Skip to Page Content
Delaware.gov  |  Text OnlyGovernor | General Assembly | Courts | Elected Officials | State Agencies
 Photo: Featured Delaware Photo
 
 
 Phone Numbers Mobile Help Size Print Email

Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsDecember 2016

Authenticated PDF Version

(29 Del.C. §9003(7); 31 Del.C. §§341-345)
9 DE Admin. Code 201
On October 1, 2016, DSCYF published its notice of proposed regulations pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10115 in the Delaware Register of Regulations. Written comments were accepted until October 31, 2016. Comments were received and DSCYF evaluated these comments and factual evidence to revise some regulations. The results of the evaluation of the comments received regarding the October 1, 2016 posting are summarized in the accompanying "Summary of Evidence."
In accordance with Delaware law, OCCL published DELACARE: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies in the October 2016 Delaware Register of Regulations. The comments were reviewed. Comments were provided by the following:
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. OCCL defines an enforcement action as meaning any action taken by OCCL to encourage compliance, such as warning of probation or probation, and license suspension, revocation, or denial. Changing the hearing term is unnecessary to distinguish hearings that stem from the same cause of a licensee showing a pattern of failing to follow regulations. The regulation will remain as written.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise regulation 7.2.6 by removing "and society's best interest" and replacing it with the word "needs."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will replace "State" with state.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. Based on these comments the agency will revise 13.3, 46.4.2, 46.4.3, and 26.11 to align timeframes, events that require notification, and who the events need to be reported to.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 16.1.5 by removing the word, " indefinitely" and adding "according to the agency's policies."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 19.1 to read, "The licensee shall not employ or keep in any capacity any person with direct access to children whose child or children have been removed from his or her custody because of abuse, neglect, or dependency." The agency will revise the second sentence to read, "A person who has given up or otherwise lost custody of his or her children for reasons other than abuse, neglect, or dependency shall present documentation to the department regarding the circumstances of this event, so the department can determine whether this individual can work at the agency.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 19.4 to read, "The licensee shall ensure a staff member provides documentation from a health care provider for the follow-up of known health conditions that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of children. A person who has given up or otherwise lost custody of his or her children for reasons other than abuse, neglect, or dependency shall present documentation to the department regarding the circumstances of this event, so the department can determine whether this individual can work at the agency."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 19.61 to read "Convicted of a prohibited offense for the amount of time indicated in 31 Delaware Code, Section 309.
Ninth, Section 19.6 would effectively require an employer to immediately terminate the employment of an employee whose child has been currently removed under even an ex-parte order with marginal due process. The respondent may not be accorded a hearing for weeks (10 Del.C. §1043) but will have been fired. Moreover, the termination would apply to off-site employees (e.g. accountants; bookkeepers) who have no contact with children. This is overbroad.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency seeks to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children. To address the Councils' comments about off-site staff, the agency will revise 19.6 to read "A licensee shall not employ or retain in any capacity any person with direct access to children receiving care or provide services directly to a child or children if:"
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will strike "be physically and emotionally able to work with a child" and add, "The appraisal shall confirm the individual's health and document medical or physical conditions that may limit the person's ability to perform child care or have direct access to children and any reasonable accommodations that may be required."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 20.1.11 to read, "or possession while working of a prescribed controlled substance other than by the person for whom it was prescribed is prohibited.”
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 26.13 to read, "A licensee shall have a written policy to ensure a child is allowed to have any right, freedom, and responsibility that is typical for a child of the same age."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 26.15 to read, "A licensee shall have a policy to ensure that a foster parent does not subject a child to child abuse or neglect."
