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RULE §707.471What is physical neglect?
Texas Register

(a) Physical neglect is a subset of the statutory definitions of neglect that appear in Texas Family Code §261.001(4) and includes the following act or omission by a person: the failure to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered and refused.

(b) In this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

  (1) "...necessary to sustain the life or health of the child ...." is a condition of the statutory definition of physical neglect and is met if the failure to provide food, clothing, or shelter results in an observable and material impairment to the child's growth, development, or functioning, or in a substantial risk of an observable and material impairment. For purposes of this paragraph, "observable and material impairment" means discernible and substantial damage or deterioration to the child's health or physical condition. It may include but is not limited to malnourishment; sudden or extreme weight loss; serious skin conditions or skin breakdown; serious illness or other serious medical conditions; or any other serious physical harm to the child as a direct result of the physical neglect.

  (2) "Relief services" means both public and private services, including but not limited to services provided through the government, community agencies, volunteer organizations, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc., that are intended to improve the overall well-being and physical condition of the family. The services must be affordable, reasonable, readily available, and appropriate to meet the needs of the family. It is not necessary that the relief services be provided by us.

(c) Evidence of physical neglect may include but is not limited to the following if they endanger the life or health of the child: unsound or decaying walls, ceiling, floors, or stairways; ineffective or faulty heating, cooling, or ventilation systems; inadequate, faulty, or broken plumbing including contaminated water; broken windows, mirrors or other glass; dangerous sleeping arrangements; the existence of dangerous bacteria or germs; nonexistent or ineffective waste disposal; dangerous food storage; fecal contamination or excessive animal feces throughout the house; untreated infestations such as fleas, roaches, or rodents; significant and uncontrolled mildew and mold; dirt buildup that is likely to cause bacteria and viruses in the dwelling; and hazardous junk material or appliances left unsecured and within easy access to the child.

Source Note: The provisions of this §707.471 adopted to be effective July 15, 2020, 45 TexReg 4780

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