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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsDecember 2013

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9 DE Admin. Code 201
The Office of Child Care Licensing proposes to amend the Delacare Requirements for Child Placing Agencies to provide clarity, reflect changes in laws and treaties, align with current best practices, and improve standards of care. A proposed draft was originally published in the July, 2013 Register of Regulations. During the period of public comment, comments were received from the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities. A public hearing was held on July 24, 2013. A third set of comments was received after the close of the comment period from A Better Chance for Our Children. These last comments have also been considered.
A copy of the revised proposed regulations is being published in the December 1, 2013 edition of the Delaware Register of Regulations. Interested parties wishing to offer comments on the revised proposed regulations or submit written suggestions, data, briefs or other materials concerning the proposed regulations must submit same to Elizabeth Timm, Office of Child Care Licensing, 1825 Faulkland Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19805 or by fax to 302-633-5112 by the close of business on January 17, 2014.
Public Comments Not Incorporated Into This Draft
This prohibition is consistent with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics as found in Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards, Guidelines for Early Care and Education, Third Edition which states that “helmets can be a potential strangulations hazard if …worn for activities other than when using riding toys.” (p. 286.)
1.1.1 (Rule 1)The legal base for these licensing requirements is in the 31 Del.C. Ch. 3, Subchapter II, Subsections 341 through 344. The laws pertaining to the placement of children for adoption are found in Title 13, Chapter 9, Subchapter 1 and 2, Subsections 901 through 956 and Title 13, Chapter 11, Subsections 1101 through 1113.
(Rule 6) “Adoptive home” means a household of one (1) or more persons, which has been approved by a licensed child placing agency to accept a child for adoption.
(Rule 7) “Agency” means any child placing agency.
(Rule 8) “Child” means a person who is a child according to State Law
(Rule 9) “Department” means the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
(Rule 10) “Division Director” means the Director of the Division of Program Planning and Productivity.
(Rule 11) “Family” means biological or adoptive father, mother, brother and sister, but may be interpreted broadly to include any person, whether related to the child by blood or not, who resides in the child's home and takes part in the child's family life.
(Rule 12) “Foster home” means a family of one (1) or more persons which provides continuing full-time care for one (1) or more children who are unrelated to the adult members of the household by blood, marriage, guardianship or adoption.
(Rule 13) “Foster parent(s)” means the individual(s) providing continuing full-time care for a child(ren) placed by the Agency.
(Rule 14) “Parent(s)” means biological or adoptive mother and father of a child.
(Rule 15) “Social Worker” means the person who works directly with children, their families, and other relevant individuals and who is primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and review of service plans for the child and family; or performs homefinding and assessment studies related to foster home and adoptive services.
(Rule 16) “Supervised Independent Living Situation” means a placement of a child in an unlicensed house, apartment or other residence not requiring licensure by the Department when such placement is an alternative to or transition from an institutional setting or foster care with the goal of independent life in the community.
(Rule 17) “Governing Body” means a person or persons with the ultimate responsibility for conducting the affairs of a child placing agency as, for example, a Board of Directors.
(Rule 18) “License” means a written certification, issued by the Department, of an Agency's authorization to operate under State Law.
(Rule 19) “Post-adoptive Services” means services provided after the adoption is finalized.
(Rule 20) “Service plan” means a comprehensive individualized program of action for a child and his/her family developed by the Agency in cooperation with the family establishing specific goals and objectives and deadlines for meeting these goals and objectives based on the child's age, functioning level and perception of time and on the family's ability to understand and participate.
1.1 The legal base for Delacare: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies is in the Delaware Code, Title 31, Welfare, Chapter 3 Child Welfare, Subchapter III, The Delaware Child Care Act, Subsections 341 through 347.
3.1 “Child Placing Agency” (Agency) means an organization established for the purpose of providing or arranging placement for a child in the home of an approved foster or adoptive parent.
Addendum” means adding to a home study or home study update based on a significant change or new information.
Administrator” means a staff member responsible for the supervision and administration of the Office of Child Care Licensing.
Adoption” means termination of previously held parental rights over a child and creation of a new legal parent-child relationship is finalized.
Adoptive Home” means a private residence in which an adoptive parent lives, and meets the requirements of these Regulations to accept a child for adoption.
Adoptive Parent” means a person approved by an Agency to adopt a child and create a new legal parent-child relationship.
Adult” means a person who has reached his or her eighteenth (18th) birthday.
Agency” means any Child Placing Agency.
