TITLE 31

Welfare

In General

CHAPTER 3. CHILD WELFARE

Subchapter I. General Provisions


As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Abuse" or "abused child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(2) "Child" means a person who has not yet attained the child's eighteenth birthday.

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

(4) "Dependency" or "dependent child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(5) "Maternal death" means the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

(6) "Near death" means a child in serious or critical condition as a result of child abuse or neglect as certified by a physician.

(7) "Neglect" or "neglected child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(8) "Truancy" or "truant" shall refer to a pupil enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 inclusive who has been absent from school without a valid excuse, as defined in the rules and regulations of the district board of education of the school district in which the pupil is or should be enrolled pursuant to the provisions of Title 14, or in the case of a pupil enrolled in a charter school, by the board of directors of the charter school, for more than 3 days or the equivalent thereof during a given school year.

41 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 301; 56 Del. Laws, c. 317, §§ 3, 4; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 6; 61 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 5; 63 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 9; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 175, § 14; 74 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 136, §§ 21-23; 76 Del. Laws, c. 373, § 1.;

The intent and purpose of this chapter are to:

(1) Provide humane and scientific treatment, care and highest attainable degree of individual development for the dependent wards of this State;

(2) Provide for the delinquent such wise conditions of modern education and training as will restore the largest possible portion of such delinquents to useful citizenship;

(3) Promote the study of the causes of dependency and delinquency and of mental and physical disabilities, with a view to cure and ultimate prevention; and

(4) Secure, by uniform and systematic management, the highest attainable degree of economy in the administration of the state institutions under supervision of the Division of Child Protective Services consistent with the objects in view.

Code 1915, § 1005B; 30 Del. Laws, c. 64; Code 1935, § 1124; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 302; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 323.;

In order that the State may more effectively exercise the duty and obligation which it owes to minor children, who for any cause are in need of care and protection, the Division of Child Protective Services may:

(1) Search out through investigation, complaints from citizens, or otherwise, the minor children in the State who are in need of its care and protection and shall as far as possible, through existing agencies, public or private, its own welfare workers or through such other resources, aid such children to a fair opportunity in life;

(2) Make surveys and in other ways ascertain the facts and conditions which cause or contribute to the need for state care and protection of children and the extent of such need;

(3) Present the facts so ascertained to the people through conventions, conferences and addresses to the end that a statewide program may be effected for the elimination and suppression of the causes which bring the necessity for such care;

(4) Establish and maintain homes or other agencies for the care of dependent or neglected minor children or contract with any approved agency or home for the care of such children, receive and care for dependent or neglected children committed to its care and, if possible, to arrange for a thorough physical and mental examination of every such child, investigate in detail the personal and family history of a child and its environment, place such children in family homes or in approved suitable institutions and supervise such children however placed; and

(5) Solicit, obtain and hold gifts, devises and bequests of money, real estate and other things of value to be used in support of the development and carrying on of child welfare work.

38 Del. Laws, c. 54, §§ 1, 2; Code 1935, § 1130; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 303; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

Repealed by 77 Del. Laws, c. 43, § 11, effective June 16, 2009.;

The Division of Child Protective Services may utilize services of other child welfare agencies and allocate and turn over unto such agencies, operating within this State and rendering child welfare services, any portion of funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter and as may from time to time be deemed necessary, proper and expedient for the supervision, care, custody, board and placement of dependent and neglected children. If in the judgment of the Division such payments are necessary, proper and expedient for the care of the child, these allocations and payments may be continued to the said agency for children who were dependent or neglected, but who have been legally adopted.

41 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 3; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 305; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, §§ 1, 3; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

No court, organization, institution, individual or corporation may bind any minor to any organization, institution, individual or corporation in any manner whatsoever.

Nothing contained in this section shall in any manner interfere with the power and authority of any court to commit any minor to the custody and care of any organization, institution, individual or corporation.

