|(a) The committee. The State Child Fatality Review
Team Committee (committee) is appointed under and governed by this
section. The committee is established under Texas Family Code, §§264.501
(b) Purpose. The purpose of the committee is to reduce
the number of preventable deaths to children in the State of Texas.
(1) The committee develops an understanding of the
causes and incidences of child death in Texas.
(2) The committee identifies procedures within the
agencies represented on the committee to reduce the number of preventable
(3) The committee promotes public awareness and makes
recommendations to the Governor and Texas Legislature for changes
in law, policy, and practice to reduce the number of preventable child
(1) Not later than April 1 of each even-numbered year,
the committee files a biennial written report with the Governor, Lieutenant
Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Texas Department
of State Health Services (DSHS), and Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services (DFPS) and makes the report available to the public.
(2) The report contains aggregate child fatality data
collected by local child fatality review teams, recommendations to
prevent child fatalities and injuries, and recommendations to DFPS
based on input from the child safety review subcommittee.
(1) The committee is composed of 25 members. Permanent
members of the committee include:
(A) a person appointed by and representing the State
Registrar of Vital Statistics;
(B) a person appointed by and representing the DFPS
(C) a person appointed by and representing the DSHS
Title V Director;
(D) a person appointed by and representing the speaker
of the house of representatives;
(E) a person appointed by and representing the lieutenant
(F) a person appointed by and representing the governor.
(2) The permanent members of the committee who serve
under paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall appoint the following
committee members, who must be members of their local Child Fatality
Review Team, unless the committee member is an appointed representative
of a state agency:
(A) a criminal prosecutor involved in prosecuting crimes
(B) a sheriff;
(C) a justice of the peace;
(D) a medical examiner;
(E) a police chief;
(F) a pediatrician experienced in diagnosing and treating
child abuse and neglect;
(G) a child educator;
(H) a child mental health provider;
(I) a public health professional;
(J) a child protective services specialist;
(K) a sudden infant death syndrome family service provider;
(L) a neonatologist;
(M) a child advocate;
(N) a chief juvenile probation officer;
(O) a child abuse prevention specialist;
(P) a representative of the Texas Department of Public
(Q) a representative of the Texas Department of Transportation;
(R) an emergency medical services provider; and
(S) a provider of services to, or an advocate for,
victims of family violence.
(f) Terms of office. Except as necessary to stagger
terms, the term of office for members that are appointed under subsection
(e)(2) of this section is three years.
(1) Members may apply to serve up to two terms. Terms
do not have to be consecutive.
(2) An appointment to a vacancy on the committee is
made in the same manner as the original appointment.
(g) Officers. The committee selects from its members
a chair and vice-chair.
(1) The chair presides at all committee meetings at
which he or she is in attendance and calls meetings of the committee.
(2) The vice-chair presides at meetings if the chair
is unable to attend.
(1) The committee meets quarterly.
(2) Meeting arrangements are made by DSHS staff.
(3) Except as provided by Texas Family Code, §264.504
(b), (c), and (d), the committee is a "governmental body" as defined
in the Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551. Meetings
may be conducted in person, through teleconference call, or by means
of other technology.
(4) A simple majority of the appointed committee members
constitutes a quorum for the purpose of transacting official business.
(5) The committee is authorized to transact official
business only when in a legally constituted meeting with quorum present.
(6) The agenda for each committee meeting includes
an item entitled public comment under which any person is allowed
to address the committee on matters relating to business. The chair
may establish procedures for public comment, including a time limit
on each comment.
(i) Attendance. Members must attend committee meetings
(1) A member must notify the chair or appropriate DSHS
staff if he or she is unable to attend a scheduled meeting.
(2) It is grounds for removal from the committee if
a member cannot discharge the member's duties for which the member
is appointed because of illness or disability or is absent from more
than one committee meeting per year.
(3) A member may give another member voting proxy upon
his or her absence.
(j) Staff. Staff support for the committee is provided
(k) Procedures. The committee shall adopt bylaws to
outline meeting and operating procedures.
(l) Statement by members.
(1) HHSC, DSHS, and the committee are not bound in
any way by any statement, recommendation, or action on the part of
any committee member, except when a statement or action is in pursuit
of specific instructions from HHSC, DSHS, or the committee.
(2) The committee and its members may not participate
in legislative activity in the name of the committee. Committee members
are not prohibited from representing themselves or other entities
in the legislative process.
(3) A committee member may not accept or solicit any
benefit that might reasonably tend to influence the member in the
discharge of the member's official duties.
(4) A committee member may not disclose confidential
information acquired through his or her committee membership.
(5) A committee member may not knowingly solicit, accept,
or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the member's official
powers or duties in favor of another person.
(6) A committee member who has a personal or private
interest in a matter pending before the committee must publicly disclose
the fact in a committee meeting and may not vote or otherwise participate
in the matter. The phrase "personal or private interest" means the
committee member has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter but
does not include the committee member's engagement in a profession,
trade, or occupation when the member's interest is the same as all
others similarly engaged in the profession, trade, or occupation.
(m) Reimbursement for expenses. A member of the committee
is not entitled to compensation for serving on the committee but is
entitled to reimbursement for the member's travel expenses as provided
for in the General Appropriations Act.
(1) Reimbursement for a person serving on the committee
is paid from funds appropriated by DSHS.
(2) Reimbursement for other persons serving on the
committee shall be paid from funds appropriated to DSHS.