2017

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Appendix I: Residential Child-Care Contract Glossary

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide October

Age or Developmentally-Appropriate: Activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally-appropriate for a child, based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group; and in the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child.

Aging-Out Seminars: Seminars that focus on transitioning foster children residing in DFPS licensed or verified foster care age 17 by offering an opportunity to enhance a youth’s knowledge about the DFPS-Transitional Living Services (TLS) programs, benefits, resources and other relevant life skills topics. 

Appropriate Clothing: Clothing that, at a minimum, is:

  •  in sufficient quantity such that there are an adequate number of the following: T-shirts, undershirts, underwear, bras, socks, shoes, pants, shirts, skirts, blouses, coats/jackets, sweaters, pajamas, shorts and other clothing necessary for a child to partake in daily activities;

  •  gender and age-appropriate;

  •  proportionate to the child’s size;

  •  in good condition, and is not worn-out with holes or tears (not intended by the manufacturer to be part of the item of clothing);

  •  clean and washed on a regular basis;

  •  comfortably fitting;

  •  is similar to clothing worn by other children in their community; and

  •  adequate to protect the child against natural elements, such as rain, snow, wind, cold, sun and insects.

Authorized User: An employee approved by the provider and identified to DFPS who has been granted access to view information in the health passport.

Background History Checks: Searches of different databases that are conducted on an individual. There are three types of background history checks: criminal background checks conducted by the Department of Public Safety for crimes committed in the state, criminal history checks conducted by the FBI for crimes committed anywhere in the U.S., and central registry checks conducted by DFPS. The Texas Abuse/Neglect database includes people who have been found by Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, or Child Care Licensing to have abused or neglected a child.

Basic Life Skills Activities: The child must be engaged in learning new skills, attitudes, and ways of thinking through hands-on learning opportunities that are necessary for the child to care for himself or herself and to function in the community. Life-skills trainings are tailored to a child’s skills and abilities and must include at a minimum, performing basic household tasks, maintaining personal hygiene, doing laundry, training in practical activities that include grocery shopping, meal preparation and cooking, nutrition education that promotes healthy food choices, using public transportation (when appropriate), balancing a checkbook, and managing personal finances in accordance with the Financial Literacy Educational Program Expectations. Caregivers must assist youth and young adults who have a source of income with establishing a savings account, if appropriate. See the Resources to Aid Caregivers in Providing Experiential Life Skills Training to Foster Youth page on the DFPS website.

Behavioral Health Services: Services for the treatment of mental, emotional, or substance related disorders.

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

Case Manager: A provider’s employee who may provide services, including but not limited to:

  •  placing a child into a foster home or other substitute living arrangement;

  •  orientating, assessing, and verifying foster parents; and

  •  monitoring and providing support services to foster parents, including the initiation of development plans, corrective actions, or adverse actions.

  •  managing the case of a child, including:

  •  completing admission assessments or any other evaluation of a child for placement;

  •  developing, reviewing, and updating of service plans;

  •  completing a discharge or transfer summary;

  •  developing and updating of service plans;

  •  stewarding direct contact with the child and the foster parents or other caregivers; and

  •  performing any additional activities that may consist of planning and coordination of services to the child and the foster family based on current needs and functioning;

Case Management Services: Any service referenced in the case manager definition or in services referenced in the 40 TAC §§749.663 or 748.561.

Caseworker: A DFPS employee who provides casework services to children in substitute care under the conservatorship of the state. When the contract requires approval from or notification of the caseworker but is unable to contact him or her, the provider may go through the caseworker’s chain of command.

Casey Life Skills Assessment: An assessment of a child’s independent living skills designed to be completed by both the child and the caregiver. The child and caregiver results are combined into a report which provides an indication of the skill level and readiness of the child to live independently and creates the opportunity for the caregiver and child to talk about the child’s life skills.

Chain of Command: The administrative structure used in the event the provider is unable to communicate with the caseworker. The typical DFPS chain of command is as follows: caseworker, supervisor, program director, program administrator, and regional director. The DFPS chain of command is identified by the region in which the caseworker is housed.

Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment: CANS is an evidence-based, trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate assessment tool that helps decision-making, drives service planning, facilitates quality improvement, and allows for outcomes monitoring. DFPS will use the CANS to gather information about the strengths and needs of the child to plan for services that will help the child and family reach their goals.

      The Texas version of CANS was developed for children in DFPS conservatorship.

Child and Children: A person or persons eligible for services under contract with DFPS, aged from birth through the end of the month in which the child turns 22 years of age.

