Delaware General Assembly








Section 1. Amend Part I, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter designated as Chapter 4 to read as follows:



This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Delaware Children's Trust Fund (DCTF) Act.

Intent and Purpose of Chapter

It is the intent of this Act to establish a Children's Trust Fund CTF for the primary purpose of encouraging the direct provision of community child abuse and neglect primary or secondary prevention programs: and establish a Board of Directors that has access to and control over the Fund and shall supervise and control the use of the assets of the Fund.

§403. Definitions

As used in this Chapter:

'Child' means a person under 18 years of age.

'Child abuse' means the physical injury by other than accidental means, injury resulting in a mental or emotional condition which is a result of abuse or neglect treatment, sexual abuse, maltreatment, non-treatment, exploitation or abandonment of a child.

'Neglected child' means a child under 18 years of age who is abandoned by his/her parent, guardian or custodian, who lacks proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of the parent,. guardian or custodian, whose parent, guardian or custodian neglects or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical or surgical care or other care necessary for his health, morals or well-being, whose parent, guardian or custodian neglects or refuses to provide the special care made necessary by his or her mental condition, who is found in a disreputable place, who associates with vagrant, vicious or immoral persons or who engages in an occupation dangerous to life or limb or forbidden by the law of this State or injurious to the health or morals of himself or herself or others. No child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall for that reason alone be considered a neglected child for purposes of this Chapter.

'Board' means the DCTF Board of Directors created in §404 of this Chapter.

'Prevention program' means a system of direct provision of child abuse and neglect prevention services to a child, parent, or guardian, and may include research programs related to prevention of child abuse and neglect.

'Trust fund' means the CTF established, controlled and directed by the State board whose assets are administered by a private financial institution.

§404. Establishment of Delaware Children's Trust Fund Board of Directors

There Is hereby established a DCTF Board of Directors.

The Board, which shall have private non-profit status, will consist of 12 members, of whom one annually shall be voted the Chairperson with voting powers only in cases when the tie-breaking vote is necessary. Members shall demonstrate expertise, experience and/or interest in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Eight of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, one shall be the chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, others may include representatives of private organizations concerned with child abuse and neglect, parents, business groups, or businesses employing youth, medical service agencies, former child abusers or abused persons, and volunteers interested in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Secretaries of the following departments and the Chief Judge of Family Court shall appoint one designee: the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and Family Court. The director of the Office of Prevention within the DSCYF will be an ex-officio, non-voting, member of the CTF.

The Board may appoint volunteers and/or committees to assist the Board in an advisory capacity . These non-voting members and/or committees shall demonstrate expertise, experience, and/or interest in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Three of the original public members of the Board shall be appointed three year terms. Two of the original public members of the Board shall serve two year terms. At the expiration of the terms of the original public members of the Board, all appointments shall be for three years. A public member shall continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed by the Governor.

The Board shall establish rules and regulations for its own procedures and shall establish guidelines and deadlines for the submission of grant applications. The Board shall appoint review panels for the purpose of evaluating grant applications and making recommendations to the Board on a priority basis for funding programs. Any member of the Board on review panels with a direct conflict of interest shall excuse him/herself from voting on the grant proposal.

Members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in attendance at meetings of the Board and other expenses incurred on business of the Board at its direction.

§405. Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities of the Board shall be:

Meet not less than four times a year at the call of the Chairperson.

The Board shall develop planning, monitoring and evaluative expertise from public and private agencies and communities that demonstrate an interest in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

One year after the original appointment of the Board and biennially thereafter, develop a state plan for the distribution of funds from the Trust Fund. In developing the plan, the State Board shall review the already existing prevention programs. The plan shall assure that an equal opportunity exists for establishment of prevention programs and receipt of trust fund money among all geographic areas in this State. The plan shall be submitted to the Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The Board shall notify members of the legislature that the plan is available.

Provide for the coordination and exchange of information on the establishment and maintenance prevention programs.

Develop and publicize criteria for the receipt of trust fund money by eligible prevention programs.

Review, approve, and monitor the expenditure of trust fund money by prevention programs.

Provide statewide educational and public informational seminars for the purpose of developing appropriate public awareness regarding the problems of child abuse and neglect; encourage professional persons and groups to recognize and deal with problems of child abuse and neglect; make information about the problem of child abuse and neglect available to the public and organizations and agencies which deal with problems of child abuse and neglect; and encourage the development of community prevention programs.

Establish a procedure for an annual, Internal evaluation of the functions, responsibilities, and performance of the Board. In a year In which the biennial state plan is prepared. the evaluation shall be coordinated with the state plan.