Agreement of Understanding” means a formal written document that is part of an administrative action, part of a corrective action plan, or used when a formal agreement is deemed necessary between a Licensee and the Office of Child Care Licensing which clearly explains and memorializes what actions a Licensee shall take in order to maintain licensure.
Applicant” means a person applying to provide foster care or to adopt a child and can also be an individual, agency, corporation, or partnership applying for a license that is obtained from the Office of Child Care Licensing.
Birth Parent” means the biological mother or father of a child.
Business Day” means any weekday Monday through Friday but not including the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or an official holiday that occurs on a weekday.
Calendar Day” means every consecutive day of a week including weekends and holidays.
Case Worker” means a staff member of an Agency who works directly with a child, his or her birth parent or guardian, foster or adoptive parent, and any other relevant person and is primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and review of a service plan for a child and his or her birth parent or guardian; performs placement or home finding service for a child, and conducts an assessment study for a foster or adoptive parent and meets the qualifications as specified in these Regulations.
Case Work Supervisor” means a staff member of an Agency who is assigned responsibility by a Licensee for the supervision of one or more case workers and meets the qualifications specified in these Regulations.
Chief Administrator” means a staff member of an Agency designated by a Licensee or by a governing body, as having day-to-day responsibilities for the overall administration and operation of an Agency and for assuring the care, treatment, safety, and protection of a child who is a client of an Agency and meets the qualifications specified in these Regulations.
Child” means a person who for the purposes of these Regulations, has not reached the age of eighteen (18) years and is being placed, or has been placed in foster care, or is in the process of being adopted or has been adopted.
Child Abuse” means the abuse of a child as defined in 16 Del.C. Ch. 9.
Child Care Licensing Specialist” means an employee of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families, Division of Family Services, Office of Child Care Licensing who is responsible for performing regulatory activities including monitoring, investigation, enforcement actions, and decisions for licensure as set forth in Delaware Code and these Regulations.
Child Care Licensing Supervisor” means an employee of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families, Division of Family Services, Office of Child Care Licensing who is responsible for performing supervisory and regulatory activity including monitoring, investigation, enforcement actions, and decisions for licensure as set forth in Delaware Code and these Regulations.
Child Neglect” means neglect of a child as defined in 16 Del.C. Ch. 9.
Child Sex Abuse” means any act against a child that is described as a sex offense as defined in Delaware Code, Title 11, Subsection 761 (d) or in subpart D. “sexual offenses” of Subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code.
Clock Hour” means the actual number of hours a Licensee, Agency staff member, and foster and adoptive parent spends attending the instructional portion of a training to develop or enhance knowledge and skills.
Complaint Investigation” means the process followed by the Office of Child Care Licensing to effectively investigate accusations that a Licensee is not in compliance with these Regulations or any other applicable local, State, Federal and International code, regulation, law, treaty, and agreement, including the Hague Convention. A Licensee is notified of a complaint generally at the time of an unannounced visit regarding the complaint and a written report is created stating the results of an investigation and provided to a Licensee.
Corrective Action Plan” means a written document developed with a Licensee by the Office of Child Care Licensing which specifies any non-compliance that must be corrected, how they must be corrected, and the date by which they must be corrected.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)” means a volunteer appointed by a Family Court Judge for an abused, neglected or dependent child who comes before the Court to provide advocacy and independent factual information. The CASA is charged with representing the best interests of a child, is a full party to court proceedings, and monitors a case until the terms of a court order have been fulfilled and/or a safe and permanent home has been achieved for a child.
Criminal History Record Check” means the State (Delaware or other State) and Federal (National) report of a person's entire criminal history, a search of the Department's child abuse and neglect records, and when applicable, a search of the Department of Health and Social Services' adult abuse registry or any other check as required by State or Federal Law.
Denial” means the refusal by the Office of Child Care Licensing to issue a License after the receipt of an original or renewal application and the completion of an investigation. This constitutes refusal of official permission for an Applicant or Licensee to provide regulated service.
Department” means the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
Developmentally Appropriate” means offering a child an opportunity for learning that is suitable to his or her individual developmental age and stage, is consistent with the child’s special needs, and encourages development to the next stage.
Direct Voice Contact” means a Licensee speaking directly with a Child Care Licensing Specialist, Child Care Licensing Supervisor, or the Administrator from the Office of Child Care Licensing through a telephone call or face-to-face contact. A voice mail message is not acceptable and does not constitute direct voice contact.
Disability” means a physical, intellectual, emotional, developmental or chronic medical condition or impairment.
Division” means the Division of Family Services within the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
Division Director” means the Director of the Division of Family Services.