Code 1852, § 1501; Code 1915, § 3101; 32 Del. Laws, c. 185; Code 1935, § 3591; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 306.;

(a) No person or corporation of this State or any child placement agency or association operating within this State or any bureau, board or commission of this State or any person, institution, agency, association, corporation, bureau, board or commission without this State shall bring or send into this State or in any way assist in the bringing or sending into this State of any dependent child who is a resident of another state, United States territory or country for the purpose of placing or procuring placement of such child in any way free, wage or boarding home or for adoption without the written consent of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families having first been obtained, and such person, agency, institution, association, corporation, board or commission shall abide by all rules laid down by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(b) Whoever violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $100; and

Whoever continues to so violate for a period of 10 days after notification from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families shall be guilty of a new, separate and distinct offense and shall be fined for each offense not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

Code 1915, §§ 1005E, 1005G; 32 Del. Laws, c. 50; 38 Del. Laws, c. 64, §§ 2, 5; Code 1935, §§ 1126, 1129; 41 Del. Laws, c. 97, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 307; 50 Del. Laws, c. 187, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4; 68 Del. Laws, c. 380, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 223, § 1.;

Every person who is unable to pay for vaccination and every child whose parents or guardians are unable to pay for the same, not residing in the City of Wilmington, may be vaccinated by any physician or physicians who may be designated for that purpose by the Division of Child Protective Services.

For each person or child so vaccinated, the physician or physicians shall be paid by the Division of Child Protective Services the sum of 50 cents.

Every such physician shall give a certificate of vaccination to the person or child so applying.

17 Del. Laws, c. 68, § 4; Code 1915, § 768; 37 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 15; Code 1935, § 774; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 308; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

(a) A background check for employees or volunteers of child-serving entities shall consist of a fingerprinted Delaware and national background check completed by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as a Child Protection Registry check completed by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF).

(b) Definitions. — The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Administrator of educator preparation program" means the individual identified by the higher education institution as being responsible for overseeing the placement of candidates into student teaching placements in a Delaware public school.

(2) "Adult who is impaired" shall have the meaning as defined in § 3902 of this title.

(3) "Child Protection Registry" as used in this section, shall have the meaning as defined in § 921 of Title 16.

(4) "Child-serving entity" as used in this section shall mean:

a. The DSCYF; which includes any employee or volunteer of DSCYF or 1 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 paragraph (b)(4)b. of this section;

b. Residential child-care facilities in Delaware which are under contract with or operated directly by DSCYF;

c. Public schools, including employees of the Department of Education;

d. Child-care providers as defined in § 342 of this title; or

e. Youth camps or summer schools that are exempt from child-care licensing requirements;

f. Facilities and individuals registered and eligible for Federal Child Care Development Block Grant funds through the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

(5) "Contractor" means a person, not an employee, providing services within a child-serving entity and who:

a. Has regular direct access to children, or

b. Provides services directly to a child or children.

(6) "Conviction" or "convicted" shall have the same meaning as defined in § 902 of Title 16.

(7) "Direct access" means the opportunity to have personal, unsupervised contact with persons receiving care or education during the course of one's assigned duties.

(8) "Elderly person" shall have the meaning as defined in § 222 of Title 11.

(9) "Employee" means any person seeking employment for compensation with a child-serving entity, or any person who for any reason has regular direct access to children at a child-serving entity. This definition shall also include applicants wishing to become adoptive, foster, or respite parents and their adult household members and any person seeking a student teaching placement in a public school.

(10) "Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes" shall include: §§ 604-607, 612-613, 626, 629-636, 645, 651, 768-780, 782-783A, 785, 787, 802, 803, 1100A-1102, 1103A-1103B, 1105, 1108-1112B of Title 11, felony convictions of § 1136 of Title 16, and felony convictions of § 3913(c) of this title.

(11) "Higher education institution" means a Delaware college or university that has a teacher preparation program that places candidates into student teaching placements in a Delaware public school.

(12) "Misdemeanor convictions against children" shall include: §§ 601-603, 611, 621, 625-628A, 763, 764, 765, 766, 767, 781, 785, 1102, 1103, 1106, 1107 of Title 11, and misdemeanor convictions of § 1136 of Title 16.

