Abuse

An intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission by someone working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the operation. See the Texas Family Code, §261.401(a)(1) and DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, §§745.8553 and 745.8557.

Administrative Review  

An informal review meant to give certain individuals or operations the opportunity to dispute a specific Licensing decision or action.

Adverse Actions

A type of remedial action that Licensing may impose to address a deficiency. This action may require closure of an operation or the addition of permanent restrictions or conditions to a permit. The four types of adverse actions are - denial, adverse amendment, suspension, and revocation.

Application Process

The application process for licensed and registered operations involves a pre-application interview, inquiry meeting, or orientation; the submission of the application materials; public notice and hearing requirements for residential child-care operations; reviewing the application for compliance with minimum standards, rules and statutes; accepting the application as completed or returning it if incomplete; and the decision to issue or deny.  Listed homes are not required to attend a pre-application interview or orientation.

Background Checks

Searches of different databases that are conducted on an individual. There are three types of background checks: criminal history checks conducted by the Department of Public Safety for crimes committed in the State of Texas, criminal history checks conducted by the FBI for crimes committed anywhere in the U.S., and central registry checks conducted by DFPS. The central registry is a database of people who have been found by Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, or Licensing to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult. Background checks are conducted on child care providers, foster and adoptive parents (and their household members), and child-placing staff.  Background checks are also conducted on employees at licensed operations as well as at registered and listed family homes. Rules are in place to dictate which types of background checks are required of each person.  For more information about these requirements, see 40 Texas Administrative Code §§.745.615.

Branch Office

Office space used by a child-placing agency (CPA) separate from the main office or Texas headquarters for the CPA. A branch office is at a location other than the location for which the CPA is licensed/certified. A branch office operates under the license issued to the CPA and performs many of the same functions as the main office of the CPA.

Capacity

The maximum number of children that a permit holder may care for at one time.

Care Types

The type of care offered by a licensed center or general residential operation based on the months, days, and hours of operation, the ages of the children in care, or the services provided. Care types for Licensed Centers include Child Care Program, Before or After School Program, and School Age Program.  Care types for General Residential Operations include Child Care Services Only, Emergency Care Services Only, Multiple Services, or Residential Treatment Center. This information reflects the law that was in effect through August 31, 2011. 

Caregiver

A person whose duties include the supervision, guidance, and protection of a child or children.

Central Registry

A subset of data within the IMPACT system of people who have been found by CPS, APS, or CCL to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult. 

Child-Care Facility

An establishment subject to regulation by Licensing that provides assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility, for all or part of the 24-hour day, whether or not the establishment operates for profit or charges for its services. A child-care facility includes the people, administration, governing body, activities on or off the premises, operations, buildings, grounds, equipment, furnishings, and materials.

Child Care Licensing (CCL)

The division within DFPS that regulates child day care operations, residential child-care operations, other child-care activities, and the licensing of child-care administrators and child-placing agency administrators.

Child Care Licensing Law

Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code.

Child-Placing Agency (CPA)

A person, including an organization, other than the parents of a child who plans for the placement of or places a child in a child-care operation, foster home or adoptive home. A CPA is a licensed residential child-care operation that verifies and regulates its own foster homes and approves adoptive homes subject to DFPS minimum standard rules.

Child-Placing Agency Administrator

A person who supervises and exercises direct control over a child-placing agency and who is responsible for the operation’s program and personnel, regardless of whether he or she has an ownership interest in the operation or shares duties with anyone.

CLASS

Child Care Licensing Automation Support System. A case-management computer application used by DFPS licensing staff and is the system of record for many licensing activities, including non-abuse/neglect investigations.

Complete Application

A packet of materials submitted by an applicant that contains all of the documentation required to apply for a permit.

Corrective Action

A type of remedial action that Licensing may impose to help an operation improve compliance without requiring it to close. The two types of corrective actions include evaluation and probation. Corrective actions are not imposed on listed family homes.

CPA Adoptive Home

A person or persons approved by a CPA to adopt a child or children.

CPA Foster Family Home

A home verified by a child-placing agency to provide care for six or fewer children up to the age of 18 years.  The Child-Placing Agency issues verifications, inspects, and may investigate its homes to ensure compliance with minimum standards.  Also known as an agency foster family home.