Child-Care Services: Services that meet a child’s basic need for shelter, nutrition, clothing, nurture, socialization and interpersonal skills, care for personal health and hygiene, supervision, education, and service planning.

Child Placement Vacancy Database: The DFPS internet website used by providers to report, or confirm, the number of available openings, including applicable characteristics, and used by DFPS to assist in finding placements. On the Child-Care Provider Login page of the DFPS website, select Update Provider Vacancies.

Child’s Plan of Service: A plan developed by DFPS that addresses the services that will be provided to each foster child to meet the child’s specific needs while in substitute care.

Connections: Relationships the child has with extended family members, previous foster families, schools, communities, tribes or tribal customs, religions or religious observances, and other social networks.

Contract Period: Time period from the beginning date through the ending date specified in the term of the original contract, including contract renewals or Contract extensions.

Contracted Components of Care: Services documented in the child’s plan of service that are within the scope of the provider’s license. The services are provided directly or procured on behalf of the child. Components of care include, but are not limited to, the provision of routine 24-hour child-care, behavior counseling and supervision, educational and vocational activities, routine recreational activities, medical and dental care, travel, and activities that may require the provider’s participation.

Corrective Action Plan: Specific corrective actions required of the provider by DFPS in order to maintain compliance with service levels, applicable federal or state regulations, and the terms and conditions of the provider’s contract with DFPS. 

Covered Behavioral Health Services: Medicaid-allowable behavioral health services eligible to be paid in response to claims processed through the child’s Medicaid health plan.

CPS Transition Plan: A plan to address the issues that are important for the child age 16 and older as he or she prepares to leave care and enter the adult world. The plan helps the child, providers, and CPS caseworkers identify what services are needed to accomplish goals. The transition plan is incorporated into the child’s plan of service.

Cultural Competence: The ability of individuals and systems to provide services effectively to people of various cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions in a manner that recognizes, values, affirms, and respects the worth of the individuals and protects and preserves their dignity.

Designated Victim: A child determined as such by an investigation resulting in a disposition of Reason to Believe (RTB) and entered in the data system. A designated victim will be counted when the disposition is made or, if an administrative review is requested, only after the disposition is upheld by the decision of the administrative review body. In the Licensing Policy and Procedure Handbook, see:

6610 Time Frames for Completion of the Investigation

7710 Administrative Reviews

Direct Service Delivery: Service providers who have direct access to providing services, supervision or delivery of treatment.

Discharge Notice: Notice provided to DFPS by a provider using Form 2109 Residential Child Care Discharge Notice, upon determining that it is no longer in the child’s best interest to remain at the provider’s Facility, or that the provider cannot meet the needs of the child. The form includes the reason for the child’s discharge and the provider’s recommendation regarding a future placement for the child that would increase the child’s opportunity to attain a stable placement.

Discharging Contractor: The individual or legal entity designated by and contracting with DFPS that provided residential child care to or was responsible for the care of a child prior to the child’s placement with the receiving contractor.

Discipline: A form of guidance that is constructive or educational in nature and appropriate to the child’s age, development, situation, and severity of behavior.

DFPS Child Care Licensing Public and Provider Website: The Child Care Provider Login page on the DFPS website. 

Education Decision-Maker: The individual designated by DFPS, or the court, to make education decisions for a child in DFPS conservatorship.

Education Plan: Identifies educational and ancillary services to meet the child’s educational goals.

Educational Supports, Services and Benefits: State and federal regulations regarding children in DFPS substitute care that enable them to access services, such as counseling, college preparation services, mentoring and tutoring, driver’s education, graduation items, college tuition and fee waiver information and verification letters, and the Education and Training Voucher Program.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program: A federally-funded (Chafee) and state-administered program. Under this program, Children ages 16 up to 23 years of age may be eligible for up to $5,000.00 financial assistance per year to help them reach their post-secondary educational goals. Information about this program is available on the Texas Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program page of the Baptist Child & Family Services (BCFS) website.

Education Portfolio: A binder that contains important school documents and is designed to follow each school-age child to each placement. The binder is maintained and updated by the provider.

Emergency Behavior Intervention: An intervention used in an emergency situation, including personal restraint, mechanical restraint, emergency medication, and seclusion.