(13) [Repealed.]

(14) "Public school" means any public school and includes any board of education, school district, reorganized school district, special school district, charter school or charter school board and any person acting as an agent thereof.

(15) "Student teacher" means an individual participating in a student teaching placement.

(16) "Student teaching placement" means a structured, supervised classroom teaching, internship, clinical or field experience in a teacher education program in which the student teacher practices the skills being learned in the teacher education program and gradually assumes increased responsibility for instruction, classroom management, and other related duties for a class of students in a local school district or charter school. These skills are practiced under the direct supervision of the certified teacher who has official responsibility for the class. Successful completion of a student teaching placement may be used to meet the requirements for an initial license set forth in § 1210 of Title 14.

(17) "Volunteer" means a person providing volunteer services within a child-serving entity and who has regular direct access to children.

(18) "Youth camp" means a child-serving entity having custody or control of 1 or more school-age children, unattended by parent or guardian, for the purpose of providing a program of recreational, athletic, educational and/or religious instruction or guidance and operates for up to 12 weeks for 3 or more hours per day, during the months of May through September or some portion thereof, or during holiday breaks in the course of a school year and is operated in a space or at a location other than a space or location subject to licensing pursuant to § 344 of this title.

(c) All child-serving entities are required to obtain criminal and Child Protection Registry checks for prospective employees, volunteers and contractors.

(1) The SBI shall furnish information pertaining to the identification and criminal history record of prospective employees, volunteers and contractors of child-serving entities, except as otherwise allowed or required, provided that the prospective employee, volunteer or contractor submits to a reasonable procedure established by standards set forth by the Superintendent of State Police to identify the person whose record is sought. Such procedure shall include the fingerprinting of the prospective employee, and the provision of such other information as may be necessary to obtain a report of the person's entire criminal history record from SBI and a report of the person's entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the FBI appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the information to be furnished by SBI shall include child sex abuser information. The Division of State Police shall be the intermediary for purposes of this section.

(2) Any employer who is required to request a Child Protection Registry check under this section shall obtain a statement signed by the prospective employee, volunteer, or contractor wherein the person authorizes a full release for the employer to obtain the information provided pursuant to such a check. The DSCYF will process a Child Protection Registry check of the individual upon receipt of the above-mentioned statement.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, youth camps may choose to perform a name-based Delaware criminal background check for prospective employees, volunteers and contractors through the Delaware Justice Information System (DELJIS) and an out-of-state criminal record check using private, third-party providers of such checks, provided that any out-of-state criminal record check shall include a Social Security trace search and county-based criminal record search in the counties in which the individual has resided within the past 10 years. Such check shall be valid for a 5-year period.

(4) [Repealed.]

(5) Costs associated with obtaining said criminal history information and Child Protection Registry information shall be borne by the applicant, except for those designated in paragraph (b)(4)d. of this section, whose costs shall be borne by the State. Notwithstanding the foregoing, public schools may use funds other than state funds to pay for criminal background check costs and may enter into consortia of school districts to pay such costs for persons covered by this act who work in more than 1 school district during the course of a year.

(6) All employees, volunteers and contractors shall inform their employer of any criminal conviction or entry on the Child Protection Registry which would lead to a prohibition pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(7) Child-serving entities may conditionally hire an employee or volunteer or place a child, pending the determination of suitability for employment. If the information obtained from the background checks indicates that the individual is prohibited from employment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the person may not continue in employment and is subject to termination.

(8) Any persons or organization whose primary concern is that of child welfare and care, which is not otherwise required to do so under the provisions of this section may voluntarily submit to the provisions of this subchapter at such person's or organization's expense pursuant to procedures established by the Superintendent of State Police.

(d) Prohibitions.

