RELATING TO DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES
SECTION 1. Sections 40-11-6 and 40-11-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-11
entitled “Abused and Neglected Children” are hereby amended to read as follows:
40-11-6. Report by physicians of abuse or neglect. -- (a) When any physician or duly
certified registered nurse practitioner has cause to suspect that a child brought to him or her or
coming to him or her for examination, care, or treatment, is an abused or neglected child as
defined in this chapter, or when he or she determines that a child under the age of twelve (12)
years is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease, he or she shall report the incident or
cause a report thereof to be made to the department as provided in subsection (b).
(b) An immediate oral report shall be made by telephone or otherwise, to both the
department and law enforcement agency, and shall be followed by a report, in writing, to the
department and law enforcement agency explaining the extent and nature of the abuse or neglect
the child is alleged to have suffered.
(c) The department, upon receipt of such a report by a person other than a physician or
duly certified registered nurse practitioner alleging that a child has been physically abused, shall
investigate the report, and if the investigation
reveals evidence of
physical injury or that the child
has been the victim of sexual abuse, the department shall have the child examined by a licensed
physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner. Any child protective investigator shall,
with or without the consent of the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare, have
the right to remove the child from the place where the
child may be to secure the examination
required by this subsection. Upon completion of the examination, it shall be mandatory for the
physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner to make a written report of his or her
findings to the department.
(d) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of
40-11-7. Investigation of reports – Petition for removal from custody – Report to
child advocate – Attorney general – Court-appointed special advocate. -- (a) The department
each report reports of
child abuse and neglect made under this chapter in
accordance with the rules the department has promulgated and in order to determine the
circumstances surrounding the alleged abuse or neglect and the cause thereof. The investigation
shall include personal contact with the child named in the report and any other children in the
same household. Any person required to investigate reports of child abuse and/or neglect may
question the subjects of those reports with or without the consent of the parent or other person
responsible for the child's welfare. The interviewing of the child or children, if they are of the
mental capacity to be interviewed, shall take place in the absence of the person or persons
responsible for the alleged neglect or abuse. In the event that any person required to investigate
child abuse and/or neglect is denied reasonable access to a child by the parents or other person,
and that person required to investigate deems that the best interests of the child so require, they
may request the intervention of a local law enforcement agency, or seek an appropriate court
order to examine and interview the child. The department shall provide such social services and
other services as are necessary to protect the child and preserve the family.
(b) In the event that after investigation it is determined by the department that the child
is being or has been abused or neglected but that the circumstances of the child's family or
otherwise do not require the removal of the child for his or her protection, the department may
allow the child to remain at home and
petition the family court for an order for the provision of treatment of the family and child provide the family and child with access to
support and services.
The department shall
also have the duty to petition the family court for
the child from the care and custody of the parents, or any other person having custody or care of
in cases where it is felt that a
particular child has suffered abuse or neglect and that continued care and custody by that person might result
in further harm to the child if
there is a
determination that a child has been abused or neglected; which results in a child death, serious
physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation or an act or failure to act which
represents an imminent risk of serious harm. In addition, in cases of alleged abuse and/or neglect,
the department may petition the family court for the removal of the alleged perpetrator of that
abuse, and/or neglect from the household of the child or children when the child or children are
eleven (11) years of age or older. It shall be the responsibility of the department to make the
parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare aware of the court action, the possible
consequences of the court action, and to explain the rights of the parent relative to the court
(d) The department shall forward immediately any reports of institutional child abuse
and neglect to the child advocate who shall investigate the report in accordance with chapter 73 of
title 42, and also to any guardian ad litem and/or attorney of record for the child.
(e) In the event that after investigation the department takes any action regarding
placement of the child, the department shall immediately notify the child advocate of such action.
(f) In the event that after investigation the department has reasonable cause to know or
suspect that a child has been subjected to criminal abuse or neglect, the department shall forward
immediately any information as it relates to that knowledge or suspicion to the law enforcement
SECTION 2. Section 40-13.2-3.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-13.2 entitled
"Certification of Child Care and Youth Serving Agency Workers" is hereby amended to read as
40-13.2-3.1. CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check -- Operators
and employees. -- Any person seeking to operate a facility, which is, or is required to be licensed
or registered with the department or who is seeking employment, if such employment involves
supervisory or disciplinary power over a child or children or involves routine contact with a child
or children without the presence of other employees in any facility which is, or is required to be,
licensed or registered with the department or who is seeking such employment at the training
school for youth shall, after acceptance by the employer of the affidavit required by section 40-
13.2-3, apply to the appropriate agency for a CANTS (child abuse and neglect tracking system)
check. The department is authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations to impose
such fees or charges as may be appropriate to implement the provisions of this section.