Fourteenth, Section 26.17.4 authorizes imposition of "physical, chemical, or mechanical restraint" with child placing agency approval. This is extremely problematic. Compare proposed Family Child Care Home regulation, §41.6.7 (categorically disallowing mechanical restraints or "restraining a child by a means other than holding"). There is a statutory ban on use of chemical and mechanical restraints in schools. See 14 Del.C. §4112F(b) which reflects a State public policy of disallowing their use. DHSS bans use of chemical restraint in facilities such as AdvoServ. See 16 DE Admin. Code 3320.20.11.11. DFS will not even be aware that mechanical and chemical restraints have been approved by a child placing agency or the frequency of use.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will strike chemical or mechanical restraints, however due to the needs of some foster children, the agency will revise 26.17.4 to read, "Physical restraint of a child, without training and prior written approval of the child's health care provider and the agency.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 29.2.2 by adding "individualized family service plan or "IFSP", or Section 504 plan;" The agency will add Section 504 plan to 30.1.11.5.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 34.1 by removing the word "school-age."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The EEOC guidelines are for employment purposes; they do not apply to applicants and household members in foster care and adoptive homes. The agency's position is that an indictment is a serious enough action to prevent children from being placed in the home until the matter is resolved. The regulation will remain as written.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will add the words "including power strips" to 40.1.6.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 40.1.13 to include the word "vaping."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise the foster care home study to include "if applicable, household pets." The agency will revise 40.1.24 to read "Poisonous or aggressive animals, such as snakes and alligators, or animals that are known carriers of illnesses or are sick with a disease that can be spread to humans may not be kept or brought into the foster home."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 50.5 and 39.4 to read, "A licensee shall ensure that a person who is active on the Delaware child protection registry at a Level III or Level IV is prohibited from being an adoptive parent while on the child protection registry."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 18.5.3 to read, "Notification stating the findings of founded or unfounded is mailed to the foster or pre-adoptive parent;"
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. A private child placing agency has the right to be a for profit agency. The regulation will remain as written.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency recognizes that a governing body should meet more than once a year and will revise 14.1.2 to read, "When a governing body consists of more than three people, a meeting shall be held at least twice a year."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency recognizes that meeting minutes should be kept for more than one year to provide information about past decisions that were made and topics that were discussed. The agency will revise 14.1.3 to read, "A licensee shall keep minutes of each meeting for at least three years."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. After reviewing the annual training requirements from multiple states, the agency will revise 23.1 to 24 hours and 23.1.1 to 12 hours.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 37.2 to read, "A licensee shall hold foster parent training to provide basic information to foster parent applicants. The agency shall document that the applicant attended and received training on the following topics:" The agency will also revise 48.2 to read, "The agency shall document that the applicant attended a session and received training and information on the following topics:"
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The regulation uses the word ensure to prompt the agency to seek information to make sure applicants are of good character. The regulation will remain as written.
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 52 to read," Once an agency approves an applicant, a licensee shall ensure an agency provides an approval letter or certificate to an applicant."
Agency Response: The agency appreciates and acknowledges these comments. The agency will revise 56.2.2 to read, "After the first contact, a minimum of three in-person visits shall be required;"
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 or other appropriate entity 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 court of appropriate jurisdiction.
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.
18.4 A Licensee and Agency shall be notified that a complaint is being investigated. This notification may be in the form of an unannounced visit to investigate the complaint. Notification and investigation by the Office of Child Care Licensing will be coordinated with the Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit and Law Enforcement pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, Delaware Children’s Advocacy Center, Department of Justice, and Delaware Police Departments.
18.7.1 A report on investigation findings from another local, State, Federal and International agency shall be requested by the Office of Child Care Licensing at the time of a referral to determine compliance with Delacare: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies.
19.2.3 Exploitation of a child as defined in 16 Delaware Code Section 1131;
19.2.4 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.
89.1 A licensee shall ensure that a person who has been substantiated for abuse and neglect under Delaware Code is prohibited from being a foster parent while on the Child Protection Registry.
1.2 The laws pertaining to a child's placement in foster care or for adoption are found in 13 Del.C. §§901-956; 13 Del.C. §§1101-1115; 31 Del.C. §§351-356; and 31 Del.C. §§381-389.
The purpose of these regulations is to protect the rights of [a child children] in foster care [or who is, those] in the process of being adopted[,] and [the rights of the child's birth parent or guardian children’s birth parents or guardians]. These regulations establish minimum standards set by the Office of Child Care Licensing (known hereafter as OCCL) to approve a foster or adoptive parent, foster or adoptive family household members, and a foster or adoptive home. They also ensure effective foster care and adoption services resulting in humane placement for each child.
"Administrative hearing" means the hearing provided to a licensee or applicant when requesting an appeal of OCCL's decision to place the facility on an enforcement action. The licensee or applicant must show evidence to dispute the action. Licensees or applicants, at their expense, may appeal hearing decisions for revocations and denials to Delaware Superior Court for a final review.
"Administrator" means a staff member responsible for the supervision and administration of OCCL.
"Adoption" means termination of previously held parental rights over a child and the creation and finalization of a new legal parent-child relationship.
"Adoptive home" means a private residence where 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 the age of 18.
"Agency" means a child placing agency.
"Agreement of understanding" means a document that is part of a corrective action plan or used when necessary to ensure regulation compliance.