CPA Foster Group Home

A home verified by a child-placing agency to provide care for seven to 12 children up to the age of 18 years.   The child-placing agency issues verifications, inspects, and may investigate its homes to ensure compliance with m minimum standards.   Also known as an agency foster group home.

Deficiency

Any failure to comply with a minimum standard rule, law, specific terms associated with a permit, or condition of a remedial action. Also referred to as a violation.

e-Application

An electronic version of the application for a permit to operate a child-care operation.

Enforcement Team Conferences

A conference held to thoroughly review the investigations and inspections of a child-placing agency and all of its agency homes to monitor and enforce compliance by the child-placing agency with rules and standards.  Enforcement Team Conferences also began for residential treatment centers starting in fiscal year 2011.

Evaluation

A type of corrective action in which a corrective action plan is imposed that may include conditions beyond the minimum standard rules and the basic permit requirements. During the evaluation period, inspections are conducted more frequently to assist the operation in meeting conditions, improving compliance, and assessing risk to children in care.

Exempt from Regulation

Certain facilities or programs can operate legally without receiving a permit from Licensing. A facility or program exempt from regulation is not required to comply with Licensing’s statutes and rules.

Follow-Up Inspection

Inspections that include evaluating individual standards, conditions, or restrictions, rather than evaluating an entire subchapter of minimum standards.

Foster Family Home (Independent)

A licensed operation that provides residential child-care for six or fewer children up to the age of 18 years. An independent foster family home is not affiliated with a CPA but is monitored and regulated directly by the DFPS Licensing Division. See CPA foster family home for a home verified (monitored and regulated) by a child-placing agency (CPA).

Foster Group Home (Independent)

A licensed operation that provides residential care for seven to 12 children up to the age of 18 years. An independent foster group home is not affiliated with a CPA but is monitored and regulated directly by the DFPS Licensing Division. See CPA foster group home for a home verified (monitored and regulated) by a child-placing agency (CPA).

General Residential Operation (GRO)

A residential child-care operation that provides child care for 13 or more children under age 18 and may provide various treatment services or programmatic services.  Residential Treatment Centers, a subset of general residential operations, provide care exclusively for children requiring treatment services for emotional disorders.

Illegal Operation

An operation that provides child care that is subject to regulation, but does not have a permit.

IMPACT

Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas, a case-management computer application used by DFPS staff.  IMPACT is the statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) for Texas.  IMPACT is the system of record for all DFPS abuse/neglect investigations.  

Inspection

The physical presence of licensing staff at an operation to determine an operation’s compliance with the child-care licensing law and DFPS rules. Inspection Types: Monitoring, Investigation, Follow-up, Other, and Sampling. See specific definitions in this section.

Investigation

An action conducted by licensing staff when a report is received alleging a violation of the minimum standards/law or abuse/neglect.  An investigation is conducted to determine the validity of the allegations and to ensure the protection of children in care.

Investigation Inspection

Inspections that include the investigation of reports alleging abuse, neglect, violation of the law, violations of administrative rule, minimum standard rules, or a combination of these

Issuance

The Licensing division issues a permit to an operation after it determines that an operation or home has met minimum standards and is approved to operate as a child-care operation.

Maternity Home

A licensed operation that provides care for four or more minor and/or adult women and their children during pregnancy and/or during the six-week postpartum period.  Senate Bill 1178 (82nd Legislature) made changes to the statutes to delete references to and definitions of maternity homes as a facility licensed and regulated by the Department of Family and Protective Services.  This was effective 9/1/2012.

Minimum Standard Rules

 The rules from Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code which serve as the minimum requirements that a permit holder must meet to maintain their permit and which are enforced by DFPS to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children. These include all rules in 40 TAC Chapters 743, 744, 746, 747, 748, 749, and 750.

Monetary Actions

A type of remedial action. These actions are fines or penalties that Licensing may impose as provided by the Human Resources Code, §42.075 and §42.078. There are two types of monetary actions - administrative penalties and civil penalties.

Monitoring Frequency

The interval between routine inspections at a child-care operation.  The Licensing division determines how frequently to inspect an operation based on risk assessment factors focused on the health, safety, and well-being of children in care.

