DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Section 512 (31 Del.C. § 512)
Court Appointed Special Advocate
In compliance with the State's Administrative Procedures Act (APA - Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code) and under the authority of Title 31 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 5, Section 512, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) / Division of Social Services is proposing to amend policies in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Any person who wishes to make written suggestions, compilations of data, testimony, briefs or other written materials concerning the proposed new regulations must submit same to Sharon L. Summers, Policy, Program & Development Unit, Division of Social Services, 1901 North DuPont Highway, P.O. Box 906, New Castle, Delaware 19720-0906 or by fax to (302) 255-4425 by December 31, 2008.
The action concerning the determination of whether to adopt the proposed regulation will be based upon the results of Department and Division staff analysis and the consideration of the comments and written materials filed by other interested persons.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGE
The proposed change described below amends policy in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the Court Appointed Special Advocate.
• 31 Delaware Code Ch 36, Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program
Summary of Proposed Changes
DSSM 1003.4, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA or guardian ad litem): This section is being revised to clarify the responsibilities of Division of Social Services (DSS) staff. Text is being deleted that indicates DSS staff will notify the CASA of staffing, investigations, or proceedings regarding the child. DSS staff do not have this information.
DSS PROPOSED REGULATION #08-44
1003.4 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA or guardian ad litem)
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is given permission to inspect and/or copy any records relating to the child and his or her family/guardian without their consent. The CASA has the authority to interview all parties having significant information relating to the child.
The CASA must also be notified of any staffing, investigations or proceedings regarding the child, so that they may participate and represent the child.
If information is released under the procedures applying to CASA, pertinent details of the reasons for the release shall be documented and written notification of this release shall be sent to the last known address of the individual to whom the record refers.
12 DE Reg. 743 (12/01/08) (Prop.)