(1) The following criminal convictions or entries on the Child Protection Registry shall prohibit an individual from being an employee, volunteer, or contractor for a child-serving entity for the amount of time indicated:

a. Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes against a child, an adult who is impaired, or elderly person. Such convictions shall require a lifetime prohibition.

b. Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes against another adult. Such prohibition shall last for 10 years following the date of conviction.

c. Any other convictions for a violent felony as defined in § 4201(c) of Title 11 not already included within the convictions subject to a lifetime or 10 year prohibition under paragraphs (d)(1)a. and b. of this section shall prohibit the individual for 7 years following the date of conviction, unless the felony is included within the crimes that can lead to entry on the Child Protection Registry pursuant to § 923 of Title 16, in which case the length of time for the prohibition shall be as provided in the Child Protection Registry regulations.

d. Misdemeanor convictions against children. Such prohibitions shall last for 7 years following the date of conviction, unless the misdemeanor is included within the crimes that can lead to entry on the Child Protection Registry pursuant to § 923 of Title 16, in which case the length of time for the prohibition shall be as provided for in the Child Protection Registry regulations.

(2) If an individual has more than 1 prohibition, the higher level prohibition shall apply.

(3) For any other criminal conviction that does not prohibit employment according to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the child-serving entity may set forth job-related prohibitions for employees, contractors, and volunteers considering number and types of offenses, their recency, the individual's criminal record since the offenses, and the responsibilities of the position which the individual has obtained or is seeking to obtain, provided that such prohibitions are not otherwise prohibited by law.

(4) The child-serving entity may prohibit employment for longer than that set out in paragraph (d)(1) of this section for those crimes that are prohibited and are job-related. The prohibition must not be shorter than the time proscribed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, provided such time restrictions are not otherwise prohibited by law.

(e) Upon completion of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks:

(1) Where the child-serving entity is a public school:

a. The SBI shall provide the criminal background information and DSCYF shall provide the Child Protection Registry check information to the individual and the employing school or district, which shall determine whether the individual is prohibited from being employed by the school or district, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. If the individual is not prohibited from employment by subsection (d) of this section but the individual has a criminal conviction or is or has been on the Child Protection Registry, the school or district shall make a determination regarding suitability for employment using the factors in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and may only be disclosed to the chief school officer or head of school and the chief personnel officer of the school and one person in each school who shall be designated to assist in the processing of criminal background checks, receive training in confidentiality and be required to sign an agreement to keep such information confidential.

b. Upon making its determination of suitability, the public school shall forward the determination to the person seeking employment. If a determination is made to deny the person from employment based on the criminal history of the person, the person shall have an opportunity to appeal to the chief school officer and/or head of school or designee for reconsideration.

c. In the case of a student teacher:

1. The SBI shall provide the criminal background information and DSCYF shall provide the Child Protection Registry check information to the individual and to the Higher Education Institution identified by the individual, through the Administrator of Educator Preparation Program. The Higher Education Institution shall determine whether the individual is prohibited from being employed pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and shall send a copy of the complete criminal background check and Child Protection Registry check information to the district superintendent or charter school director of the Delaware school district or charter school considering the person as a candidate for a student teaching position. If the individual is not prohibited from employment by subsection (d) of this section but the individual has a criminal conviction or is or has been on the Child Protection Registry, the school or district shall make a determination regarding suitability for employment using the factors in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and may only be disclosed to the chief school officer or head of school and the chief personnel officer of the school, and 1 person in each school who shall be designated to assist in the processing of criminal background checks, receive training in confidentiality and be required to sign an agreement to keep such information confidential.

2. Upon making its determination of suitability, the public school shall forward the determination to the administrator of educator preparation program of the designated higher education institution.

(2) Where the child-serving entity is DSCYF, a residential child-care facility under contract to or operated directly by DSCYF, or where the individual is applying to become an adoptive, foster or respite parent, SBI shall provide the criminal background information to DSCYF and DSCYF shall perform the Child Protection Registry check. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited based on the results of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks. DSCYF may, by regulation, set forth criteria for unsuitability for its employees, contractors, volunteers, residential child-care employees, individuals applying to become an adoptive, foster or respite parent. These criteria shall relate to criminal history information and other information in addition to that set forth above. Such criteria and information shall be reasonably related to the prevention of child abuse. Upon making its determination, the DSCYF shall forward the determination to the applicant and the employer. Any adverse judgment affecting the applicant may be reviewed subject to regulations promulgated by DSCYF. The State Bureau of Identification may release all subsequent criminal history to DSCYF.

