The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) is a State agency, house within the judicial branch, charged with safeguarding the welfare of Delaware's children. It has 30 full-time employees, 6 casual/seasonal employees and 12 contractors. OCA operates out of all three counties representing approximately 550 children in or who have aged out of DSCYF custody through its attorneys and Court Appointed Special Advocate program. It also monitors over 900 serious child abuse cases through its Office of the Investigation Coordinator (IC), and provides intensive reviews of children who have died or almost died from abuse or neglect through its Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Panel. It manages post-secondary scholarships for youth who have experienced foster care. It provides staffing to the Child Protection Accountability Commission (CPAC) and its numerous committees and workgroups, as well as coordinates all CPAC trainings. Finally, it manages, generates, and analyzes data for the entire child welfare system.
The Office of the Investigation Coordinator, a program area within OCA, was established in response to the 2011 Independent Review of the child sexual assault cases involving perpetrator, Earl Brian Bradley. Dean Ammons was tasked with the State's policies and procedures governing, child sexual abuse and exploitation and making recommendations that "foster a child protection community of collaboration and accountability to better protect Delaware's children from predators." (Executive Order No. 16). As a result of Dean Ammons' Independent Review, the Governor's Committee, on the Protection of Children was established in order to address recommendations relating to multidisciplinary collaboration and coordination. In 2012, legislation was put forth, drafted by the Committee, and ultimately championed by the Child Protection Accountability Commission, creating the Office of the Investigation Coordinator (IC).
The Office of the Investigation Coordinator (16 Del. C., 906(c)) is required to review and monitor all reported cases of child sexual abuse, juvenile trafficking, serious physical injury, and death of a child from inception to final criminal and civil disposition. The IC reviews and analyzes these cases to ensure an appropriate and timely criminal and civil legal response. The IC seeks to ensure compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding for the MDT Response to Child Abuse an Neglect to achieve punishment for perpetrators and legal protections for victims, and conducts MDT case review meetings. In addition, the IC oversees the establishment and maintenance of an independent database case tracking system for cases within the IC purview. The IC is responsible for analyzing collected data and statistics, identifying child welfare system issues and trends, providing pertinent data to the Child Protection Accountability Commission and members of the multidisciplinary team and making recommendations for system improvement in accordance with State and Federal law. IC is also responsible for maintaining data on substance exposed infants and their families.
Ability to successfully complete a security clearance as issued by the State of Delaware Bureau of Identification and a Child Protection Registry check.
- Experience working with Delaware's child welfare system.
- Experience working with law enforcement agencies.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with representatives from other agencies, organizations, and associates.
To support the IC in accomplishing the duties in the Summary Statement section and to ensure that every child reported to be a victim of child death, serious physical injury or sexual abuse has a coordinated multidisciplinary team (MDT) response, the position of Deputy Investigation Coordinator will conduct the following:
- Oversee of the most complex child abuse cases involving serious physical injury, drug ingestions, death, and juvenile trafficking.
- Prepare IC Referrals and coordination and facilitation of the MDT Meetings for these cases.
- Establish policy and procedure for various child welfare projects.
- Manage the Juvenile Trafficking Committee workgroup, including the newly established Juvenile Trafficking Oversight Team.
- Assist the IC in monitoring agency compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the MDT Response to Child Abuse and Neglect.
- Actively monitor new serious physical injury, child death, drug ingestions, and juvenile trafficking hotline reports on a 24/7 basis to ensure the preparation of an IC Referral and notice to the MDT members.
- Facilitate communication between the MDT members to ensure an integrated, collaborative response to the complex cases.
- Examine and address multidisciplinary compliance with departmental policies and procedures and state and federal rules and regulations.
- Analyze collected data on child victims and make recommendations to IC for system change.
- Advocate for individual child victims when system breakdowns occur.
- Coordinate, facilitate and participate in the Standard and Special MDT Case Review Meetings statewide.
- Make reports to the Division of Professional Regulation when there are allegations of child abuse against professional in Delaware.
- Assume the responsibilities of the IC in her absence.
- Possession of a Bachelor's degree
- Experience in interpreting laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies, and procedures.
- Knowledge of casework principles and practices.
- Experience in effectively analyzing large volumes of data.
- Knowledge of making recommendations for continuation or changes to operations, programs, services, policies, or procedures based on data findings.
- Ability to prepare reports and maintain accurate records.
- Ability to communicate courteously and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
- Possession of a valid Delaware Class D driver's license or its equivalent.
Conditions of Hire
- A satisfactory criminal background check is required as a condition of hire.
- Direct deposit of paychecks is required as a condition of hire.
Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an auxiliary aid or service please call (302) 739-5458. TDD users should call the Delaware Relay Service Number 1-800-232-5460 for assistance.
The State of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce. We strongly encourage and seek out a workforce representative of Delaware including race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.