Previous Page

Definitions of Terms

APS February 2021

The definitions below serve as a glossary for this handbook.

Adult with a Disability

APS Definition February 2021

A person age 18 or older, or an emancipated minor, with a physical, mental, or developmental disability that substantially impairs the person’s ability to adequately provide for his or her own care or protection.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (2)

Allegation

APS Definition February 2021

An assertion that an alleged victim is in a state of or at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (4)

Allegation Priority

APS Definition February 2021

Priority assigned by the Statewide Intake Specialist that defines the timeframe for conducting an initial face-to-face interview with the alleged victim. This timeframe is determined based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged threat to the life or physical safety of the alleged victim.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.501 (a 1-4)

Alleged Perpetrator

APS Definition February 2021

A person who is reported to be responsible for the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an alleged victim.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (5)

Alleged Victim

APS Definition February 2021

An adult with a disability or age 65 or older who has been reported to APS to be in a state of or at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (6)

Alleged Victim/Perpetrator

APS Definition February 2021

An adult with a disability or age 65 or older who has been reported to APS to be in a state of or at risk of self-neglect.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (37)

Assisted Living Facility

APS Definition February 2021

An establishment that furnishes food and shelter to four or more people who are unrelated to the proprietor of the establishment.

Health and Safety Code Chapter 247.002

Attorney Ad Litem

APS Definition February 2021

An attorney who provides legal services to a person, including a child, and who owes to the person the duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation.

Family Code 107.001 (2)

Caretaker

APS Definition February 2021

A caretaker is any of the following:

  • A guardian, representative payee, or other person who by act, words, or course of conduct has acted so as to cause a reasonable person to conclude that he or she has accepted the responsibility for protection, food, shelter, or care for an alleged victim.
  • An employee of a HCSSA providing non-Medicaid services to an alleged victim.
  • A person, including a family member, privately hired who receives monetary compensation to provide personal care services.

Client

APS Definition February 2021

An alleged victim or alleged victim/perpetrator who has been determined by a validated finding to be in need of protective services.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (37)

Collateral

APS Definition February 2021

An individual, other than a principal, who has knowledge about the alleged victim’s situation and serves to support or refute information or evidence collected.

Consultation

APS Definition February 2021

A discussion between two or more APS staff members including, but not limited to, any of the following: APS specialists, supervisors, subject matter experts (SME), program administrators, district directors, and regional attorneys as applicable, about case-related actions.

Contact Standard

APS Definition February 2021

The number of required contacts between the APS and the alleged victim or a credible collateral every calendar month the case is open except the month of the initial face-to-face contact. These contacts are known as safety contacts (investigation stage) and service contacts (service stage).

Corporal Punishment

APS Definition February 2021

The deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.

Designated Perpetrator

APS Definition February 2021

An alleged perpetrator who has been determined in a validated finding to have abused, neglected, or financially exploited a client.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (13)

Designated Victim

APS Definition February 2021

An alleged victim with a valid abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation finding.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (14)

Designated Victim/Perpetrator

APS Definition February 2021

An alleged victim/perpetrator with a validated self-neglect finding.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (15)

Duplicate Referral

APS Definition February 2021

A second intake that is identical to the first and relates to the same event or incident or to an ongoing situation that is being addressed in an open case or has been resolved in a closed case. The second intake must include the same allegation or incident, alleged victim, and alleged perpetrator. The first and second intake do not have to be reported by the same person to be considered a duplicate referral.

Emancipated Minor

APS Definition February 2021

A person younger than 18 who has the power and capacity of an adult. This includes a minor who has had the disabilities of minority removed by a court or a minor who, with or without parental consent, has been married. Marriage includes common-law marriage.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (17)

Emergency Order for Protective Services (EOPS)

APS Definition February 2021

An order granted by a court authorizing APS to provide emergency protective services to a client who is experiencing a threat to life or safety.

Emotional Harm

APS Definition February 2021

A highly unpleasant mental reaction with observable signs of distress, such as anguish, grief, fright, humiliation, or fury.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (19)

Family Violence

APS Definition February 2021

An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. This definition does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.

Texas Family Code §71.004(1)

Guardianship

APS Definition February 2021

A court may appoint a guardian with either full or limited authority over an incapacitated person as indicated by the incapacitated person’s actual mental or physical limitations and only as necessary to promote and protect the well-being of the incapacitated person.

Estate Code 1001.001

Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)

APS Definition February 2021

An agency comprised of hundreds of programs and services to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Texas residents. Programs include but are not limited to:

  • Home and Community-based Services
  • Primary Health Care Services
  • Long-term Care Regulatory Services
  • Office of Guardianship Services (OGS)

High-Profile Case

APS Definition February 2021

A case that is sensitive or involves individuals or situations that require additional safeguards to protect confidentially (such as cases involving HHSC OGS staff, DFPS staff or family members, elected officials, or the media).