(3) Where the child-serving entity is a child-care provider, facility receiving Federal Child Care Development Block Grant funds, or a Youth Camp, SBI shall provide the criminal background information to DSCYF, and DSCYF shall perform the Child Protection Registry check. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited by subsection (d) of this section based on the results of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks. If the applicant has a criminal conviction or is on the Child Protection Registry but is not prohibited from employment pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, DSCYF will assess the background check information and make a determination of suitability based upon factors set forth by DSCYF regulation consistent with paragraph (d)(3) of this section. If an applicant is determined unsuitable by DSCYF, the employer shall be informed. The employer shall make the final determination of whether or not to employ the individual. Notwithstanding the above, if the employer is a family child-care provider, DSCYF shall make the final decision based on the criteria established by regulations. If an applicant is determined unsuitable by DSCYF, the applicant and employer shall be informed. Any adverse judgment affecting the applicant shall be reviewed subject to regulations promulgated by the DSCYF. SBI may release all subsequent criminal history to DSCYF.

(4) Where the child-serving entity is a youth camp that chooses to perform background checks using the method permitted in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, DELJIS shall perform a name-based criminal check based on the identifying information provided by the youth camp. If the individual is found to have a criminal background that would make them prohibited for employment, DELJIS shall so inform the employer. If the individual's background would not make them prohibited from employment, then DELJIS shall forward the information to DSCYF, which shall perform a check of the Child Protection Registry. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited based on the results of the Child Protection Registry check.

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

(g) The State Department of Education shall, in the manner provided by law, promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section. These regulations shall include:

(1) Establishment, in conjunction with SBI, of a procedure for fingerprinting persons seeking employment with a public school and providing the reports and certificate obtained pursuant to subsection (c) of this section;

(2) Establishment of a procedure to provide confidentiality of information obtained pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(3) Establishment of a procedure for determining other job-related prohibitions for employees, volunteers and contractors, pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

67 Del. Laws, c. 409, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 202; 80 Del. Laws, c. 211, § 1.;

(a) A background check for employees or volunteers of child-serving entities shall consist of a fingerprinted Delaware and national background check completed by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as a Child Protection Registry check completed by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF).

(b) Definitions. — The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Administrator of educator preparation program" means the individual identified by the higher education institution as being responsible for overseeing the placement of candidates into student teaching placements in a Delaware public school.

(2) "Adult who is impaired" shall have the meaning as defined in § 3902 of this title.

(3) "Child Protection Registry" as used in this section, shall have the meaning as defined in § 921 of Title 16.

(4) "Child-serving entity" as used in this section shall mean:

a. The DSCYF; which includes any employee or volunteer of DSCYF or 1 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 paragraph (b)(4)b. of this section;

b. Residential child-care facilities in Delaware which are under contract with or operated directly by DSCYF;

c. Public and private schools, including employees of the Department of Education;

d. Child-care providers as defined in § 342 of this title; or

e. Youth camps or summer schools that are exempt from child-care licensing requirements;

f. Facilities and individuals registered and eligible for Federal Child Care Development Block Grant funds through the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

(5) "Contractor" means a person, not an employee, providing services within a child-serving entity and who:

a. Has regular direct access to children, or

b. Provides services directly to a child or children.

(6) "Conviction" or "convicted" shall have the same meaning as defined in § 902 of Title 16.

(7) "Direct access" means the opportunity to have personal contact with persons receiving care or education during the course of one's assigned duties.

(8) "Elderly person" shall have the meaning as defined in § 222 of Title 11.

(9) "Employee" means any person seeking employment for compensation with a child-serving entity, or any person who for any reason has regular direct access to children at a child-serving entity. This definition shall also include applicants wishing to become adoptive, foster, or respite parents and their adult household members and any person seeking a student teaching placement in a public school.

