|(a) The following terms have the following meanings
when used in this subchapter:
(1) An absent parent or non-custodial parent--a parent
who, at the time of the occurrence of the conduct which is the basis
for the investigation, does not have actual possession or control
of the child and is not primarily responsible for the child's care
because of any of the following:
(C) Incarceration; or
(D) Any other reason that results in the parent not
having actual possession or control and primary responsibility of
(2) Accident--an unforeseen, unexpected, or unplanned
act or event that occurs unintentionally and causes or threatens physical
injury despite exercising the care and diligence that a reasonable
and prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances to avoid
the risk of injury.
(3) Blatant disregard--the real and significant harm
or threat of harm to the child as a result of the person's act(s)
(A) Would have been obvious to a reasonable person
in the same situation; and
(B) The reasonable person would have known to take
precautionary measures to protect the child from the impending harm.
(4) Child--person under 18 years of age who is not
and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority
removed for general purposes.
(5) Child safety--the absence of danger or the presence
of protective actions demonstrated over time by a parent or caregiver
that mitigates dangers to the child.
(6) Danger--behaviors or conditions that place a child
in imminent danger of serious harm.
(7) Day--calendar day unless otherwise specified.
(8) Guardian--anyone named as "guardian of the person
of a child" by a probate court order.
(A) A unit composed of persons living together in the
same dwelling, whether or not they are related to each other, when
the dwelling consists of:
(i) The child's family's household, including the households
of both parents when the parents reside separately;
(ii) A household in which the parent has arranged for
or authorized placement of the child; or
(iii) A household in which the child is legally placed
by a parent or a court.
(B) During the receipt and investigation of reports
of child abuse and neglect, we treat an unrelated person who resides
elsewhere or whose place of residence cannot be determined as a member
of the household if the person is at least 10 years old and either:
(i) Has regular free access to the household; or
(ii) When in the household dwelling takes care of or
assumes responsibility for children in the household.
(10) Immediate danger to child's physical health or
safety--the person's act(s) or omission(s) placed the child in a situation
that has resulted in or would have resulted in physical or mental
harm to the child.
(11) Investigations--a program of the Child Protective
Investigations division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services that investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect
by a person responsible for the child's care, custody, or welfare
as defined in Texas Family Code §261.001(5)(A)-(C).
(12) Managing or possessory conservator--a person legally
responsible for a child as the result of a court order.
(13) Parent--the mother, a man presumed to be the biological
father or who has been adjudicated to be the biological father by
a court of competent jurisdiction, or an adoptive mother or father.
The term does not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship
has been terminated.
(14) Preponderance of evidence--evidence which is of
greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered
in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that
the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.
(15) Protective actions--specific actions that have
been taken by an individual or family to directly address the danger
of abuse and neglect and are demonstrated over time.
(16) Reasonable effort to prevent--actions that a person
responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare would have taken
to protect a child from abuse the person knew or reasonably should
have known was occurring. It is not required for that person to have
directly perpetrated the abuse.
(17) Reporter--an individual who makes a report to
the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or a duly constituted
law enforcement agency alleging the abuse or neglect of a child. If
more than one individual makes a report alleging abuse or neglect
of the same child, all such individuals shall have the designation
of a reporter.
(18) Risk factors--elements of individual and family
functioning that may place a child at risk of abuse or neglect.
(19) Risk of child abuse or neglect--a reasonable likelihood
that in the foreseeable future there will be an occurrence of child
abuse or neglect as defined in Texas Family Code (TFC) §261.001.
The presence of risk does not constitute abuse or neglect as defined
in TFC §261.001 but qualifies children and families to receive
protective services as specified in §700.311(a)(1), subchapter
C, chapter 700, of this title (relating to Eligible Individuals).
(20) Strengths--resources and conditions of an individual
or the family that increase the likelihood or ability to protect a
child from abuse or neglect but do not fully address the danger to
(21) Substantial harm--real and significant physical
injury or damage to a child.
(22) Substantial risk--a real and significant possibility
(b) Terms not defined in this subchapter have the meaning
given in the Texas Family Code, including definitions in Chapter 101
and §261.001, Texas Family Code, and other relevant law, or their
ordinary meaning if not defined in law.