Incapacitated Person

APS Definition February 2021

A person who is a minor or an adult who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for him or herself; care for the person’s own physical health; or manage the person’s own financial affairs.

Estate Code Chapter 22.016

Interpreter Services

APS Definition February 2021

Services offered to principals in an APS case who need communication assistance because of:

  • Limited English proficiency (LEP) or a preferred language for communication that is not English.
  • Impaired sensory ability.
  • Impaired speaking ability.

Intimidation

APS Definition February 2021

Behavior by actions or words that creates fear of physical harm, death, or abandonment.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (26).

Least-Restrictive Alternative

APS Definition February 2021

The minimum action taken on behalf of an individual to alleviate abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation while limiting infringement on his or her rights as much as possible. This may include treatment, placement, and other interventions.

Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) 1915(c) Waivers

APS Definition February 2021

Allow states to provide home and community-based services as an alternative for people who meet eligibility criteria for care in an institution. These waivers include Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD), Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP), and Youth Empowerment Services (YES).

Minor

APS Definition February 2021

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.

Texas Family Code Chapter 101.003

Negligence

APS Definition February 2021

The failure to exercise the care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same circumstances.

Nursing Home

APS Definition February 2021

An institution that provides organized and structured nursing care and service and is subject to licensure.

Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 242

Office of Inspector General (OIG)

APS Definition February 2021

A program responsible for investigating fraud, waste, and abuse in publicly funded, state-run HHSC programs.

Physical Harm

APS Definition February 2021

Physical pain, injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (28)

Primary Specialist

APS Definition February 2021

An APS specialist responsible for performing all case-related tasks for an assigned case, including case closure.

Principal

APS Definition February 2021

An alleged victim or an alleged perpetrator in an APS investigation.

Protective Services

APS Definition February 2021

Services provided by DFPS or another protective services agency to an APS client, designated victim or designated victim/perpetrator or to that person’s relative or caretaker if DFPS determines the services are necessary to prevent the client from being in or returning to a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (29)

Purchased Client Services

APS Definition February 2021

A type of protective service including, but not limited to, emergency shelter, medical and psychiatric assessments, in-home care, medication, and other supplies.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (29)

Rapid Closure

APS Definition February 2021

A case closed without a full investigation.

Reasonable Person

APS Definition February 2021

A hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct.

Recidivistic Case

APS Definition February 2021

A case in which the alleged victim has been listed as a victim in two or more previous APS cases within the previous five years.

Representative Payee

APS Definition February 2021

A person or an organization responsible for managing the finances of an individual who is unable to manage or direct the management of his or her benefits.

Root Cause

APS Definition February 2021

An initiating cause of either a condition or chain of events that leads to an outcome or effect. An underlying or fundamental reason for any failure of safety observance, accident, or issues including those related to health, environment, quality, reliability, or production. Identifying root cause is essential for APS to address an existing problem or to prevent a problem from happening in the future.

Safety Contact

APS Definition February 2021

Required contact every calendar month during the investigation stage, except the month of the initial face-to-face contact, to monitor the alleged victim’s safety. See 9510 Safety Contacts.

Secondary Specialist

APS Definition February 2021

An APS specialist who assists the primary specialist in performing any case-related tasks (such as conducting interviews or reviewing records) except case reassignment or closure.

Service Contact

APS Definition February 2021

Required contact every calendar month during the service stage of a case to monitor the status of client and the service plan. See 9520 Service Contacts.

Statewide Intake (SWI)

APS Definition February 2021

A program within DFPS that takes reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and routes them to the right program for investigation.

Substantially Impairs

APS Definition February 2021

When a disability grossly and chronically diminishes an adult’s physical or mental ability to live independently or provide self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.

Sustained Perpetrator

APS Definition February 2021

A designated perpetrator whose validated finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a designated victim has been sustained by an administrative law judge in a due process hearing, including a release hearing or Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR) hearing, or a designated perpetrator who has waived the right to a hearing.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (37)

Undue Influence

APS Definition February 2021

The improper use of power or trust in a way that deprives a person of free will and substitutes another’s objective.

Unreasonable Confinement

APS Definition February 2021

  • An act that results in a forced isolation from the people with whom one would normally associate, including:
    • Friends
    • Family
    • Neighbors
    • Professionals
  • An inappropriate restriction of movement.
  • The use of any inappropriate restraint.

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.101 (38)

Ward

APS Definition February 2021

A person for whom a guardian has been appointed by a court.

Estates Code §22.033

 

Previous Page