"Applicant" means a person, agency, corporation, partnership, or entity applying for a license through OCCL to provide foster care or adoption services. In the foster care section, the applicant refers to a foster parent applicant. In the adoption section, the applicant refers to an adoptive parent applicant.
"Background check" means a State of Delaware and federal (national) fingerprinted report of a person's entire criminal history, a Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families child protection registry check, and other checks as required by State or federal law.
"Birth parent" means the child's biological mother or father.
"Business day" means a weekday Monday through Friday not including State of Delaware legal holidays.
"Caseworker" means an agency staff member who works directly with a child, his or her birth parent or guardian, foster or adoptive parent, and other relevant person. This person is primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and review of a service plan for a child and his or her birth parent or guardian. This person performs a placement or home-finding service for a child, conducts an assessment study for a foster or adoptive parent, and meets the qualifications as specified in these regulations.
"Caseworker supervisor" means an agency staff member with responsibility for the supervision of caseworkers and meets the qualifications specified in these regulations.
"Chief administrator" means an agency staff member designated by a licensee or governing body as having day-to-day responsibilities for the overall administration and operation of an agency. This person assures the care, treatment, safety, and protection of child clients and meets the qualifications specified in these regulations.
"Child" means a person who has not reached the age of 18.
"Child abuse" means a person causing or inflicting sexual abuse on a child; or a person that has care, custody, or control of a child causing or inflicting physical injury through unjustified force, emotional abuse, torture, exploitation, maltreatment, or mistreatment as defined in 10 Del.C. §901.
"Child care licensing specialist" or "specialist" means an OCCL employee responsible for performing regulatory activities, including monitoring child care facilities, investigating complaints, monitoring enforcement actions, and making recommendations for licensure as set forth in Delaware Code and these regulations.
"Child care licensing supervisor" or "supervisor" means an OCCL employee responsible for performing supervisory and regulatory activities, including monitoring child care facilities, investigating complaints, monitoring enforcement actions, and making recommendations for licensure as set forth in Delaware Code and these regulations.
"Child neglect" means a person responsible for a child failing to provide the proper or necessary education, as required by law; nutrition; or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child's well-being as defined in 10 Del.C. §901.
"Child sex abuse" means an act against a child that is described as a sex offense or child exploitation as defined in 11 Del.C. §8550(2).
"Clock hour(s)" means the actual number of hours a person spends attending the instructional portion of a training designed to develop or enhance knowledge and skills.
"Complaint investigation" means the process followed by the division to investigate accusations that a licensee does not comply with these regulations or applicable laws.
"Conference" means a meeting between OCCL and a licensee to discuss non-compliance of a serious or repeated nature. If a licensee does not correct this non-compliance as stated in a corrective action plan or agreement of understanding, this may result in an enforcement action. At a conference, a licensee may also dispute non-compliance with regulations cited by a licensing specialist during a compliance review, complaint or other monitoring visit, or discuss the denial of a variance request.
"Corrective action plan" means a document listing the non-compliance a licensee must correct, how it must be corrected, and the date OCCL requires the corrections to be completed.
"Court appointed special advocate" or "CASA" means a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child whether or not that reflects the child's wishes. This person shall be a party to child welfare proceedings. The CASA is charged with obtaining a clear understanding of the situation and child's needs and making recommendations to the court as to what is in the child's best interests.
"Denial" means the process of refusing to grant a license after OCCL receives an application.
"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 developmental age and stage. This opportunity is consistent with the child's special needs and encourages development to the next stage.
["Direct voice contact" means a licensee or staff member is required to speak with a specialist, licensing supervisor, or administrator by calling or visiting OCCL. When direct voice contact is required, leaving a voice mail message is not acceptable.]
"Disability" means a physical, intellectual, emotional, developmental or chronic medical condition.
"Division" means the Division of Family Services within the department.
"Division director" means the director of the Division of Family Services.
"Enforcement action" means an action taken by OCCL to encourage compliance, such as warning of probation, probation, suspension, revocation, or denial.
"Family" means biological or adoptive father, mother, brother, and sister, but may be interpreted 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 has responsibility for or legal custody of a child.
"Family service plan" means a comprehensive individualized action plan developed by the agency in cooperation with a child, his or her birth parent or guardian, and other family members. The plan establishes goals, objectives, and deadlines based on resolving any problem that resulted the child's placement. The plan includes needed services and, if applicable, a visitation and reunification plan.
"Foster care" means the temporary care of a child placed in an agency-approved foster home.
"Foster home" means a private residence where a foster parent lives and meets the requirements of these regulations for foster care.
