Texas Family Code

As effective September 1, 2017

Sec. 264.1076: Medical Examination Required

(a) This section applies only to a child who has been taken into the conservatorship of the department and remains in the conservatorship of the department for more than three business days.

(b) The department shall ensure that each child described by Subsection (a) receives an initial medical examination from a physician or other health care provider authorized under state law to conduct medical examinations not later than the end of the third business day after the date the child is removed from the child's home, if the child:

(1) is removed as the result of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or an obvious physical injury to the child; or

(2) has a chronic medical condition, a medically complex condition, or a diagnosed mental illness.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), the department shall ensure that any child who enters the conservatorship of the department receives any necessary emergency medical care as soon as possible.

(d) A physician or other health care provider conducting an examination under Subsection (b) may not administer a vaccination as part of the examination without parental consent, except that a physician or other health care provider may administer a tetanus vaccination to a child in a commercially available preparation if the physician or other health care provider determines that an emergency circumstance requires the administration of the vaccination. The prohibition on the administration of a vaccination under this subsection does not apply after the department has been named managing conservator of the child after a hearing conducted under Subchapter C, Chapter 262.

(e) Whenever possible, the department shall schedule the medical examination for a child before the last business day of the appropriate time frame provided under Subsection (b).

(f) The department shall collaborate with the commission and selected physicians and other health care providers authorized under state law to conduct medical examinations to develop guidelines for the medical examination conducted under this section, including guidelines on the components to be included in the examination. The guidelines developed under this subsection must provide assistance and guidance regarding:

(1) assessing a child for:

(A) signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect;

(B) the presence of acute or chronic illness; and

(C) signs of acute or severe mental health conditions;

(2) monitoring a child's adjustment to being in the conservatorship of the department;

(3) ensuring a child has necessary medical equipment and any medication prescribed to the child or needed by the child; and

(4) providing appropriate support and education to a child's caregivers.

(g) Notwithstanding any other law, the guidelines developed under Subsection (f) do not create a standard of care for a physician or other health care provider authorized under state law to conduct medical examinations, and a physician or other health care provider may not be subject to criminal, civil, or administrative penalty or civil liability for failure to adhere to the guidelines.

(h) The department shall make a good faith effort to contact a child's primary care physician to ensure continuity of care for the child regarding medication prescribed to the child and the treatment of any chronic medical condition.

(i) Not later than December 31, 2019, the department shall submit a report to the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with primary jurisdiction over child protective services and foster care evaluating the statewide implementation of the medical examination required by this section. The report must include the level of compliance with the requirements of this section in each region of the state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 319 (S.B. 11), Sec. 15(a), eff. September 1, 2017.