Agencies of the Court
Other agencies associated with the Delaware Judiciary include the state funded agencies:
Child Death, Near Death and Stillbirth Commission
The Child Death, Near Death and Stillbirth Commission was established in 1995 by statute (Section 320 et seq.). The mission is to safeguard Delaware's children by examining the deaths of children under the age of 18. The Child Death Review Commission has the power to create up to three regional Review Panels, establishes confidentiality for the reviews, and provides the commission with the ability to secure pertinent records.
The primary purpose of reviewing child deaths is the prevention of future child deaths. The review is a retrospective system intended to provide meaningful, prompt, system-wide recommendations in an effort to prevent future deaths and to improve services to children. A child death is considered preventable if one or more interventions might reasonably have averted the child's death.
Child Placement Review Board
The Child Placement Review Board was established by the State of Delaware in 1979 by the Foster Child Review Act, Title 31, Chapter 38, of the Delaware Code. This board offers the citizens of Delaware the opportunity and forum for participation in the State's efforts to provide for care or custody of the State. Child Placement Review Board (CPRB) reviews are documented in reports to the Family Court of the State of Delaware.
The Child Placement Review Board serves foster children in the State of Delaware by involving, trained citizen volunteers in regular reviews of where these children have been placed, how they are treated, and how their changing needs are being addressed. This process, conducted with professionals from the Division of Family Services (DFS), improves the life of children in foster care because:
- CPRB volunteers advocate for stable placements for children in foster care.
- CPRB reviews emphasize the search for permanency for each foster child.
- CPRB training equips each volunteer to ensure children in the State's care receive all appropriate services.
- CPRB reviews help prevent "foster care drift," in which a child's changing needs can be unrecognized or overlooked.
- CPRB reviews offer an independent, citizen-based assessment of foster care in Delaware.
Delaware Nursing Home Residents Quality Assurance Commission
The Delaware Nursing Home Residents Quality Assurance Commission was created in 1999. It is comprised of 12 members who work closely with reviewing policies and laws to implement changes/improvements for Delaware nursing home residents. DNHRQAC’s mission is to monitor Delaware’s quality assurance system for nursing home residents in both privately operated and state operated facilities so that complaints of abuse, neglect mistreatment, financial exploitation and other complaints are responded to in a timely manner so as to ensure the health and safety of nursing home residents.
- Examine the policies and procedures and evaluate the effectiveness of the quality assurance system for nursing home residents.
- Monitor data and analyze trends in the quality of care and life of individuals receiving long-term care in Delaware.
- Review and make recommendations to the Governor, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services and General Assembly concerning the quality assurance system and improvements to the overall quality of life and care of nursing home residents.
- Protect the privacy of nursing home residents
Office of the Child Advocate
The General Assembly declares that the welfare of the children of this State shall be safeguarded by the establishing of an Office of the Child Advocate, with a Child Advocate who shall serve as Executive Director of the Child Protection Accountability Commission. The Advocate shall also coordinate efforts on behalf of children; work with advocacy groups; promote system reform; recommend changes in law, procedure and policy necessary to enhance the protection of Delaware's children; and to implement and coordinate a program providing legal representation on behalf of a child. In order to effectuate these goals, the Child Advocate shall be an attorney duly licensed to practice law in Delaware.
Goals of the Office of the Child Advocate are to:
- Ensure that every child's voice is heard in every court proceeding which affects their life.
- Ensure that every player in the child protection system has the necessary education and training to put a child's safety and well-being above all else: children are not personal property ... they are human beings.
- Ensure that Delaware's child welfare laws reflect the needs of our children and are a model for the nation
The State of Delaware has three law libraries that are located by county.
The primary purpose of the law library is to provide comprehensive and responsive legal research and information assistance to the Delaware Judiciary by providing the optimum balance of current technology, legal tools, and information training. The law libraries also lend assistance to surrounding state agencies and members of the legal community. Additionally, the libraries provide support to the general public, legal scholars, and those representing themselves in the Delaware Court system.
New Castle County:
New Castle County Courthouse
500 King Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Thomas Collins Building
540 South DuPont Hwy., Suite 3
Dover, DE 19901
Sussex County Law Library
5 E. Pine Street
There is established the Office of the Public Guardian. The Governor for the State of Delaware shall appoint the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian, when appointed as guardian by Court order, shall serve as a guardian of the person or property, or both, of persons who are disabled for reasons other than minority.
A guardian is a person or institution appointed by the Court of Chancery to manage the affairs of another, called the ward. Goals of the Office of the Public Guardian include: advocate for the agency, its mission and its service to individuals through education and networking with the public and other professional communities; maintain the certification as registered guardians of key staff in whom decision-making is vested.