"Foster parent" means an agency-approved person who can 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, for example, a board of directors.
"Guardian" means a person appointed by a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
"Guardian ad litem" or "GAL" means a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child whether or not that reflects the child's wishes. This person shall be a party to child welfare proceedings. The GAL is charged with obtaining a clear understanding of the situation and child's needs and making recommendations to the court as to what is in the child's best interests.
"Health care provider" means a professional certified by the correct licensing body who practices medicine with or without supervision. The most common types of health care providers include physicians, advance practice nurses or nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
"Home study" means an assessment of a foster or adoptive parent applicant, household members, and the applicant's home to determine suitability as a foster or adoptive parent. The agency must update a home study at least yearly and whenever a significant change occurs in the household.
"Home study update" or "addendum" means at least an annual review of a home study to ensure all information is accurate and updated. When a significant change occurs or new information is provided, the agency must update the home study.
"Household member" means a person living in a home with a foster or adoptive parent applicant or approved foster or adoptive parent for more than 30 days within a year.
"Infant" means a child less than one year old.
"Institutional abuse unit" means a section within the division that investigates allegations of child abuse or neglect [which has that] occurred to a child while in out-of-home care as defined in 10 Del.C. §901.
"International adoption" means the adoption of a child who resides in another country or resides in the United States and is being adopted by a person from another country.
"License" means a document issued by OCCL allowing a person to operate an agency after demonstrating compliance with these regulations and other applicable codes, regulations, laws, treaties, and agreements.
"Licensee" means a person or entity legally responsible for a licensed agency.
"Licensure" means OCCL issued a license after the applicant showed compliance with these regulations.
"Medical care" means a child's medical, dental, or behavioral health care, including treatment, prescribed medication, and immunization. Behavioral health includes mental and chemical dependency care.
"Mixing" means the department placed 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 been charged with a delinquent act.
"Office of Child Care Licensing" or "OCCL" means the agency within the department authorized under 31 Del.C. §§341-345 to promulgate and enforce regulations for child care, to license child care facilities, and to develop and implement policies and procedures.
"Parent" means a birth or adoptive mother or father, a guardian, or a person named in a sworn statement or consent who has responsibility for or legal custody of a child.
"Personal belongings" means items, including clothing, toys, photos, or 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 completed.
"Post-placement services" means services provided after a child is placed for adoption or before the adoption is completed.
"Pre-adoptive" means a child is placed but the adoption is not final.
"Preschool-age child" means a child age three through five not yet attending kindergarten. If a child is older than age five and not attending kindergarten or a higher grade, OCCL considers that child in the preschool-age group.
"Probation" means an enforcement action initiated by OCCL because of noncompliance with these regulations. The division director must approve this action. This action directs a licensee to correct all non-compliances and maintain compliance or face revocation or denial.
"Provisional license" means a license issued for a maximum period of three months when the licensee is temporarily unable to comply with these regulations. There can be no serious risk to the health, safety, and well-being of an agency's client. The licensee operates under a corrective action plan. An extension beyond this time requires administrator approval.
"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 minimum standard required for a specific part of child welfare established by OCCL and known as DELACARE: Regulations for Child Placing Agencies.
"Respite care" means alternate care provided for 14 days or less for a foster child placed by an agency.
"Revocation" means the process of rescinding a license during the license's effective dates and withdrawing permission to operate.
"School-age child" means a child who attends or has attended kindergarten or a higher grade.
"Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
"Service plan" means a comprehensive action plan for the child and [his/her his or 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. The plan is based on the child's age, functioning level, perception of time, and on the family's ability to understand and participate.
"Special needs" means a diagnosed physical disability, chronic disease requiring medical attention, or mental, educational, or emotional condition requiring treatment or accommodations.
"Staff member" means an agency employee, contractor, or volunteer working more than five days or 40 hours a year.
"Suspension order" means a letter sent by OCCL informing the licensee to stop providing services as of a specific date. While the license is suspended, the licensee cannot provide services.
"Toddler" means a child over 12 months old and under 36 months old.
"Training" means an organized learning activity designed to develop or improve the abilities of a staff member or a foster or adoptive parent to provide services to children.
"Variance" means OCCL's approval for a licensee to meet the intent of a specific licensing regulation in a way that is different from the way the regulation specifies. OCCL will only give this approval when the change will not endanger the health, safety, or well-being of an agency's client.
"Volunteer" means a person who provides an unpaid service or support to an agency.
