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TITLE 40SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE
PART 19DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
CHAPTER 745LICENSING
SUBCHAPTER KINSPECTIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS
DIVISION 5ABUSE AND NEGLECT
RULE §745.8555What do the following words mean when Licensing investigates abuse, neglect, or exploitation?

(a) Emotional harm--An observable impairment in a child's psychological growth, development, or functioning. Emotional harm is any significant change in a child's physical health or social behavior, including changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Emotional harm also includes any "substantial emotional harm." A mental health professional does not have to determine that there is emotional harm.

(b) Intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission--An act or omission is intentional, knowing, or reckless if the person committing it:

  (1) Deliberately causes or might cause physical injury or emotional harm to the child;

  (2) Knows or should know that physical injury or emotional harm to the child is a likely result of the act or omission; or

  (3) Consciously disregards an unjustifiable risk of physical injury or emotional harm to the child.

(c) Omission--A failure to act.

(d) Physical injury--Any bodily harm, including minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises. This includes any bodily harm resulting from the discipline of a child and any "substantial physical injury."

(e) Sexual conduct--Includes any of the following:

  (1) Any touching of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

  (2) Exposing the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals, knowing the child is present, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

  (3) Engaging a child in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

  (4) Requesting, soliciting, or compelling a child to engage in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

  (5) In the presence of a child, engaging in or displaying any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

  (6) In the presence of a child, requesting, soliciting, or compelling another person to engage in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21; or

  (7) The illegal or improper use of a child, which may or may not include sexual contact or touching, with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

(f) Substantial emotional harm--An observable impairment in a child's psychological growth, development, or functioning that is significant enough to require treatment by a medical or mental health professional. Evidence that the emotional harm is substantial includes the nature of the act or omission, the age of the child, and/or the persistence of the symptoms. Substantial emotional harm is presumed when the act or omission is of a sexual nature, the child acts out sexually, or the child attempts suicide. A mental health professional does not have to determine that there is substantial emotional harm.

(g) Substantial physical injury--Bodily harm that warrants treatment by a medical professional, including dislocated, fractured, or broken bones; concussions; lacerations requiring stitches; second and third degree burns; and damage to internal organs. Evidence that physical injury is substantial includes the location and/or severity of the bodily harm and/or the age of the child.


Source Note: The provisions of this §745.8555 adopted to be effective June 1, 2002, 27 TexReg 2841

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