State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements


1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

The Delaware Code require mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse.[165] The statute defines child abuse to include physical injury to a child through sexual abuse by any person responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child.[166] In addition, the reporting requirements mandate the investigation of all cases where acts perpetrated by a person responsible for the child would constitute a violation of any of the offenses listed in the previous section.[167]

2. Mandatory reporters

Physical and mental health providers and any other person who knows or in good faith suspects child abuse.[168] Privileged communication between attorneys and clients and between priest and penitent is exempt from these requirements.[169]

3. Who to report to

Mandatory reporters encountering a case of child abuse must make an immediate oral report to the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families. Reports should be made in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by Division.[170]

4. State response

The Division of Child Protective Services must maintain a Child Protection Registry that documents reports of abuse. Upon receipt of a report, the Division must check its internal information system to determine whether previous reports have been made. The report is then forwarded to the appropriate Division staff for further investigation based on Division-established protocols. The Division must also notify the appropriate law enforcement agency upon receipt of any report.[171]