TITLE 31

Welfare

In General

CHAPTER 3. CHILD WELFARE

Subchapter IV. Placement of Dependent Children


(a) Before any person, institution, agency, association, corporation or organization shall place or cause to be placed or shall receive or cause to be received or shall keep or retain in custody, for the purpose of continued free or wage boarding or otherwise, any dependent child residing in the State, such person, institution, agency, association, corporation or organization must first obtain a written assessment of the proposed placement, conducted by DSCYF, or its licensed agency.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) Child placement agencies regularly and duly authorized and licensed to place and receive dependent children in the State; or

(2) Institutions regularly and duly authorized and licensed to take children under permanent care in the State; or

(3) The homes in which such authorized and licensed child placement agencies or institutions place children; or

(4) Privately endowed institutions supported wholly by private endowment and established to provide continued care for dependent children.

(c) An assessment of the proposed placement of a dependent child pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be required by DSCYF, or its licensed agency, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) When the child is placed in a home of an "adult individual" who fails to meet the definition of "relative" in § 901 of Title 10 but the adult individual is by marriage, blood or adoption the child's great-grandparent, stepgrandparent, great uncle or great aunt, half brother or half sister, stepbrother or stepsister, stepparent, or stepuncle or stepaunt to the extent not already included in the definition of "relative," or first cousin once removed; and

(2) When DSCYF has not currently filed, and does not intend to file, for custody of the child on the basis of dependency or neglect; and

(3) When there have been no prior or present allegations of abuse or neglect regarding the adult individual with whom the child is placed; and

(4) When DSCYF is not currently a party to a custody or visitation dispute regarding the child; and

(5) When DSCYF does not hold or seek custody of the child; and

(6) When the child meets the definition of "dependent child" solely because the child has been placed on a permanent basis in the home of an adult individual as described above and has been placed with such individual without an assessment by DSCYF, or its licensed agency.

(d) This section shall not limit the Family Court's jurisdiction to hear a petition for guardianship of a child pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 13, including granting of emergency relief, nor shall this section limit the Family Court's determination of appropriate placement for a child in DSCYF custody pursuant to § 2521(1) of Title 13.

Code 1915, § 1005D; 32 Del. Laws, c. 50; 38 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; Code 1935, § 1125; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 351; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 206, § 3.;

The Division of Child Protective Services may examine the circumstances and system relating to the placement of any dependent child in any home and may inspect and investigate the particular home to which such dependent child is to be or has been assigned, and, whenever satisfied that a child has been placed by any person, institution, agency, association, corporation or organization in an improper home, it may order its transfer to a proper one or its removal from the State, and, if the order is not obeyed within 30 days, it shall itself take charge of the child, returning it to the person, agency, institution, association, corporation or organization responsible or otherwise providing for it. Any such person, agency, institution, association, corporation or organization failing to remove such child after such notice shall at once pay the State such sum as the State may have expended in the care, maintenance or transportation of such child.

Code 1915, § 1005F; 32 Del. Laws, c. 50; 38 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 3; Code 1935, § 1127; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 352; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

Any person, agency, institution, association, corporation or organization placing any child, under this subchapter, shall abide by all rules made by the Division of Child Protective Services pertaining to the rejection, importation, placement, supervision, education, health, removal and general welfare of all such children.

Code 1915, § 1005G; 32 Del. Laws, c. 50; 38 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 4; Code 1935, § 1128; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 353; 58 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

(a) All agencies or organizations, engaged in the placement of dependent children within this State, may remove any child so placed when, in the judgment of such agency, the welfare and best interests of the child require such action, whether such right was received or not at the time the child was placed.

(b) Whenever any person with whom a dependent child has been placed refuses to give up such child on the demand of the representative of such agency, the agency, through its duly recognized representative, may give written notice to such person to deliver the child to the nearest railroad station or some other equally convenient place at a day and hour to be fixed in the notice, not less than 1 nor more than 3 days after the date of the notice.

Whoever wilfully refuses or neglects to comply with the requirements of the notice shall be fined in such amount or imprisoned for such term, or both, as the court in its discretion may determine.

30 Del. Laws, c. 201; Code 1935, §§ 2621, 2622; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 354.;

Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, whoever violates this subchapter shall be fined not more than $100 and whoever continues to disregard this subchapter 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, § 1005I; 32 Del. Laws, c. 50; 38 Del. Laws, c. 64, § 5; Code 1935, § 1129; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 355; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 5.;

(a) The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF) and the Department of Health and Social Services shall establish and operate the Kinship Care Program that promotes the placement of children with relatives when a child needs out-of-home placement, when such placement is in the best interest of the child, and when the child is not in the custody or care of the State.

(b) The Kinship Care Program shall establish eligibility guidelines for kinship caregivers to qualify for kinship care benefits and services, including the following criteria:

(1) The caregiver must be related to the child by blood or marriage within the fifth degree of consanguinity;

(2) The caregiver must have guardianship of the child or actively pursue guardianship;

(3) The child must reside in the home of the caregiver;

(4) The caregiver must have income of no more than 200% of the federal poverty level; and

(5) The parent or parents of a child in the kinship care program may not reside in the home of the kinship caregiver.

(c) The Kinship Care Program shall partner with the Delaware Helpline to maintain a toll-free telephone line that kinship caregivers and other interested persons may call as a centralized source of information about services provided by the kinship care program and other related services and resources for relatives caring for children.

(d) The Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, in cooperation with the Department of Health and Social Services, shall establish and administer an emergency fund for eligible kinship caregivers, who may receive a 1-time emergency financial subsidy, within the limits of available funding, to assist in purchasing clothes, furniture and other items necessary to prepare the household to accommodate the child or children.

(e) The Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families shall promulgate rules and regulations that are reasonable and necessary to establish or administer a kinship care program and that are consistent with the laws of the State and in harmony with the recommendations of the Kinship Care Taskforce Report of January, 2001.

73 Del. Laws, c. 270, § 2.;