§749.43: What do certain words and terms mean in this chapter?

The words and terms used in this chapter have the meanings assigned to them under §745.21 of this title (relating to What do the following words and terms mean when used in this chapter?), unless another meaning is assigned in this section or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The following words and terms have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Accredited college or university--An institution of higher education accredited by one of the following:

(A) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges;

(B) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education;

(C) New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education;

(D) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission;

(E) Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;

(F) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities; or

(G) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

(2) Activity space--An area or room used for child activities.

(3) Adaptive functioning--Refers to how effectively a person copes with common life demands and how well the person meets standards of personal independence expected of someone in his particular age group, socio-cultural background, and community setting.

(4) Adoption record--All information received by the child-placing agency that bears the child's name or pertains to the child, including any information about the birth parents and adoptive parents, is considered to be part of the adoption record.

(5) Adult--A person 18 years old or older.

(6) Caregiver--A caregiver:

(A) Is a person counted in the child/caregiver ratio, including employees, foster parents, contract service providers, and volunteers, whose duties include direct care, supervision, guidance, and protection of a child in care. This includes any person that is solely responsible for a child. For example, a child-placement staff that takes a child on an appointment or doctor's visit is considered a caregiver.

(B) Does not include babysitters or respite child-care providers who are not:

(i) Verified foster parents;

(ii) Licensed foster parents; or

(iii) Agency employees.

(C) Does not include a contract service provider who:

(i) Provides a specific type of service to your agency for a limited number of hours per week or month; or

(ii) Works with one particular child.

(7) Certified fire inspector--Person certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection to conduct fire inspections.

(8) Child/caregiver ratio--The maximum number of children for whom one caregiver can be responsible.

(9) Child in care--A child or a young adult who has been placed by a child-placing agency in a foster or adoptive home, regardless of whether the child is temporarily away from the home, as in the case of a child at school or at work or receiving respite child-care services. Unless a child has been discharged from the child-placing agency, he is considered a child in care.

(10) Child passenger safety seat system--An infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(11) Counseling--A procedure used by professionals from various disciplines in guiding individuals, families, groups, and communities by such activities as delineating alternatives, helping to articulate goals, processing feelings and options, and providing needed information. This definition does not include career counseling.

(12) Days--Calendar days, unless otherwise stated.

(13) De-escalation--Strategies used to defuse a volatile situation, to assist a child to regain behavioral control, and to avoid a physical restraint or other behavioral intervention.

(14) Department--The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

(15) Discipline--A form of guidance that is constructive or educational in nature and appropriate to the child's age, development, situation, and severity of the behavior.

(16) Disinfecting solution--A disinfecting solution may be:

(A) A self-made solution, prepared as follows:

(i) One tablespoon of regular strength liquid household chlorine bleach to each gallon of water used for disinfecting such items as toys, eating utensils, and nonporous surfaces (such as tile, metal, and hard plastics); or

(ii) One-fourth cup of regular strength liquid household chlorine bleach to each gallon of water used for disinfecting surfaces such as bathrooms, crib rails, diaper-changing tables, and porous surfaces, such as wood, rubber or soft plastics; or

(B) A commercial product that meets the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) standards for "hospital grade" germicides (solutions that kill germs) that you must use according to label directions.

(17) Emergency Behavior Intervention--Interventions used in an emergency situation, including personal restraints, mechanical restraints, emergency medication, and seclusion.

(18) Family applicants--All residents, part- or full-time, of a household that are being considered for verification as an agency foster home or approved as an adoptive home.

(19) Family members--An individual related to another individual within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity. For the definitions of consanguinity and affinity, see Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Licensing). The degree of the relationship is computed as described in Government Code, §573.023 (relating to Computation of Degree of Consanguinity) and §573.025 (relating to Computation of Degree of Affinity).

(20) Food service--The preparation or serving of meals or snacks.

(21) Foster family home--A home that is the primary residence of the foster parent(s) and provides care for six or fewer children or young adults, under the regulation of a child-placing agency.

(22) Foster group home--An operation verified:

(A) After January 1, 2007, that is the primary residence of the foster parent(s) and provides care for seven to 12 children or young adults, under the regulation of a child-placing agency; or

(B) Prior to January 1, 2007, that provides care for seven to 12 children or young adults, under the regulation of a child-placing agency.

(23) Foster home--As referred to in this chapter means both types of homes, foster family homes and foster group homes.

(24) Foster home screening--A written evaluation, prior to the placement of a child in a foster home, of the:

(A) Prospective foster parent(s);

(B) Family of the prospective foster parent(s); and

(C) Environment of the foster parent(s) and their family in relation to their ability to meet the child's needs.

(25) Foster parent--A person who provides foster care services in the foster home.

(26) Full-time--At least 30 hours per week.

(27) Garbage--Food or items that when deteriorating cause offensive odors and/or attract rodents, insects, and other pests.

(28) Health-care professional--A licensed physician, licensed registered nurse with appropriate advanced practice authorization from the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), a licensed registered nurse (RN), or other licensed medical personnel providing health care to the child within the scope of his license. This does not include medical doctors or medical personnel not licensed to practice in the United States.