SECTION 3. Section 14-1-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 14-1 entitled "Proceedings
in Family Court" is hereby amended to read as follows:
14-1-3. Definitions. -- The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall,
unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as follows:
(1) "Adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older, except that "adult"
includes any person seventeen (17) years of age or older who is charged with a delinquent offense
involving murder, first degree sexual assault, first degree child molestation, or assault with intent
to commit murder, and that person shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of the family court as set
forth in sections 14-1-5 and 14-1-6 if after a hearing, the family court determines that probable
cause exists to believe that the offense charged has been committed and that the person charged
has committed the offense.
(2) "Appropriate person," as used in sections 14-1-10 and 14-1-11, except in matters
relating to adoptions and child marriages, means and includes:
(i) Any police official of this state, or of any city or town within this state;
(ii) Any duly qualified prosecuting officer of this state, or of any city or town within this
(iii) Any director of public welfare of any city or town within this state, or his or her duly
(iv) Any truant officer or other school official of any city or town within this state;
(v) Any duly authorized representative of any public or duly licensed private agency or
institution established for purposes similar to those specified in section 8-10-2 or 14-1-2; or
(vi) Any maternal or paternal grandparent, who alleges that the surviving parent, in those
cases in which one parent is deceased, is an unfit and improper person to have custody of any
child or children.
(3) "Child" means a person under eighteen (18) years of age.
court" means the family court of the state of
(5) "Delinquent" when applied to a child means and includes any child who has
committed any offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, or who has on
more than one occasion violated any of the other laws
of the state or of the
of the ordinances of cities and towns, other than ordinances relating to the operation of motor
(6) "Dependent" means any child who requires the protection and assistance of the court
when his or her physical or mental health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm due to the
inability of the parent or guardian, through no fault of the parent or guardian, to provide the child
with a minimum degree of care or proper supervision because of:
(i) The death or illness of a parent; or
(ii) The special medical, educational, or social service needs of the child which the
parent is unable to provide.
(7) "Justice" means a justice of the family court.
(8) "Neglect" means a child who requires the protection and assistance of the court when
his or her physical or mental health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when the
parents or guardian:
(i) Fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care, though
financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so;
(ii) Fails to provide the child proper education as required by law; or
(iii) Abandons and/or deserts the child.
(9) "Wayward" when applied to a child means and includes any child:
(i) Who has deserted his or her home without good or sufficient cause;
(ii) Who habitually associates with dissolute, vicious, or immoral persons;
(iii) Who is leading an immoral or vicious life;
(iv) Who is habitually disobedient to the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her
parent or parents, guardian, or other lawful custodian;
(v) Who, being required by chapter 19 of title 16 to attend school, willfully and
habitually absents himself or herself from school or habitually violates the rules and regulations
of the school when he or she attends; or
(vi) Who has on any
occasion violated any of the laws of the state or of the
or any of the ordinances of cities and towns, other than ordinances relating to the operation of
(10) The singular shall be construed to include the plural, the plural the singular, and the
masculine the feminine, when consistent with the intent of this chapter.
(11) For the purposes of this chapter, “electronic surveillance and monitoring devices”
means any “radio frequency identification device (RFID)” OR “global positioning device” that is
either tethered to a person or is intended to be kept with a person and is used for the purposes of
tracking the whereabouts of that person within the community.
SECTION 4. Chapter 14-1 of the General Laws entitled "Proceedings in Family Court" is
hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
14-1-36.3. Community confinement. – (a) The family court may authorize that a
sentenced youth or a youth who is subject to an order of detention to the Thomas C. Slater
training school be placed in the community in an appropriate setting as specified in sections
14-1-27 and 14-1-32 for a period of time as determined by the court. In any instance wherein
the family court authorizes the release of a sentenced youth from the Thomas C. Slater training
school to community confinement, the youth shall be supervised by probation pursuant to section
14-1-33 and the term of community confinement shall not exceed the term of his or her sentence
to the training school.
(b) The court order to place a detained youth or a sentenced youth on probation and/or in
community confinement may include the use of electronic surveillance or monitoring devices as
defined in this chapter, upon the finding by the court that:
(1) The youth is charged with or adjudicated on an offense which meets the definition of
“delinquent” as found in 14-1-3(5); and
(2) The youth would otherwise be detained at or sentenced to the Thomas C. Slater
Training School for Youth; and
(3) The use of the surveillance or devices will allow the youth to be released to the home
of a legal guardian, family member, or foster home placement.
(c) Any use of electronic surveillance and monitoring devices authorized for non-
adjudicated youth who have been detained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall
be limited to thirty (30) days unless the court determines that an additional period not to exceed
thirty (30) days is necessary for the safety or welfare of the youth and/or the community.
(d) Any use of electronic surveillance and monitoring devices authorized for adjudicated
youth who have been sentenced in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be limited
to a period not to exceed sixty (60) days unless the court determines that an additional period not
to exceed thirty (30) days is necessary for the safety or welfare of the youth and/or the
(e) The department is authorized to adopt, amend, and rescind regulations in accordance
with this chapter and implement its provisions, including rules and regulations for the application,
surveillance and reporting of youth compliance with electronic surveillance and monitoring
devices. The regulations shall be promulgated and become effective in accordance with the
provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42.
SECTION 5. This Article shall take effect upon passage.