The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall
have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(1) Adult--A person aged 18 or older, or an emancipated
(2) Allegation--An assertion that an alleged victim
is in a state of or at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect, or financial
(3) Alleged perpetrator--A person who is reported to
be responsible for the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of
an alleged victim.
(4) Alleged victim--An adult with a disability or aged
65 or older who has been reported to adult protective services to
be in a state of or at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect, or financial
(5) Alleged victim/perpetrator--An adult with a disability
or aged 65 or older who has been reported to APS to be in a state
of or at risk of self-neglect.
(6) APS--Adult Protective Services, a division of DFPS.
(7) Capacity to consent to protective services--Having
the mental and physical ability to understand the services offered
and to accept or reject those services knowing the consequences of
(8) Caretaker--A guardian, representative payee, or
other person who by act, words, or course of conduct has acted so
as to cause a reasonable person to conclude that he has accepted the
responsibility for protection, food, shelter, or care for an alleged
victim. This excludes paid caretakers as defined by this chapter.
(9) Client--An alleged victim who has been determined
in a validated finding to be in need of protective services. The alleged
victim does not have to meet financial eligibility requirements.
(10) Designated perpetrator--An alleged perpetrator
who has been determined in a validated finding to have abused, neglected,
or financially exploited a designated victim.
(11) Designated victim--An alleged victim with a valid
abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation finding.
(12) Designated victim/perpetrator--An alleged victim/perpetrator
with a validated self-neglect finding.
(13) DFPS--Department of Family and Protective Services.
(14) Emancipated minor--A person under 18 years of
age who has the power and capacity of an adult. This includes a minor
who has had the disabilities of minority removed by a court of law
or a minor who, with or without parental consent, has been married.
Marriage includes common-law marriage.
(15) Emergency Protective Services-- Services provided
to an alleged victim subject to an investigation conducted under Subchapter
F, Chapter 48, Human Resources Code, to alleviate danger of serious
harm or death.
(16) Emotional harm--A highly unpleasant mental reaction
with observable signs of distress, such as anguish, grief, fright,
humiliation, or fury.
(17) Home and community support services agency (HCSSA)--An
agency licensed under Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code.
(18) Intimidation--Behavior by actions or words creating
fear of physical injury, death, or abandonment.
(19) Ongoing relationship--A personal relationship
(A) frequent and regular interaction;
(B) a reasonable assumption that the interaction will
(C) an establishment of trust, beyond a commercial
or contractual agreement.
(20) Paid caretaker--
(A) An employee of a home and community support services
agency (HCSSA) providing non-Medicaid services to an alleged victim;
(B) An individual or family member privately hired
and receiving monetary compensation to provide personal care services,
as defined in §142.001(22-a) of the Health and Safety Code, to
an alleged victim.
(21) Person with a disability--An adult with a physical,
mental, or developmental disability that substantially impairs the
adult's ability to adequately provide for his own care or protection.
(22) Physical injury--Physical pain, harm, illness,
or any impairment of physical condition.
(23) Protective services--The services furnished by
DFPS or by a protective services agency to an alleged or designated
victim (including a designated victim/perpetrator) or to the alleged
or designated victim's relative or caretaker if DFPS determines the
services are necessary to prevent the designated victim from being
in or returning to a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
These services may include social casework, case management, and arranging
for psychiatric and health evaluation, home care, day care, social
services, health care, respite services, and other services consistent
with Human Resources Code, Chapter 48. The term does not include the
investigation of an allegation of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
(Human Resources Code, §48.002)
(24) Purchased Client Services--A type of protective
service provided in accordance with Human Resources Code §48.002(a)(5),
including, but not limited to, emergency shelter, medical, and psychiatric
assessments, in-home care, residential care, heavy housecleaning,
minor home repairs, money management, transportation, emergency food,
medication, and other supplies.
(25) Reporter--A person who makes a report to DFPS
about a situation of alleged abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation
of an alleged victim.
(26) Serious harm--In danger of sustaining significant
physical injury or death; or danger of imminent impoverishment or
deprivation of basic needs.
(27) Substantially impairs--When a disability grossly
and chronically diminishes an adult’s physical or mental ability
to live independently or provide self-care as determined through observation,
diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.
(28) Sustained perpetrator--A designated perpetrator
whose validated finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation
of a designated victim has been sustained by an administrative law
judge in a due process hearing, including a release hearing or Employee
Misconduct Registry (EMR) hearing, or the designated perpetrator has
waived the right to a hearing.
(29) Unreasonable confinement--An act that results
in a forced isolation from the people one would normally associate
with, including friends, family, neighbors, and professionals; an
inappropriate restriction of movement; or the use of any inappropriate