Family” means biological or adoptive father or birth or adoptive mother, brother and sister, but may be interpreted broadly to include any person, whether related to a child by blood or not, who resides in a child's home, takes part in a child's family life, or also may have responsibility for or legal custody of a child.
Family Service Plan” means a comprehensive individualized program of action developed by the Agency in cooperation with a child and his or her birth parent or guardian and any other family member that establishes any goal, objective, and deadline based on resolving any problem that necessitated the placement of the child, any referred service, and if determined to be in the best interests of the child, visitation and reunification plan.
Foster Care” means the temporary care of a child who has been placed in a foster home with a foster parent as approved by an Agency.
Foster Home” means a private residence in which a foster parent lives, and meets the requirements of these Regulations for foster care placement of a child.
Foster Parent” means a person approved by an Agency to provide foster care for a child.
Governing Body” means a group of people with the ultimate responsibility for and authority over the operation of an Agency as, for example, a Board of Directors.
Guardianmeans a person appointed by a family court judge pursuant to 13 Delaware Code, Chapter 23.
Guardian ad litem (GAL)” means a person appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of a child whether or not that reflects the wishes of the child, and who by his or her appointment, shall be a party to child welfare proceedings. The GAL is charged with obtaining a clear understanding of the situation and needs of a child and making recommendations to the Court as to what is in the best interests of the child.
Health Appraisal” means a medical assessment of a person by a health care provider that may include but is not limited to a physical examination; physical, mental and behavioral health history; progression and assessment of growth and development; current medication; restriction or modification of activity, diet and care: documentation of any recommended or required screening and testing; immunization status with a listing of month and year of administration; and specifically for an adoptive and foster parent applicant, evidence of the lack of a communicable disease, specific illness, disability, and mental condition which would either interfere with the ability to provide care for a child or pose a threat to the health, safety or well-being of a child.
Health Care Provider” means an individual licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to provide health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.
Hearing” means due process provided to an Applicant or Licensee when the Applicant or Licensee has requested an appeal of the Division's decision to deny an application, suspend, or revoke a license, or place a facility on an enforcement action.
Home Study” means assessment of a foster or adoptive parent applicant, any other household member, and the physical environment of his or her home to determine suitability as a foster or adoptive parent. A home study must be updated at least yearly or whenever a significant change occurs in the household.
Home Study Update” means a home study has been reviewed at least annually to ensure all information is current and valid and updated through an addendum.
Household Member” means a person living permanently or temporarily in a home with a foster or adoptive parent applicant or approved foster or adoptive parent without regard to whether he or she is related by marriage/civil union or blood and without regard to the length of time or continuity of such residence, and may include a person who previously lived in the home as a member of the household.
Infant” means a child who is less than one (1) year old.
Institutional Abuse Unit” means a section within the Division of Family Services, Department of Service for Children, Youth and their Families that investigates child abuse or neglect which has occurred to a child in the Department's custody and while placed in a facility, center or home operated, contracted or licensed by the Department.
Institutional Child Abuse or Neglect” means the injury, maltreatment, or mistreatment of a child by a person or persons responsible for a child's care in an out-of-home setting, jeopardizing the well-being of a child as defined in 11 Del.C. §468 and 16 Del.C. §902 including but not limited to the physical injury through unjustified force, emotional abuse, torture, criminally negligent treatment, sexual abuse, or exploitation.
International Adoption” means the adoption of a child who resides in a country other than the United States of America, or resides in the United States and is being adopted by a person from another country.
License” means a formal written document issued by the Office of Child Care Licensing permitting the operation of a Child Placing Agency and verifying that a Licensee has demonstrated compliance with the Delacare: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies and any other applicable local, State, Federal and International code, regulation, law, treaty, and agreement, including the Hague Convention.
Licensee” means a person or entity legally responsible for a licensed Child Placing Agency.
Licensure” means the Office of Child Care Licensing issuing a license to a Licensee when in compliance with Delacare: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies and any other applicable local, State, Federal and International code, regulation, law, treaty, and agreement, including the Hague Convention,
Medical Care” means any type of medical, dental, and behavioral health care of a child including treatment, prescribed medication and immunization. Behavioral health includes mental and chemical dependency care.
Mixing” means placement by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families of a child charged with or adjudicated of a felony level juvenile offense, or adjudicated of a serious misdemeanor level juvenile offense, in the same foster home with a dependent or neglected child who has not committed or has been charged with a delinquent act.
Office of Child Care Licensing” means the governmental organization within the Department authorized under 31 Del.C. Ch. 3, Subchapter III, to prescribe, by regulation or otherwise, any reasonable standard for the conduct of a child care facility, institution, agency, association, and organization and to license this entity to conform to the standard.
