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Delaware Code Title 29. State Government § 9003. Powers and functions

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(a) The Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families shall have the following powers, duties and functions:

(1) To provide to children, youth and their families a comprehensive and effective statewide program of services for children and youth who have been committed to the Department or placed in the care of the Department by the Court, referred to the Department by parents, agencies or other individuals, or who have otherwise voluntarily applied to the Department for services;

(2) To provide services to children, youth and their families to prevent children and youth from becoming abused, neglected, dependent and delinquent, as defined under existing law, and to prevent mental illness and emotional disorders among children and youth;

(3) a. To provide for a variety of facilities and services to children, youth and their families which shall include, but not be limited to the following:

1. Protective services;

2. Preplacement, preventive services and reunification services;

3. Home-based services;

4. Mental health outpatient services;

5. Drug and alcohol outpatient services;

6. Residential and institutional facilities;

7. Probation, aftercare and follow-up services;

8. Adoption and permanent placement services;

9. Evaluation, diagnostic and treatment services;

10. Foster care services;

11. Independent living services;

12. A continuum of residential mental health services, which shall include, but not be limited to, inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for all children requiring such care, mental health residential treatment centers and specialized mental health treatment services in other group-care facilities and foster homes;

b. The Division of Family Services will provide family preservation services to those families whose children are at imminent risk of out-of-home placement when it has determined that out-of-home placement can be avoided; provided, however, that the Division's highest priority in cases of abuse and neglect where an investigation is required pursuant to § 906 of Title 16 shall be the health and safety of the child and nothing herein will prevent the Division from removing a child from the child's home when it has determined that the child's safety and well-being may be jeopardized by remaining in the family home;

(4) To prepare and maintain a written case plan for each child under its supervision or custody, which shall include but not be limited to a description of the child's problems, the care and treatment of the child, and any other services to be provided to the child and the child's family; each case plan must be designed to achieve any placement of the child outside of the child's home in the least restrictive setting available and in close proximity to the child's home, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child;

(5) To conduct a written review at least every 6 months of the case plan for each child under its supervision or custody for the purpose of determining whether the plan is appropriate;

(6) To develop a central case management system which will provide coordinated information on client progress, including the client's entry and exit from the system, assessment of the client's needs, development and review of the case plan and evaluation and monitoring of the client's progress;

(7) To license, register and monitor all residential and nonresidential child care facilities, including but not limited to institutions, child placement and adoption agencies, day care centers, family day care homes, group day care homes, group homes and foster homes unless otherwise exempted by law; provided however, that no license for a residential or nonresidential child care facility to be operated within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington shall be granted until the applicant has provided the Department with verification of licensure by the City of Wilmington to operate a childcare facility;

(8) To supervise the provision of education in all facilities operated by the Department, with the Education Unit of the Department being considered a local education agency only for purposes of:

a. Any federal, state, or private loan forgiveness programs available to educators;

b. Any federal, state, or private competitive grant made available to, and awarded directly to, local education agencies, provided that any specific qualifying requirements are met;

c. Credits issued for youth who complete the requirements for credit-bearing courses provided through the Education Unit in the Department and credits for youth returning from placement by the Department;

(9) To monitor and evaluate all aspects of its service delivery system and document the need for or degree of compliance with standards, policies and procedures adopted by the Department;

(10) To administer the Interstate Compact on Juveniles and the Interstate Compact on Child Placement;

(11) To establish, implement and follow procedures and standards compatible with due process of law with respect to the removal of a child from the child's home, a change in the placement of a child who is under the supervision or custody of the Department, and any other actions by the Department that may affect the legal rights of a child and the child's family;

(12) To provide or contract with public and private agencies in this State and other states for facilities and services necessary to achieve the purposes of this chapter;

(13) To provide or contract for services designed to maintain or provide permanent homes for children who are in out-of-home care, through the provision of adoption services or, whenever feasible, reunification services for children and their families;

(14) To develop, administer, implement, and provide or contract a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive program that fully integrates independent living services such as financial stability, housing supports, medical, employment and training, education, and connection to resources and individuals, until age 21 and that will assist youth with their successful transition to adulthood, subject to appropriation;

(15) To develop and implement rules, regulations, standards and policies governing the internal operation and administration of the Department and provision of services;

(16) To exercise the authority and power to administer protective, mental health, correctional and probation services to children presently delegated by law to the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Mental Health; Department of Correction, Bureau of Juvenile Correction; Family Court; and previously delegated by law to the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Child Protective Services;

(17) To certify annually on January 31 to the Governor and the General Assembly that the mixing of adjudicated and nonadjudicated youths shall not take place in the Ferris School;

(18) Provide feminine hygiene products to youth at no cost in facilities maintained by the Department. For purposes of this paragraph, “feminine hygiene products” means tampons and sanitary napkins, for use in connection with the menstrual cycle;

(19) To exercise all other powers necessary and proper for the discharge of its duties.

(20) Shall devise and adopt a body worn camera policy that shall meet or exceed the standards established by the Council on Police Training by regulation.

(b)(1) For purposes of this subsection, “conversion therapy” means any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are defined in § 710 of Title 19, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. For purposes of this subsection, “conversion therapy” does not mean any of the following:

a. Counseling that provides assistance to an individual who is seeking to undergo a gender transition or who is in the process of undergoing gender transition.

b. Counseling that provides an individual with acceptance, support, and understanding without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

c. Counseling that facilitates an individual's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including counseling in the form of sexual orientation-neutral interventions or gender identity-neutral interventions provided for the purpose of preventing or addressing unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

(2) The Department may not engage in conversion therapy with a child or recommend that a child receive conversion therapy.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 29. State Government § 9003. Powers and functions - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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