Monitoring Inspection

Inspections that include evaluation of at least one entire subchapter of the applicable minimum standards and may include evaluation of additional individual laws, administrative rules, or minimum standard rules, or any conditions or restrictions.

Neglect

Neglect is an act or omission that constitutes a breach of a duty by a person working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child. See the Texas Family Code §261.401, DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, §§745.8553, 745.8555, and 745.8559.

Operation

A person or entity offering a program that may be subject to regulation by Child Care Licensing. An operation includes the building and grounds where the program is offered, any person involved in providing the program, and any equipment used in providing the program. The term “operation” is used to refer to any entity providing child care and is usually accompanied by a qualifier to describe the type of care being referenced (for example, “illegal operation” or “daycare operation”).

Other Inspection

Inspections conducted for purposes other than determining compliance with pre-identified minimum standards.

Permit

A license, certificate, registration, listing or any other written authorization granted by Licensing to operate a child-care facility, child-placing agency, general residential operation, listed family home, registered home or maternity home. This also includes a Licensed Administrator’s permit.

Probation

A type of corrective action in which Licensing imposes a corrective action plan that is more restrictive and intense than an evaluation corrective action plan. It may include conditions beyond the requirements of the minimum standards and the basic permit requirements.  During the probationary period, inspections are conducted more frequently to assist the operation in meeting conditions, improving compliance, and assessing risk to children in care.

Provider

A person or entity associated with an operation. This term generally implies a degree of responsibility for the operation, and refers to applicants, operations that are subject to regulation, or permit holders.

Remedial Actions

An action Licensing may impose if an operation is deficient in a minimum standard, rule, law, a specific term associated with the operation’s permit, or a condition of evaluation, probation, or suspension. There are four types of remedial actions: corrective, adverse, judicial, and monetary.

Report

An expression of dissatisfaction or concern about an operation, made known to DFPS staff, that alleges a possible violation of minimum standards, rules, law, or abuse/neglect, and that involves potential risk to a child or children in care.

Reporter

The person who reports to DFPS an expression of dissatisfaction or concern that alleges a possible violation of minimum standards, rules, law, or abuse/neglect, and that involves potential risk to a child or children in care.

Residential Child-Care

(24-Hour Residential Child-Care) The care, custody, supervision, assessment, training, education, or treatment of an unrelated child or children up to the age of 18 years for 24 hours a day, that occurs in a place other than the child’s own home. See DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, §745.35.

Residential Treatment Center (RTC)

A general residential operation that exclusively provides care and treatment services for emotional disorders for 13 or more children up to the age of 18 years.

Sampling Inspection

Licensing inspects a percentage of agency foster homes annually to determine compliance with applicable law, rules, and minimum standards, and to ensure that the child-placing agency is appropriately managing the foster home. The homes inspected are selected through a random sampling process, and the inspections are called “sampling” inspections.

Self-Report

An account from an operation of a serious incident that occurred at the operation. All regulated operations are required to make reports to Licensing about certain types of incidents that could pose a risk to children in care.

SOAH

The State Office of Administrative Hearings is the state agency that conducts administrative hearings to satisfy a child-care provider’s rights to due process regarding either a substantiated finding of abuse/neglect or a remedial action.

Suspension

A temporary closure of an operation that may be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary suspensions are usually at the request of an operation, and licensing staff must inspect the operation prior to reopening to ensure compliance with standards. Involuntary, or emergency, suspension is imposed by Licensing for a maximum of 30 days based on serious and immediate risk of harm to children. 

Team Inspections

Inspections that are conducted by at least two licensing staff. At least one of the unannounced annual inspections of a 24-hour residential child-care facility must be conducted by a team of at least two CCL monitoring staff.  Other operation types may also have team inspections. Whenever possible, members of the inspection team are from different CCL units, to facilitate objectivity, and consistency in regulation.

Technical Assistance

Training, information, and consultation that licensing staff offer to a permit holder, applicant, and operation employees to help them comply with the minimum standard rules and applicable law.

Temporary Shelter Care Providing Child Care

A child-care program at a temporary shelter, such as a family violence or homeless shelter, providing care for seven or more children under age 14 while the resident parent is away from the shelter. The child care program operates for at least four hours a day three days a week.  Temporary Shelter Care Providing Child Care Programs are issued a Certificate of Compliance.