The following words and terms, when used in this section, §351.503,
and §351.505, have the following meanings, unless the context
clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Abuse--any intentional, knowing, or reckless act
or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working
under the auspices of a facility that causes or may cause emotional
harm or physical injury, whether substantial or not, to or the death
of a child the facility serves. Abuse includes both physical and sexual
(2) Allegation--a report by a person who believes or
has knowledge that a child has been or may be abused, neglected, or
exploited in a facility.
(3) Child--a 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.
(4) Emotional harm--an injury to a child as evidenced
by an observable physical, mental, or emotional impairment in the
child's psychological growth, development, or functioning.
(5) Exploitation--the illegal or improper use of a
child or of the resources of a child served by a facility for monetary
or personal benefit, profit, or gain by an employee, volunteer, or
other individual working under the auspices of a facility.
(6) Facility--an entity licensed, operated, certified,
or registered by a state agency that provides care and services to
a child, the Texas School for the Deaf, and the Texas School for the
Blind and Visually Impaired.
(7) "Persons who work under the auspices of a facility"
(A) an employee or volunteer of the facility;
(B) a person under contract with the facility;
(C) a director, owner, operator, or administrator of
(D) anyone who has responsibility for a child in a
(E) anyone who has unsupervised access to a child in
a facility's care;
(F) anyone who regularly or routinely lives at the
(G) any other person permitted by act or omission to
have access to a child in the facility's care; and
(H) a university or college student working at the
facility, including student teachers and interns.
(8) Intentional, knowing, or reckless--an act or omission
is intentional, knowing, or reckless if the person committing it:
(A) deliberately causes or may cause physical injury
or emotional harm, whether substantial or not, to the child;
(B) knows or should know that physical injury or emotional
harm, whether substantial or not, to the child is a likely result
of the act or omission; or
(C) consciously disregards an unjustifiable risk of
physical injury or emotional harm, whether substantial or not, to
(9) Neglect--a negligent act or omission by an employee,
volunteer, or other person working under the auspices of a facility,
including failure to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan
of care, or individualized service plan, that causes or may cause
substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to, or the
death of, a child served by the facility.
(10) Omission--a failure to act.
(11) Physical injury--any bodily harm, including, but
not limited to, scrapes, cuts, welts, and bruises.
(12) Professional--an individual who is licensed or
certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed,
certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course
of official duties or duties for which a license or certification
is required, has direct contact with children.
(13) Preponderance of evidence--the greater weight
of the evidence, evidence that, though not sufficient to free the
mind wholly from all reasonable doubt, is still sufficient to incline
a fair and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than the
(14) Report--a report that alleged or suspected abuse,
neglect, or exploitation of a child has occurred or may occur.
(15) Reporter--a person filing a report of alleged
abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The "Reporter" may be the victim
of the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation, a third party filing
a report on behalf of the alleged victim, or both.
(16) Sexual abuse--
(A) conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional,
or physical welfare;
(B) conduct that constitutes the offense of indecency
with a child under §21.11 of the Penal Code, sexual assault under §22.011
of the Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under §22.021
of the Penal Code;
(C) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent
sexual conduct harmful to a child;
(D) compelling or encouraging the child to engage in
sexual conduct, as defined in §43.01 of the Penal Code;
(E) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in,
or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child,
if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph,
film, or depiction of the child is obscene, as defined in §43.21
of the Penal Code, or pornographic;
(F) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in,
or allowing a sexual performance by a child, as defined in §43.25
of the Penal Code.
(17) State agency--an agency under the umbrella of
HHSC that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers a facility in
which a child is located; the Texas School for the Blind and Visually
Impaired; and the Texas School for the Deaf.
(18) Substantial emotional harm--an observable physical,
mental, or emotional impairment in a child's psychological growth,
development, or functioning that is significant enough to require
treatment by a medical or mental health professional.
(19) Substantial physical injury--bodily harm or damage
to a child for which a prudent person would conclude that the injury
required professional medical attention. These injuries include, but
are not limited to, dislocated, fractured, or broken bones; brain
damage; subdural hematoma; internal injuries; lacerations requiring
stitches; second and third degree burns; poisoning; and concussions.
(20) Substantial risk--a real and significant possibility