens of the State of Delaware and one shall be a resident of New Castle County, one a resident of Kent County and one a resident of Sussex County; the other two members shall be appointed at large. Those members who are to be resident members of the respective Counties shall be so designated by the Governor in their appointment and upon making said appointments the Governor shall so certify the fact to the Secretary of State and to the appointees. The terms of office of the first appointees as members of said Board shall be from the First day of April, A. D. one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, as follows:
The member resident in New Castle County--one year. The member resident in Kent County--two years. The member resident in Sussex County--three years; and the two members appointed at large shall each serve for the term of four years.
After the expiration of the terms of office aforesaid the Governor shall appoint members of the Board for the full term of four years. In case of any vacancies in the Board for any reason the Governor shall appoint some suitable person to serve for the unexpired term.
1003A. Section IA. The Board shall hold regular meetings once each quarter and oftener if necessary, and it shall have power to make such rules and regulations for its government as it deems proper.
1003B. Section IB. The Governor shall be ex-officio member of the Board. Such Board may appoint a Secretary, not a member of the board, who shall receive such annual salary as the Board may allow and necessary traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of official duties. Such salary and expenditures of the Board, certified in such manner as it may provide, shall be paid from the State Treasury, upon warrants, from funds appropriated for such purposes. The Board shall maintain an office at such place determined by the Board.
1004. Section 2. The State Board of Charities shall investigate, by correspondence and inspection, the system, condition and management of all benevolent and correctional institutions, public or private, which receive public funds from the State or from any County, Town or Municipality, and shall visit any children placed in free or boarding homes. Officers in charge of such institutions, or responsible for the administration of public funds for poor relief shall furnish the Board, or its representative, such information as required. The Board may prescribe such forms of reports and regulations as it deems necessary and shall have power to require all such institutions receiving public funds to keep such records and accounts as shall be ordered by the Board. For the purpose of such investigation and to carry out the provisions of this Chapter it shall employ such visitors as may be necessary.
1004A. Section 2A. Such Board, upon request of the management, shall annually pass upon the fitness of such benevolent or correctional institutions, corporation and associations, public or semi-public, as receives or desires to receive and care for children, or places children in private homes. If such request is made the Board may direct each such institution, corporation or association to make a report showing its condition, management and competency accurately to care for such children as are or may be committed to it or admitted therein, the system of visitation employed for children placed in private homes and such other facts as the Board requires. When the Board is satisfied as to the care given such children and that the requirements of the Statutes covering the management of such institutions are being complied with it shall issue a certificate to that effect, which shall continue in force for one year unless sooner revoked by the Board.
1004B. Section 2B. The Governor at any time may order the State Board of Charities, or a committee of three members thereof, to investigate the management of any benevolent or correctional institution in the State. In making such investigation the Board, or its committee, shall have authority to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, the production of all books, papers, records and documents and other evidence relative to any matters under investigation, and to inspect the same. In case of disobedience to any subpoena the Board, or its committee, may invoke the aid of the Court of General Sessions or of the Superior Court, or any Judge thereof in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence. In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena the said Court, or any Judge thereof, may issue an order requiring appearance before the Board, or its committee, the production of documentary evidence and the giving evidence touching the matter in question and any failure to obey such an order may be punished by such Court or any Judge as a contempt thereof. A report of such investigation, with the testimony taken therein, shall be made to the Governor and by him it may be submitted to the General Assembly, or to some other proper governing body, with such suggestions as he deems proper.
1004C. Section 20. At such times and places as it deems advisable the State Board of Charities may hold conferences of the officers of State, County and Municipal benevolent and correctional institutions and officers responsible for the administration of public funds used for the relief and maintenance of the poor. Such conferences shall consider in detail all questions of management of such institutions, the methods to secure their economical and efficient conduct, the most effective plans for granting public relief to the poor, and similar objects.
1005. Section 3. The members of the State Board of Charities shall serve without compensation, but their necessary traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of the official duties shall be paid from funds appropriated to the said Board to provide for the expenses, salary of the Secretary and other employees the sum of Five Thousand Dollars is appropriated annually from any moneys in the hands of the State Treasurer not otherwise appropriated, which shall be paid on warrants drawn by the said Board, signed by the President and Secretary, and the State Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay said warrants on the approval of the State Auditor.
1005A. Section 3A. The State Board of Charities shall annually make a report and shall include a list of the officers and agents employed, the conditions of institutions under its supervision and a statement of the year's work.
1005B. Section 3B. The intent and purpose of this Act are to provide humane and scientific treatment, care and the highest attainable degree of individual development for the dependent wards of the State;
To provide for the delinquent such wise conditions of modern education and training as will restore the largest possible portion of them to useful citizenship;
To promote the study of the causes of dependency and delinquency, and of mental, moral and physical defects, with a view to cure and ultimate prevention;
To secure, by uniform and systematic management, the highest attainable degree of economy in the administration of the State institutions under supervision of this Board consistent with the objects in view;
This Act shall be liberally construed to these ends.
1005C. Section 3C. All Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.