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RULE §749.43What 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 regional accrediting entities:

    (A) The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a subdivision of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;

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

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

    (D) The Higher Learning Commission (formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools);

    (E) The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;

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

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

  (2) 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.

  (3) 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.

  (4) Adoptive home screening--Also known as a pre-adoptive home screening. A written evaluation, prior to the placement of a child in an adoptive home, of the:

    (A) Prospective adoptive parents;

    (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.

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

  (6) Adverse action--See corrective or adverse action.

  (7) Babysitter--A person who temporarily cares for a child in foster care for no more than 12 consecutive hours. A babysitter is not required to meet the requirements for a caregiver unless the babysitter is a verified foster parent, an agency employee, a contract service provider, or a volunteer.

  (8) Babysitting--Care provided by a babysitter.

  (9) Caregiver--A caregiver:

    (A) Is a person counted in the child/caregiver ratio for foster care services, 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 who is solely responsible for a child in foster care. For example, a child-placement staff that takes a foster child on an appointment or doctor's visit is considered a caregiver;

    (B) Does not include a babysitter, an overnight care provider, or a respite child-care provider unless the person is:

      (i) A verified foster parent;

      (ii) An agency employee;

      (iii) A contract service provider; or

      (iv) A volunteer.

    (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;

      (ii) Works with one particular child; or

      (iii) Is a nurse being reimbursed by Medicaid;

    (D) Does not include a person left alone momentarily with a child in care while the caregiver leaves the room; and

    (E) Does not include an adoptive parent.

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

  (11) Chemical restraint--A prohibited type of emergency behavior intervention that uses chemicals or pharmaceuticals through topical application, oral administration, injection, or other means to immobilize or sedate a child as a mechanism of control. The use of a medication is not a chemical restraint under this chapter if the medication:

    (A) Is prescribed by a treating health-care professional;

    (B) Is administered solely for medical or dental reasons; and

    (C) Has a secondary effect of immobilizing or sedating a child.

  (12) Child in care--A child 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. Unless a child has been discharged from the child-placing agency, the child is considered a child in care.

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

  (14) Childhood activities--Activities that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age, level of maturity, and developmental level as determined by a reasonable and prudent parent standard as specified in §749.2605 of this chapter (relating to What is the "reasonable and prudent parent standard"?). Examples of childhood activities include extracurricular activities, in-school and out-of-school activities, enrichment activities, cultural activities, and employment opportunities. Childhood activities include unsupervised childhood activities.

  (15) Contract service provider--A person or entity that is contracting with the operation to provide a service, whether paid or unpaid. Also referred to as "contract staff" and "contractor" in this chapter.

  (16) Corporation or other type of business entity--May include an association, corporation, nonprofit association, nonprofit corporation, nonprofit association with religious affiliation, nonprofit corporation with religious affiliation, limited liability company, political subdivision, or state agency. For purposes of this chapter, this definition does not include any type of "partnership," which is defined separately.

  (17) Corrective or adverse action--Is any action by you that places a restriction or condition on a foster home's verification, including the revocation of the verification. Note: For information regarding a corrective or adverse action which Licensing is taking against you, see Subchapter L of Chapter 745 (relating to Enforcement Actions).

  (18) 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.

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

  (20) 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.

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

  (22) 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.

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

  (24) Emergency medication--A type of emergency behavior intervention that uses chemicals or pharmaceuticals through topical application, oral administration, injection, or other means to modify a child's behavior. The use of a medication is not an emergency medication under this chapter if the medication:

    (A) Is prescribed by a treating health-care professional;

    (B) Is administered solely for a medical or dental reason (e.g. Benadryl for an allergic reaction or medication to control seizures); and

    (C) Has a secondary effect of modifying a child's behavior.

  (25) Emergency situation--A situation in which attempted preventative de-escalatory or redirection techniques have not effectively reduced the potential for injury, so that intervention is immediately necessary to prevent:

    (A) Imminent probable death or substantial physical injury to the child because the child attempts or continually threatens to commit suicide or substantial physical injury; or

    (B) Imminent physical harm to another because of the child's overt acts, including attempting to harm others. These situations may include aggressive acts by the child, including serious incidents of shoving or grabbing others over their objections. These situations do not include verbal threats or verbal attacks.

  (26) Employee--A person an operation employs full-time or part-time to work for wages, salary, or other compensation. For the purposes of this chapter, employees include all child-placing agency staff and any owner who is present at the operation or a foster home or transports any child in care.

  (27) 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).

  (28) Foster care--Care that is provided to a foster child by a foster family home.

  (29) 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. Also referred to as a "foster home" in this chapter.

  (30) Foster home screening--A written evaluation, prior to the verification of the foster home, of the:

    (A) Prospective foster parent(s);

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

    (C) All other part- or full-time household members; and

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

  (31) Foster parent--A person verified to provide child-care services in the foster home.

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

  (33) Governing body--A group of persons or officers of the corporation or other type of business entity having ultimate authority and responsibility for the child-placing agency.

  (34) Grounds--Includes any parcel of land where the foster home is located and any building, other structure, body of water, play equipment, street, sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking garage, or parking lot on the parcel. Also referred to as "premises" in this chapter.

  (35) Health-care professional--A licensed physician, licensed advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), physician's assistant, licensed vocational nurse (LVN), licensed registered nurse (RN), or other licensed medical personnel providing health care to the child within the scope of the person's license. This does not include physicians, nurses, or other medical personnel not licensed to practice in the United States or in the country in which the person practices.

  (36) High-risk behavior--Behavior of a child that creates an immediate safety risk to the child or others. Examples of high-risk behavior include suicide attempt, self-abuse, physical aggression causing bodily injury, chronic running away, substance abuse, fire setting, and sexual aggression or perpetration.

  (37) 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.

  (38) Immediate danger to self or others--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 to self or others, or the probability of bodily harm resulting from a child running away. Immediate danger does not include:

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

    (B) Verbal threats or verbal attacks.

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

  (40) 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.


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