(I) Solicit and accept contributions, grants, gifts, and bequests for the Children's Trust Fund. All monies received shall be deposited in that fund.

if) Include as part of Its annual report the names and locations of organizations receiving grants, the amounts provided as grants, the services provided by grantees and the number of persons served by each grantee.

(k) Recommend to the Governor, the Legislature and State agencies changes needed In state program, statutes, policies, budgets and rules to reduce the problems of child abuse and neglect, improve coordination among state agencies that provide prevention services and improve the condition of children and persons responsible for children who are in need of prevention program services.

(1) The Board may accept federal funds granted by Congress or executive order for the purposes of this Act as well as gifts and donations from Individuals, private organizations, or foundations. The acceptance and use of federal funds does not commit state funds and does not place an obligation upon the legislature to continue the purposes for which the federal funds are made available. All funds received in the manner described in this Section shall be deposited in that fund.

(m) The State Board may enter into agreements or contracts with public or private agencies or rely on volunteer support to fulfill the requirements of this Section.

§406. Award of Grants

In making grants, the Board shall consider the degree to which the proposed program has developed a collaborative community prevention program in a specific geographical area. The prevention program shall utilize trained volunteers and existing community resources wherever practicable.

The Board shall award grants to organizations In accordance with the plan developed under §405(c). In each of the first two fiscal years in which grants are awarded, no organization may receive a grant or grants totalling more than $15,000.

A grant may be awarded only to an organization that agrees to match the grant, at least 25 percent of the amount received during the first year and at least 50 percent of the amount received during the second and subsequent years, through money or in-kind services.

The CTF shall be used for the following purposes:

Matching federal funds to purchase services on community-based programs for the primary or secondary prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Providing start-up or expansion grants for community-based primary or secondary prevention projects or educational programs for child abuse and neglect.

Studying and evaluating community-based prevention primary or secondary projects and educational programs for child abuse and neglect. For the purpose of this subsection 'educational programs' shall include instructional and demonstration programs whose main purpose is to disseminate information and techniques or to provide services for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Projects dealing primarily with alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, or the developmentally disabled, will not be considered for funding. Projects dealing primarily with day care will not be considered except for those which are primarily focused on prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Projects will not be considered if the services that are to be provided is a duplication of existing services available in the community.

§407. Trust Fund; Income Tax Check Off

The CTF is created as a separate fund administered by a private financial institution. The fund shall be expended only as provided In this Act.

Effective for the tax year beginning January 1, 1985 and until the fund administrator certifies that the assets in the CTF exceed $2,000,000 every person who files an Individual state income tax return and who is entitled to a refund may designate that all or any portion of the total amount of the refund shall be donated to the Delaware's CTF in lieu of that amount being returned to him/her. In the case of a joint return of husband or wife who are entitled to a tax refund, a designation may be made for all or any portion of the total amount of the refund be donated to the CTF in lieu of that amount being returned to them. The designation shall be made at the time of the filing of the tax return and shall be made upon the income tax return form as prescribed by the Department of Revenue.

The tax designation authorized in this section shall be clearly and unambiguously printed on the first page of the state individual income tax return. been made, the Department of Revenue shall enter in a central record the amount of the donation and the name of the donor. The Secretary shall forward such amounts directly to the Trust Fund's administrator for deposit in the DCTF. The donation will be effective for all taxable periods beginning after December 31, 1984.

The Trust Fund administrator shall invest trust fund money. Earnings shall be credited the trust fund.

Until the total amount of assets in the trust fund exceeds $2,000,000, not more than 1/2 of the money contributed or collected to the trust fund each year shall be available for disbursement upon the authorization of the board as provided in §405 of the DCTF Act. After such time that the fund administrator certifies that the assets in the trust fund exceed $2,000,000, only the earnings credited to the trust fund shall be available for disbursement upon the authorization of the state board as provided in §405 of the DCTF Act.

Funds granted or funds received as gifts or donations to the CTF shall be forwarded directly to the trust fund administrator and shall be considered as assets. Gifts, donations, and foundation awards may be accepted by CTF after the trust fund administrator certifies that the assets of the trust fund exceeds $2,000.000 and public assistance ends.

§408. Fiscal Review

From time to time as determined by the Delaware State Clearinghouse Committee, the Board shall submit a detailed report to members of the Committee of revenues, expenditures, and program measures for the fiscal period in question. Such report shall also be sufficiently descriptive in nature so as to be concise and informative. The Committee may cause the Board to appear before the Committee and to answer such questions as the Committee may require."

Section 2. This Act shall become effective on October 1, 1984.

Approved July 20, 1984.