Parent” means a birth or adoptive mother or biological or adoptive father, guardian, named father or a person named in a sworn statement or consent who has responsibility for or legal custody of a child.
Personal Belongings means those items, including clothing, toys, photos, mementos brought with a foster child into the foster or adoptive home or accumulated by the child during placement.
Post-finalization Services means services provided after an adoption is finalized.
Post-placement Services means services provided after a child is placed for adoption or prior to the finalization of adoption.
Pre-adoptive” means after placement of a child but prior to the finalization of an adoption.
Preschool-Age Child” means a child three (3) through five (5) years of age who is not yet attending a public or private kindergarten program. If a child is older than five (5) years of age and is not yet attending a public or private kindergarten program, that child shall be considered in the pre-school age group until attending kindergarten or first grade, whichever comes first.
Regular Basis” or “Regularly” means occurring or scheduled at specific intervals of time for the purpose of monitoring a situation, gathering required information, or providing routine access to an activity or event.
Regulation” means a baseline or minimum standard as established by the Office of Child Care Licensing and required for licensure. A Licensee of an Agency may and is encouraged to exceed a baseline or minimum standard required by Delacare: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies.
Relative” means a person having any of the following relationships by blood, marriage/civil union, or adoption to a child including parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, stepparent, stepbrother, and stepsister.
Respite Care means alternate care provided for 14 days or less for a foster child placed by an Agency.
Revocation” means a process of rescinding a License during the effective dates of the License. If the process concludes with a decision by the Secretary of the Department to revoke a License, a Licensee shall cease operation of a Child Placing Agency within thirty (30) days of the decision.
School-Age Child means a child five (5) years of age or older or who is attending kindergarten or higher grade. A child shall be considered school-age beginning the first day attending kindergarten or first grade whichever comes first.
Secretary” means the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
Service Plan means a comprehensive individualized program of action for a child and his/her family developed by the Agency in cooperation with the child, biological family, foster parent(s), and referral source to establish specific goals and objectives, and deadlines for meeting these goals and objectives based on the child's age, functioning level, and perception of time and on the family's ability to understand and participate.
Snack” means supplemental food served between meals.
Social Worker means a person holding the appropriate credentials who works directly with children, their families, and other relevant individuals and who is primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and review of service plans for the child and family; or performs home finding and assessment studies related to foster home and adoptive services.
Special Needs means a diagnosed physical disability, chronic disease requiring medical attention, or a mental, educational, or emotional condition requiring treatment.
Staff or Staff Member means any full- or part-time employee of an Agency including a Volunteer working over five (5) days or 40 hours a year.
Suspension Hearing” means an informal hearing between the Division Director or his/her designee, the Office of Child Care Licensing, and a Licensee in order to determine whether a License remains suspended.
Suspension Order” means a notice issued by the Office of Child Care Licensing to a Licensee directing that services be discontinued on a specified date. A Licensee shall not provide services during the term of a Suspension Order.
Toddler” means a child who is between the age of twelve (12) months and less than thirty-six (36) months of age.
Training” means successful participation and completion in an organized professional development activity that is approved or accepted by the Office of Child Care Licensing in order to develop or enhance competencies of an Agency staff member, and foster and adoptive parent.
Variance” means the non-transferable written authorization issued by the Division granting the Provider approval to use the specifically approved alternative means to meet the intent of the specific licensing regulation(s) in a manner other than originally prescribed in regulation which maintains the health, safety, and well-being of a child or client of an Agency
Volunteer” means a person who provides an unpaid service or support to an Agency.
Young Adult” means a person who, for the purposes of these Regulations, has turned eighteen (18) years of age but remains in foster care pursuant to a board extension approved by the Division of Family Services and is not yet living independently.
6.1.1 Anyone who violates 31 Del.C. Ch. 3, Subchapter III, The Delaware Child Care Act shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than three (3) months, or both.
19.2.3 Suspected abuse or neglect of a child as defined in 10 Delaware Code, Section 901 (1) while a client of an Agency after immediately calling the 24-hour Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline (currently listed as 1-800-292-9582) to report the suspected abuse or neglect;
A licensee shall comply with the Delaware Mixing Law, 10 Del.C. §1009(j) when accepting a child for placement in a foster home.
42.2 A licensee shall require a prospective staff member to sign a release of employment history form provided by the Office of Child Care Licensing that permits the Agency to obtain a service letter as per 19 Del.C. §708 from a current or most recent previous employer, and any health care, child care and child welfare facility for which the staff member was employed with the past five (5) years.
A licensee shall use a standardized form for a foster care application.