Extended Foster Care: A program for children 18 to 22 years old who are eligible, and have signed an agreement to participate in this program. A child who turns 18 years of age while in the conservatorship of DFPS is eligible for extended foster care services through the end of the month in which the child reaches the age limit. Sufficient documentation must be provided regularly, as required by the terms of the child’s extended foster care agreement, to demonstrate that the child is:

  •  regularly attending high school or enrolled in a program leading toward a high school diploma or GED up to the child’s 22nd birthday;

  •  regularly attending an institution of higher education or a post-secondary vocational or technical program up to the child’s 21st birthday. The child can remain in care to complete vocational-technical training classes regardless of whether the child has received a high school diploma or GED certificate (40 TAC §700.316);

  •  actively participating in a program or activity that promotes, or removes barriers to employment up to the child’s 21st birthday;

  •  employed for at least 80 hours per month up to the child’s 21st birthday; or

  •  incapable of doing any of the above due to a documented medical condition up to the child’s 21st birthday (40 TAC §700.316).

Face-to-Face: A meeting held in person as opposed to videoconferencing or any other similar form of technology.

Facility: Any residential child-care operation including child-placing agencies and general residential operations.

Family Member(s):  A person who is a relative or fictive kin of the child in conservatorship.

Fictive Kin: A person who has a significant, long-standing relationship with a child in DFPS conservatorship or with the child’s family.

Financial Literacy Education Program: Education, training and support that includes:

  •  obtaining and interpreting a credit score;

  •  protecting, repairing, and improving a credit score;

  •  avoiding predatory lending practices;

  •  saving money and accomplishing financial goals through prudent financial management practices;

  •  using basic banking and accounting skills, including balancing a checkbook;

  •  using debit and credit cards responsibly;

  •  understanding a paycheck and items withheld from a paycheck; and

  •  protecting financial credit and identifying information in personal and professional relationships.

Former Foster Care Children (FFCC) Program: A healthcare program administered by HHSC that provides continuous healthcare coverage for children formerly in the conservatorship of DFPS at age 18, up to age 26. These children receive healthcare coverage through either STAR Health or through the STAR plan of their choice.

Foster Home Screening: A written evaluation, prior to the placement of a child in a foster home, of:

  •  the prospective foster parent(s);

  •  family of the prospective foster parent(s);

  •  environment of the foster parent(s) and their family in relation to their ability to meet the child’s needs; and

  •  the foster home screening.

The foster home screening must document:

  •  required information (see TAC §749.2447)

  •  an assessment of the information obtained to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements for verification; and

  •  an evaluation of the information obtained in order to make recommendations about the applicant’s capacity to work with children, including but not limited to age, gender, special needs, and number of children (TAC §749.2445).

Foster Care Maintenance Payments: Payments to cover the cost of (and the cost of providing) food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child’s personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to a child, and reasonable travel to the child’s home for visitation.

      In the case of institutional care, this includes the reasonable costs of administration and operations the institution. 

      If payments are being made on behalf of a child in care, and that child gives birth to or fathers a child who also enters into care at the same facility, the foster care maintenance payment will extend to cover both the parent and the new child.

Foster Parent: A person receiving foster care maintenance payments from a CPA.  This term does not apply to provider staff from other programs and intermittent alternate care providers. This term is specific to child-placing agency programs.

Grooming Products: Items or products provided to the child to meet his or her personal and ethnic needs, including, but not limited to: haircuts, hair care products, hair care accessories, sensitive skin products, hypoallergenic products, and necessary headdress, where applicable. 

Head Start: A national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. Caregivers may find local Head Start programs using the Head Start Locator.

Health Passport: An electronic health information system for the medical information of children in the care or custody of DFPS.

Healthy Racial and Ethnic Identity: A healthy sense of racial and ethnic identity is exemplified by an individual who:

  •  identifies as a member of a particular racial or ethnic group or groups; 

  •  has generally positive attitudes about being a member of that group, but also has a balanced view of the strengths and challenges associated with it;

  •  affiliates with members of his or her own group but is also generally accepting of people from other groups; and

  •  is able to cope successfully with perceived or real racism and discrimination and has possibly shown some effective strategies for dealing with it.

Historically Underutilized Business (HUB): A minority-owned business, or women-owned business, or business owned by a disabled veteran as defined by Texas Government Code, Chapter 2161.

Individual Cultural Competence: The knowledge, skill or attribute a person has relative to cultures other than his or her own, that is observable in the consistent patterns of the person’s behavior, interaction and work related activities over time, which contributes to the ability to effectively meet the needs of children and families receiving services. 

Individual Education Plan (IEP): A written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised according to the requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Initial Authorized Service Level: The first service level (basic, moderate, specialized, or intense) determined by the third-party contractor and based on information regarding the child’s service needs.

Interdisciplinary Team: A team of professionals that includes representation from at least three disciplines of study.

Intermittent Alternate Care: A planned alternative 24-hour care provided for a child by a licensed child-placing agency as part of the agency or home’s regulated child care and that lasts more than 72 consecutive hours.