"Warning of probation" means an enforcement action initiated by OCCL because of noncompliance with these regulations. The administrator must approve this action. This action directs a licensee to correct all non-compliances and maintain compliance, or face probation or another enforcement action.
12.1 The licensee shall allow access to the agency during the hours of operation to OCCL officials[,] and other local, [State state], federal, and international officials with responsibility for monitoring, approving, or authorizing services. The agency must also grant access to officials who provide payment for the service provided by the agency.
13.1 The licensee shall immediately call OCCL and speak to someone Monday-Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM if a child dies or attempts suicide while a client of an agency. [Leaving a message is not acceptable.] If the death or suicide attempt occurs after business hours, the licensee shall immediately call the 24-Hour Child Abuse Report Line, currently 1-800-292-9582.
13.2 The licensee shall call OCCL and speak to someone within one business day during business hours [(leaving a message is not acceptable)] (and follow this call with the division's reportable event report within three [business] days [of the event]) when any of the following things happen:
13.3 The licensee shall submit a reportable event report to the division within three [business] days when a child client is absent without permission[, or] runs away[, or is injured has a serious injury or illness that and] needs medical/dental treatment[, or is involved with law enforcement].
14.1.2 When a governing body consists of more than [one person three people], a meeting shall be held at least [annually twice a year].
15.10 A licensee shall not release a child's information without the voluntary written consent of a [birth parent/guardian parent or guardian] or court order, except to the child, his or her [birth parent/guardian parent or guardian], their respective legal counsel, or an authorized public official in the performance of mandated duties. A licensee shall be able to release information necessary for the purpose of adoption and foster care planning, recruitment, post-placement, and post-finalization services.
15.11 Upon request, a licensee shall make available information in a child's case record to the child, his or her [birth parent/guardian parent or guardian], and their respective legal counsel when the requested information does not contain material that violates the privacy rights of another person or the material should be withheld according to other laws or by court order.
15.11.1 A licensee may withhold information from a child or a [birth parent/guardian parent or guardian] when the information is considered, in the opinion of an authorized and informed professional, potentially damaging to the child.
15.11.2 A licensee shall have a procedure for a child or a [birth parent/guardian parent or guardian] to appeal decisions to withhold information.
16.8 A licensee shall have a written appeal procedure for a client such as a child, a birth [parent/guardian parent or guardian], an adoptive or foster parent applicant, or an approved foster or adoptive parent who wants to appeal a decision made by an agency. This agency shall provide this policy to a client as soon as service begins and ensure that:
17.2 A licensee shall comply with the Delaware Mixing Law, 10 Del.C. §1009(j) when accepting a child for placement in a foster home.
18.1.1 Gathering [factual] information regarding the complaint;
18.5.3 [An approved, coded report (without coding sheet) Notification stating the findings of founded or unfounded] is mailed to the foster or pre-adoptive parent;
19.1 The licensee shall not employ or keep in any capacity any person [with direct access to children] whose child or children have been removed from [his/her his or her] custody because of abuse, neglect, or dependency. A person who has given up or otherwise lost custody of [his/her his or her] children [for reasons other than abuse, neglect, or dependency] shall present documentation to the department regarding the circumstances of this event, so the department can determine whether this individual can work at the agency.
19.4 The licensee shall ensure a staff member provides documentation from a health care provider for the follow-up of known health conditions [that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of children and any reasonable accommodations that may be required]. This documentation shall be provided to OCCL for the purposes of determining whether the health problem might create a significant risk to children.
19.6 A licensee shall not employ or retain in any capacity [a any] person [with direct access to children receiving care or provide services directly to a child or children if]:
19.6.1 Convicted of a prohibited offense, [as defined for the time indicated] in 31 Del.C. §309;
19.6.4 [Whose His or her own] child is or children are currently removed from [his/her his or her] custody because of abuse or neglect.
20.1.6 Health appraisal on file within the first month of employment or volunteering, conducted within one year before the start date. The appraisal [must state the employee is physically and emotionally able to work with a child shall confirm the individual’s health and document medical or physical conditions that may limit the person’s ability to perform child care or have direct access to children and any reasonable accommodations that may be required];
20.1.8 A statement signed by the person stating [his/her his or her] status regarding all previous conviction(s); current indictment or involvement in criminal activity involving violence against a person; child abuse or neglect; possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs; sexual misconduct; gross irresponsibility or disregard for the safety of others; serious violations of accepted standards of honesty or ethical behavior; or a case of child abuse or neglect substantiated by the division or the respective responsible entity in another state or country;