As used in this chapter:

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

(2) “Baby” means a child not more than 14 days old, except that for a safe haven under § 907A(b) of this title and the safe haven’s employees and volunteers, “baby” means a child reasonably believed to be not more than 14 days old.

(3) “Child” means any person who has not reached that person’s own eighteenth 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) “Children’s advocacy center” means a child forensic interviewing center that employs best practices by applying and adhering to nationally recognized standards, and assists in the response to multidisciplinary cases.

(6) “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.

(7) “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(g) 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.

(8) “Death” means the loss of life of a child.

(9) “Department” means the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(10) “Director” means the Director of the Division of Family Services or the Director of the Division of Management Support Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(11) “Division” means the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(12) “Extrafamilial child abuse or neglect” means child abuse or neglect committed by an individual who is not a member of the child’s family or household, but does not include institutional child abuse or neglect.

(13) “Family assessment and services” means 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 or the alleged perpetrator, when there has been a report to the Department 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 (20) 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.

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

(15) “Human trafficking” means as defined in § 787 of Title 11.

(16) “Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit” means the unit within the Department that investigates allegations of institutional child abuse and neglect.

(17) “Institutional child abuse or neglect” means as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(18) “Internal information system” means the Department’s system of maintaining information related to all reports of abuse, neglect, investigations, family assessments, services and other relevant information.

(19) “Intrafamilial child abuse or neglect” means as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(20) “Investigation” means the collection of evidence in response to a report of abuse, neglect, or risk of maltreatment of a child 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 Department shall develop protocols for its investigations that focus on ensuring the well-being and safety of the child. The Department 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.

(21) “Investigation Coordinator” means an attorney licensed to practice law in this State employed by the Office of the Child Advocate, 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.

(22) “Multidisciplinary case” means a comprehensive investigation by the multidisciplinary team for any child abuse or neglect report involving death, serious physical injury, physical injury, human trafficking of a child, torture or sexual abuse, which if true, would constitute a criminal violation against a child, or an attempt to commit any such crime, even if no crime is ever charged.

(23) “Multidisciplinary team” means a combination of the following entities as required by law to investigate or monitor multidisciplinary cases: the Division, the Department’s Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit, the appropriate law-enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, and the Investigation Coordinator. “Multidisciplinary team” may also include others deemed necessary for an effective multidisciplinary response, such as medical personnel, the Division of Forensic Science, a children’s advocacy center, the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services, mental health experts, and the child’s attorney.

(24) “Multidisciplinary tracking system” means 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.

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

(26) “Neglect” means as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(27) “Physical injury” means as defined in § 1100 of Title 11.

(28) “Report” means the communication of an allegation of child abuse or neglect to the Department pursuant to § 903 or § 905 of this title.

(29) “Serious physical injury” means as defined in § 1100 of Title 11.

(30) “Sexual abuse” means as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

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

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

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

60 Del. Laws, c. 494, § ?164 Del. Laws, c. 213, § ?170 Del. Laws, c. 186, § ?171 Del. Laws, c. 199, § ?372 Del. Laws, c. 179, § ?372 Del. Laws, c. 469, § ?473 Del. Laws, c. 187, §§ ?2, 873 Del. Laws, c. 412, §§ ?2-575 Del. Laws, c. 376, § ?176 Del. Laws, c. 136, §§ ?14-1678 Del. Laws, c. 13, § ?6078 Del. Laws, c. 403, § ?279 Del. Laws, c. 336, § ?180 Del. Laws, c. 187, § ?580 Del. Laws, c. 219, § ?180 Del. Laws, c. 238, § ?181 Del. Laws, c. 144, § ?283 Del. Laws, c. 228, § 183 Del. Laws, c. 242, § 2

Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902

  • abused child: means as defined in § 901 of Title 10. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Child: means any person who has not reached that person's own eighteenth birthday. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Death: means the loss of life of a child. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Department: means the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Director: means the Director of the Division of Family Services or the Director of the Division of Management Support Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Division: means the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Family assessment and services: means 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 or the alleged perpetrator, when there has been a report to the Department 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. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Human trafficking: means as defined in § 787 of Title 11. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit: means the unit within the Department that investigates allegations of institutional child abuse and neglect. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Institutional child abuse or neglect: means as defined in § 901 of Title 10. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Internal information system: means the Department's system of maintaining information related to all reports of abuse, neglect, investigations, family assessments, services and other relevant information. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Investigation: means the collection of evidence in response to a report of abuse, neglect, or risk of maltreatment of a child 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. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Investigation Coordinator: means an attorney licensed to practice law in this State employed by the Office of the Child Advocate, 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. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Multidisciplinary team: means a combination of the following entities as required by law to investigate or monitor multidisciplinary cases: the Division, the Department's Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit, the appropriate law-enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, and the Investigation Coordinator. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Neglect: means as defined in § 901 of Title 10. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
  • Physical injury: means as defined in § 1100 of Title 11. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Report: means the communication of an allegation of child abuse or neglect to the Department pursuant to § 903 or § 905 of this title. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services or such persons as may be designated by the Secretary. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 101
  • Serious physical injury: means as defined in § 1100 of Title 11. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • Sexual abuse: means as defined in § 901 of Title 10. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 902
  • State: means the State of Delaware; and when applied to different parts of the United States, it includes the District of Columbia and the several territories and possessions of the United States. See Delaware Code Title 1 Sec. 302
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.