Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 902. Definitions




As used in this chapter:

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

(2) “Baby” shall mean a child not more than 14 days old, except that for hospitals and their employees and volunteers, “baby” shall mean a child reasonably believed to be not more than 14 days old.

(3) “Child” shall mean any person who has not reached that person's own 18th birthday.

(4) “Child Protection Registry” or “Registry” means a collection of information as described in subchapter II of this chapter about persons who have been substantiated for abuse or neglect as provided in subchapter II of this chapter or who were substantiated between August 1, 1994, and February 1, 2003.

(5) “Child welfare proceeding” means any Family Court proceeding and subsequent appeal therefrom involving custody, visitation, guardianship, termination of parental rights, adoption or other related petitions that involve a dependent, neglected or abused child or a child at risk of same as determined by the Family Court.

(6) “Conviction” or “convicted” means entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether the plea was subsequently discharged or dismissed under the first offenders domestic violence diversion program pursuant to § 1024 of Title 10, or under the first offenders controlled substances diversion program pursuant to § 4767 of this title, or of a Robinson plea, or of a probation before judgment discharge without judgment of conviction notwithstanding the provisions of § 4218(f) of Title 11, or a finding of guilt after trial, or a finding of not guilty after trial as a result of the defense of mental disease or defect pursuant to Title 11, or adjudication of delinquency for conduct which if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime;  or “conviction” or “convicted” under similar proceedings of another state, territory or jurisdiction.

(7) “Department” shall mean the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(8) “Director” shall mean the Director of the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(9) “Division” shall mean the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(10) “Family assessment and services” shall mean a case management approach by the Division of Family Services that provides for a prompt assessment of a child and the child's family and the circumstances of the reported incident (including the known history of the child and/or the alleged perpetrator) when there has been a report to the Division that the child was a victim of abuse or neglect, or at risk of maltreatment by a person responsible for that child's care, custody or control.  Family assessment and services shall be used in conjunction with the investigation approach defined in paragraph (13) of this section but may not supplant it in circumstances which require an investigation.  The family assessment response shall focus on the integrity and preservation of the family and shall assess the status of the child and the family in terms of the risk of abuse and neglect and, if necessary, plan and provide for the provision of community-based services to reduce the risk and to otherwise support the family.

(11) “Good faith” shall be presumed in the absence of evidence of malice or wilful misconduct.

(12) “Internal information system” shall mean a system of maintaining information related to all reports of abuse, neglect, investigations, family assessments, services and other relevant information.

(13) “Investigation” shall mean the collection of evidence in response to a report of abuse, neglect, or risk of maltreatment by a person responsible for that child's care, custody or control in order to determine if a child has been abused, neglected, or is at risk of maltreatment.  The Division shall develop protocols for its investigations that focus on ensuring the well-being and safety of the child.  The Division may conduct an investigation in response to any report of abuse, neglect, or risk of maltreatment but shall conduct an investigation as enumerated under § 906(e)(3) of this title.

(14) “Investigation Coordinator” shall mean a Department employee, appointed by the Secretary, who is authorized to independently track each reported case of alleged child abuse or neglect within the Department's internal information system and who is responsible for monitoring each reported case involving the death of, serious physical injury to, or allegations of sexual abuse of a child from inception to final criminal and civil disposition.

(15) “Multidisciplinary tracking system” shall mean an electronic system which the Investigation Coordinator utilizes to track and monitor each case involving the death of, or serious injury to, a child, or allegations of sexual abuse of a child, from inception to final criminal and civil disposition.

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

(17) “Neglect” is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(18) “Physical injury” is as defined in § 222 of Title 11.

(19) “Report” shall mean the communication of an allegation of child abuse or neglect to the Division pursuant to § 903 or § 905 of this title;

(20) “Serious physical injury” is as defined in § 222 of Title 11.

(21) “Sexual abuse” is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(22) “Special Investigator” shall mean a Division employee, appointed by the Secretary, who performs abuse and neglect investigations and possesses additional qualifications and authority as defined by § 9016 of Title 29.

(23) “Substantiation” means a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred.

(24) “Those responsible for the care, custody and control of the child” or “care, custody and control” is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.


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