(10) "Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes" shall include: §§ 604-607, 612-613, 629-636, 645, 651, 768-780, 1100A-1102, 1103A-1103B, 1105, 1108-1112B of Title 11.

(11) "Higher education institution" means a Delaware college or university that has a teacher preparation program that places candidates into student teaching placements in a Delaware public school.

(12) "Misdemeanor convictions against children" shall include: §§ 763, 764, 765, 766, 767, 781, 1102, 1103, 1106, 1107 of Title 11.

(13) "Private school" means a school having any or all of grades kindergarten through 12, operating under a board of trustees and maintaining a faculty and plant which are properly supervised.

(14) "Public school" means any public school and includes any board of education, school district, reorganized school district, special school district, charter school or charter school board and any person acting as an agent thereof.

(15) "Student teacher" means an individual participating in a student teaching placement.

(16) "Student teaching placement" means a structured, supervised classroom teaching, internship, clinical or field experience in a teacher education program in which the student teacher practices the skills being learned in the teacher education program and gradually assumes increased responsibility for instruction, classroom management, and other related duties for a class of students in a local school district or charter school. These skills are practiced under the direct supervision of the certified teacher who has official responsibility for the class. Successful completion of a student teaching placement may be used to meet the requirements for an initial license set forth in § 1210 of Title 14.

(17) "Volunteer" means a person providing volunteer services within a child-serving entity and who has regular direct access to children.

(18) "Youth camp" means a child-serving entity having custody or control of 1 or more school-age children, unattended by parent or guardian, for the purpose of providing a program of recreational, athletic, educational and/or religious instruction or guidance and operates for up to 12 weeks for 3 or more hours per day, during the months of May through September or some portion thereof, or during holiday breaks in the course of a school year and is operated in a space or at a location other than a space or location subject to licensing pursuant to § 344 of this title.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, all child-serving entities are required to obtain criminal and Child Protection Registry checks for prospective employees, volunteers and contractors.

(1) The SBI shall furnish information pertaining to the identification and criminal history record of prospective employees, volunteers and contractors of child-serving entities, except as otherwise allowed or required, provided that the prospective employee, volunteer or contractor submits to a reasonable procedure established by standards set forth by the Superintendent of State Police to identify the person whose record is sought. Such procedure shall include the fingerprinting of the prospective employee, and the provision of such other information as may be necessary to obtain a report of the person's entire criminal history record from SBI and a report of the person's entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the FBI appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the information to be furnished by SBI shall include child sex abuser information. The Division of State Police shall be the intermediary for purposes of this section.

(2) Any employer who is required to request a Child Protection Registry check under this section shall obtain a statement signed by the prospective employee, volunteer, or contractor wherein the person authorizes a full release for the employer to obtain the information provided pursuant to such a check. The DSCYF will process a Child Protection Registry check of the individual upon receipt of the above-mentioned statement.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, private schools and youth camps may choose to perform a name-based Delaware criminal background check for prospective employees, volunteers and contractors through the Delaware Justice Information System (DELJIS) and an out-of-state criminal record check using private, third-party providers of such checks, provided that any out-of-state criminal record check shall include a Social Security trace search and county-based criminal record search in the counties in which the individual has resided within the past 10 years. Such check shall be valid for a 5- year period.

(4) Any private school, including youth camps directly operated by a private school, may choose not to perform the background checks and Child Protection Registry checks described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, provided that the private school or youth camp that is directly operated by the private school informs parents or guardians of the youth in attendance that the school or youth camp is not meeting minimum background check safety requirements for its staff members. The school or camp must obtain and retain for at least 1 year a signed acknowledgement of same from the parents or guardians.

(5) Costs associated with obtaining said criminal history information and Child Protection Registry information shall be borne by the applicant, except for those designated in paragraph (b)(4)d. of this section, whose costs shall be borne by the State. Notwithstanding the foregoing, public schools may use funds other than state funds to pay for criminal background check costs and may enter into consortia of school districts to pay such costs for persons covered by this act who work in more than 1 school district during the course of a year.

