Senate Bill 242
151st General Assembly (Present)
Senate Health & Social Services 3/8/22
Awaiting consideration in Committee
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY AND VOLUNTARY ADMISSION PROCEDURE.
When a youth who is experiencing foster care and living in an out-of-home placement has a need for residential psychiatric treatment, there can be a delay in gaining voluntary admission to a facility due to the Division of Family Services needing to obtain the youth’s parent or legal guardian’s consent for treatment. This can lead to a youth waiting in an emergency department bed or other inappropriate setting while waiting for the proper consent to be signed. In some cases, when a youth’s parent or legal guardian cannot be located, the youth must be involuntarily committed in order to obtain residential treatment, even when the youth is going willingly. This bill allows the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families, Division of Family Services Director or Deputy Director to sign the request for voluntary admission to a psychiatric treatment facility for a youth in foster care. In the case of a youth in foster care whose parent or guardian’s legal parental rights have not been terminated, the Division of Family Services works collaboratively with the youth’s parent to get consent on medical treatment and decisions. This bill would enable youth experiencing foster care to access psychiatric treatment voluntarily when their parent or legal guardian is not available to consent to the treatment on their behalf. This bill also allows the Director or Deputy Director of the Division of Family Services to make a written discharge request on behalf of the youth receiving voluntary treatment.
Takes effect upon being signed into law