Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Delaware

State and Statute: Delaware, Code Title 16 §§ 901 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical injury or neglect by those responsible for the care, custody and/or control of the child; emotional or sexual abuse, exploitation, maltreatment, or mistreatment, torture by anyone. [Code Title 10 §§ 901]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes any person, agency, organization or entity who knows or in good faith suspects child abuse or neglect. [903(a)]

How and Where to Report: Oral report to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (a telephone call to the 24-hour, toll-free hotline (1-800-292-9582) is acceptable). “Written report, if requested, shall be made in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Division, or in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Department.” [904(a)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [904(a)]

Clergy Privilege: “No legally recognized privilege, except that between…priest and penitent in a sacramental confession, applies to situations involving known or suspected child abuse…and does not constitute grounds for failure to report [child abuse] or to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.” [909(a)]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Fine of not more than $10,000 for first violation, nor more than $50,000 for subsequent violation. [914]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized?

“Whoever violates section 903 of this title shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for the first violation, and not to exceed $50,000 for any subsequent violation.” [914(a)]

In any action brought under this section, if the court finds a violation, the court may award costs and attorneys’ fees. [914(b)]

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person participating in good faith in the making of a report or notifying police officers pursuant to this chapter … has immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise exist.” [908(a)]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Anonymous reports may be made, but Department may request reporter’s name and address. [905(e)]

Additional Information for Delaware:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

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