(6) All employees, volunteers and contractors shall inform their employer of any criminal conviction or entry on the Child Protection Registry which would lead to a prohibition pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(7) Child-serving entities may conditionally hire an employee or volunteer or place a child, pending the determination of suitability for employment. If the information obtained from the background checks indicates that the individual is prohibited from employment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the person may not continue in employment and is subject to termination.

(8) Any persons or organization whose primary concern is that of child welfare and care, which is not otherwise required to do so under the provisions of this section may voluntarily submit to the provisions of this subchapter at such person's or organization's expense pursuant to procedures established by the Superintendent of State Police.

(d) Prohibitions.

(1) The following criminal convictions or entries on the Child Protection Registry shall prohibit an individual from being an employee, volunteer, or contractor for a child-serving entity for the amount of time indicated:

a. Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes against a child, an adult who is impaired, or elderly person. Such convictions shall require a lifetime prohibition.

b. Felony convictions involving physical or sexual assault crimes against another adult. Such prohibition shall last for 10 years following the date of conviction.

c. All other felony convictions shall prohibit the individual for 7 years following the date of conviction, unless the felony is included within the crimes that can lead to entry on the Child Protection Registry pursuant to § 923 of Title 16, in which case the length of time for the prohibition shall be as provided in the Child Protection Registry regulations.

d. Misdemeanor convictions against children. Such prohibitions shall last for 7 years following the date of conviction, unless the misdemeanor is included within the crimes that can lead to entry on the Child Protection Registry pursuant to § 923 of Title 16, in which case the length of time for the prohibition shall be as provided for in the Child Protection Registry regulations.

(2) If an individual has more than 1 prohibition, the higher level prohibition shall apply.

(3) For any other criminal conviction that does not prohibit employment according to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the child-serving entity may set forth job-related prohibitions for employees, contractors, and volunteers considering number and types of offenses, their recency, the individual's criminal record since the offenses, and the responsibilities of the position which the individual has obtained or is seeking to obtain, provided that such prohibitions are not otherwise prohibited by law.

(e) Upon completion of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks:

(1) Where the child-serving entity is a public or private school:

a. The SBI shall provide the criminal background information and DSCYF shall provide the Child Protection Registry check information to the individual and the employing school or district, which shall determine whether the individual is prohibited from being employed by the school or district, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. If the individual is not prohibited from employment by subsection (d) of this section but the individual has a criminal conviction or is or has been on the Child Protection Registry, the school or district shall make a determination regarding suitability for employment using the factors in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and may only be disclosed to the chief school officer or head of school and the chief personnel officer of the school and one person in each school who shall be designated to assist in the processing of criminal background checks, receive training in confidentiality and be required to sign an agreement to keep such information confidential.

b. Upon making its determination of suitability, the public school shall forward the determination to the person seeking employment. If a determination is made to deny the person from employment based on the criminal history of the person, the person shall have an opportunity to appeal to the chief school officer and/or head of school or designee for reconsideration.

c. In the case of a student teacher:

1. The SBI shall provide the criminal background information and DSCYF shall provide the Child Protection Registry check information to the individual and to the Higher Education Institution identified by the individual, through the Administrator of Educator Preparation Program. The Higher Education Institution shall determine whether the individual is prohibited from being employed pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and shall send a copy of the complete criminal background check and Child Protection Registry check information to the district superintendent or charter school director of the Delaware school district or charter school considering the person as a candidate for a student teaching position. If the individual is not prohibited from employment by subsection (d) of this section but the individual has a criminal conviction or is or has been on the Child Protection Registry, the school or district shall make a determination regarding suitability for employment using the factors in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and may only be disclosed to the chief school officer or head of school and the chief personnel officer of the school, and 1 person in each school who shall be designated to assist in the processing of criminal background checks, receive training in confidentiality and be required to sign an agreement to keep such information confidential.

2. Upon making its determination of suitability, the public school shall forward the determination to the administrator of educator preparation program of the designated higher education institution.

