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) "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 (DSCYF).

(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 1 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 in 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 subsection (d) of this section 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) of this section.

(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 wilfully 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) of this section.

(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) of this section.

67 Del. Laws, c. 409, § 1.;

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.;