(29) Human services field--A field of study that contains coursework in the social sciences of psychology and social work including some counseling classes focusing on normal and abnormal human development and interpersonal relationship skills from an accredited college or university. Coursework in guidance counseling does not apply.

(30) Immediate danger--A situation where a prudent person would conclude that bodily harm would occur if there were no immediate interventions. Immediate danger includes a serious risk of suicide, serious physical injury, or the probability of bodily harm resulting from a child running away if under 10 years old chronologically or developmentally. Immediate danger does not include:

(A) Harm that might occur over time or at a later time; or

(B) Verbal threats or verbal attacks.

(31) Infant--A child from birth through 17 months.

(32) Livestock--An animal raised for human consumption or an equine animal.

(33) Living quarters--A structure or part of a structure where a group of children reside, such as a building, house, cottage, or unit.

(34) Long-term placement--A placement intended to last for more than 90 days.

(35) Master record--The compilation of all required records for a specific person or home, such as a master personnel record, master case record for a child, or a master case record for a foster or adoptive home.

(36) Non-ambulatory--A child that is only able to move from place to place with assistance, such as a walker, crutches, a wheelchair, or prosthetic leg.

(37) Non-mobile--A child that is not able to move from place to place, even with assistance.

(38) Person legally authorized to give consent--The person legally authorized to give consent by the Texas Family Code or a person authorized by the court.

(39) Physical force--Pressure applied to a child's body that reduces or eliminates the child's ability to move freely.

(40) Post-adoptive services--Services available through the child-placing agency (direct or on referral) to birth and adoptive parents and the adoptive child after the adoption is consummated. Examples include counseling, maintaining a registry if a central registry is not used, providing pertinent, new medical information to birth or adoptive parents, or providing the adult adoptee a copy of his record upon request.

(41) Post-placement report--A written evaluation of the assessments and interviews, after the adoptive placement of the child, regarding the:

(A) Child;

(B) Prospective adoptive parent(s);

(C) Family of the prospective adoptive parent(s);

(D) Environment of the prospective adoptive parent(s) and their family; and

(E) Adjustment of all individuals to the placement.

(42) Pre-adoptive home screening--A written evaluation, prior to the placement of a child in an adoptive home, of the:

(A) Prospective adoptive parent(s);

(B) Family of the prospective adoptive parents; and

(C) Environment of the adoptive parents and their family in relation to their ability to meet the needs of a child, and if a child has been identified for adoption, the needs of that particular child.

(43) PRN--A standard order or prescription that applies "pro re nata" or "as needed according to circumstances."

(44) Professional service provider--Refers to:

(A) A child placement management staff or person qualified to assist in child placing activity;

(B) A psychiatrist licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners;

(C) A psychologist licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists;

(D) A master's level social worker or higher licensed by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners;

(E) A professional counselor licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors;

(F) A marriage and family therapist licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists; and

(G) Other professional employees in fields such as drug counseling, nursing, special education, vocational counseling, pastoral counseling, and education who may be included in the professional staffing plan for your agency that provides treatment services if the professional's responsibilities are appropriate to the scope of the agency's program description. These professionals must have the minimum qualifications generally recognized in the professional's area of specialization.

(45) Re-evaluation--Includes an assessment of all factors required for the initial evaluation only for the purpose of determining if any substantive changes have occurred. If substantive changes have occurred, these areas must be fully evaluated.

(46) Regularly--On a recurring, scheduled basis.

(47) Sanitize--A four-step process that must be followed in the subsequent order:

(A) Washing with water and soap;

(B) Rinsing with clear water;

(C) Soaking in or spraying on a disinfecting solution for at least 10 minutes. Rinsing with cool water only those items that a child is likely to place in his mouth; and

(D) Allowing the surface or article to air-dry.

(48) School-age child--A child who is five years old or older and who will attend school in August or September of that year.

(49) Seat belt--A lap belt and any shoulder strap included as original equipment on or added to a motor vehicle.

(50) Service plan--A plan that identifies a child's basic and specific needs and how those needs will be met.

(51) State or local fire inspector--A fire official designated by the city, county, or state government.

(52) State or local sanitation official--A sanitation official designated by the city, county, or state government that is trained in sanitary science to perform duties relating to education and inspections in environmental sanitation.

(53) Substantial bodily harm--Physical injury serious enough that a prudent person would conclude that the injury required professional medical attention. It does not include minor bruising, the risk of minor bruising, or similar forms of minor bodily harm that will resolve healthily without professional medical attention.

(54) Toddler--A child from 18 months through 35 months old.

(55) Treatment director--The person responsible for the overall treatment program providing treatment services. A treatment director may have other responsibilities and may designate treatment director responsibilities to other qualified persons.

(56) Universal precautions--An approach to infection control where all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other blood-borne pathogens.

(57) Volunteer--A person who provides services:

(A) Child-care services, treatment services, or programmatic services under the auspices of the agency without monetary compensation, including a "sponsoring family;" or

(B) Any type of services under the auspices of the agency without monetary compensation when the person has unsupervised access to a child in care.

(58) Water activities--Activities related to the use of splashing pools, wading pools, swimming pools, or other bodies of water.

(59) Young adult--An adult whose chronological age is between 18 and 22 years, who is currently in a residential child-care agency, and who continues to need child-care services.