(2) Where the child-serving entity is DSCYF, a residential child-care facility under contract to or operated directly by DSCYF, or where the individual is applying to become an adoptive, foster or respite parent, SBI shall provide the criminal background information to DSCYF and DSCYF shall perform the Child Protection Registry check. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited based on the results of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks. DSCYF may, by regulation, set forth criteria for unsuitability for its employees, contractors, volunteers, residential child-care employees, individuals applying to become an adoptive, foster or respite parent. These criteria shall relate to criminal history information and other information in addition to that set forth above. Such criteria and information shall be reasonably related to the prevention of child abuse. Upon making its determination, the DSCYF shall forward the determination to the applicant and the employer. Any adverse judgment affecting the applicant may be reviewed subject to regulations promulgated by DSCYF. The State Bureau of Identification may release all subsequent criminal history to DSCYF.

(3) Where the child-serving entity is a child-care provider, facility receiving Federal Child Care Development Block Grant funds, or a Youth Camp, SBI shall provide the criminal background information to DSCYF, and DSCYF shall perform the Child Protection Registry check. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited by subsection (d) of this section based on the results of the criminal background and Child Protection Registry checks. If the applicant has a criminal conviction or is on the Child Protection Registry but is not prohibited from employment pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, DSCYF will assess the background check information and make a determination of suitability based upon factors set forth by DSCYF regulation consistent with paragraph (d)(3) of this section. If an applicant is determined unsuitable by DSCYF, the employer shall be informed. The employer shall make the final determination of whether or not to employ the individual. Notwithstanding the above, if the employer is a family child-care provider, DSCYF shall make the final decision based on the criteria established by regulations. If an applicant is determined unsuitable by DSCYF, the applicant and employer shall be informed. Any adverse judgment affecting the applicant shall be reviewed subject to regulations promulgated by the DSCYF. SBI may release all subsequent criminal history to DSCYF.

(4) Where the child-serving entity is a private school or youth camp that chooses to perform background checks using the method permitted in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, DELJIS shall perform a name-based criminal check based on the identifying information provided by the private school or youth camp. If the individual is found to have a criminal background that would make them prohibited for employment, DELJIS shall so inform the employer. If the individual's background would not make them prohibited from employment, then DELJIS shall forward the information to DSCYF, which shall perform a check of the Child Protection Registry. DSCYF shall determine whether or not the individual is prohibited based on the results of the Child Protection Registry check.

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

(g) The State Department of Education shall, in the manner provided by law, promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section. These regulations shall include:

(1) Establishment, in conjunction with SBI, of a procedure for fingerprinting persons seeking employment with a public school and providing the reports and certificate obtained pursuant to subsection (c) of this section;

(2) Establishment of a procedure to provide confidentiality of information obtained pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(3) Establishment of a procedure for determining other job-related prohibitions for employees, volunteers and contractors, pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

67 Del. Laws, c. 409, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 202; 80 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 211, § 2.;

Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.

71 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Any child-serving entity which fails to comply with the requirements of § 309 of this title, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall be punished according to Chapter 42 of Title 11. The Court of Common Pleas shall have exclusive jurisdiction for any offense under this subsection. Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, if the misdemeanor offense may be joined properly with a felony, such offense shall be within the jurisdiction of the Superior Court.

(b) Any child-serving entity which fails to comply with the requirements of § 309 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each violation.

(c) Any person seeking employment with a child-serving entity or any person seeking a license under Chapter 12 of Title 14 who knowingly provides false, incomplete or inaccurate criminal history information, Child Protection Registry information, or child sex abuser information or who otherwise knowingly violates § 309 of this title shall be guilty of a class G felony and shall be punished according to Chapter 42 of Title 11. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction for any offense under this subsection.

(d) The failure of an individual to disclose any relevant criminal history or Child Protection Registry information shall be grounds for immediate termination or for removal of a placement.

(e) Sanctions shall be promulgated via DSCYF regulation for employees, volunteers, or contractors who fail to inform their employer of any criminal conviction or entrance on the Child Protection Registry and for employers who wilfully hire or retain individuals in violation of this section or in violation of the regulations promulgated hereunder.

80 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 1.;