Intermittent Interventions: Services provided by a licensed, credentialed, health specialist providing assistance to patients by physician orders for a pre-determined amount of time.

Kinship (Relative) Caregivers: Unlicensed caregivers whom the court has approved for a child’s placement because they are related to the child or have a fictive kin relationship to the child.

Management Services: Peripheral services that do not include core programmatic components but include support of these services, which includes, but is not limited to the provision of:

  •  quality assurance;

  •  performance improvement;

  •  oversight;

  •  monitoring;

  •  service-related policy and procedure development and enhancement;

  •  development of corrective action plans;

  •  performance evaluation; and

  •  disaster emergency response plan development.

Managing Conservator: A person responsible for a child as the result of a district court order pursuant to the Texas Family Code Chapter 153.

Medical Care: The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions.

Medical Consenter: A person who has been given legal authority by DFPS or the court to make health care decisions for a child in the custody of DFPS.

Medical/Healthcare Items: Medically necessary equipment, medical and surgical items, and personal devices or items prescribed or purchased for a child to augment or enhance communication or speech functioning, vision, dental function or physical or medical functioning.

Minimum Standards: DFPS rules that are the minimum requirements for permit holders and that are enforced by DFPS to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children.  DFPS provides online publications that contain the minimum standards and guidelines for compliance for each type of operation.

Monitoring: A systematic examination of the physical site, financial statements, records and procedures of a provider. It involves many of the techniques and procedures used in auditing, but differs both in scope and purpose. Functioning properly, the monitoring process serves as an early warning system, detecting potential problem areas before they become severe and providing plans for corrective action.

National Youth in Transition Database: The data collection system developed by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to track the independent living services provided to Children and to develop outcomes that measure the States’ performance in preparing Children for their transition from foster care to independent living.  More information is available on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) in Texas page of the DFPS website.

National Youth in Transition Database Survey: The survey developed to collect data for the National Youth in Transition Database. Children complete the National Youth in Transition Database Survey on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) in Texas page of the DFPS website. The provider must ensure that the child has access to a computer that has access to the internet.

Network Provider: A healthcare or behavioral healthcare provider enrolled and participating in the STAR Health network.

Non-Public School: A school that is not a public school but is accredited by the TEA for the purposes of contracting and providing special education classes. 

Normalcy: The ability of a child in care to live as normal a life as possible, including having normal interactions and experiences with a foster family and participating in foster family activities; and engaging in age and developmentally appropriate childhood activities, including unsupervised, as much as possible. Activities include but are not limited to extracurricular activities, social activities in and out of school, and employment opportunities. See the Resources to Aid Caregivers in Providing Experiential Life Skills Training and Normalcy Activities to Foster Youth page on the DFPS website.

Office Visit: Participation in a child’s medical or behavioral health appointment(s) in person or by telemedicine in accordance with HHSC TAC 1, Chapter 354 and Texas Medical Board TAC 22, Chapter 174.

Organizational Cultural Competence: A set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices within a system, organization, program or among individuals, which enables staff and volunteers to work effectively with children and families from other cultures. Furthermore, it refers to the staff’s ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services.

Performance Management Evaluation Tool (PMET): An Internet-based data collection and reporting system for DFPS providers to self-report performance measure data.

Permanency Goal: DFPS’s permanency goals are subcategories of the four goals identified by the Texas Family Code §263.3026. The categories are as follows:

  •  family reunification;

  •  adoption by a relative or suitable individual (relative/kinship adoption or unrelated adoption);

  •  permanent managing conservatorship to a relative or suitable individual (relative/kinship conservatorship or unrelated conservatorship);

  •  another planned permanent living arrangement (that is, while the child is under DFPS conservatorship he or she lives with a foster family , lives with a family that is not a foster family – or the child leaves DFPS conservatorship for independent living or community care).

Permanency Planning: The identification of services for a child (and usually to the child’s family), the specification of the steps to be taken and the time frames for taking those steps so as to achieve the following goals:

  •  a safe and permanent living situation for the child;

  •  a committed family for the child;

  •  an enduring and nurturing family relationship that can meet the child’s needs;

  •  a sense of security for the child;

  •  a legal status for the child that protects the rights of the child; and

  •  in the case of a child whose permanency goal is another planned, permanent living arrangement, a connection to a caring adult who will be supportive into adulthood during and after the transition to successful adulthood. See:

40 TAC §700.1201

In the Child Protective Services Handbook see 6200 Permanency Planning in Substitute Care

Personal Contact: A meeting, either face-to-face or by telecommunication, during which the parties’ discussion and actions are not directed.

Personal Documents: Identification documents provided to the child.

      At 16 years of age, the CPS caseworker provides a child with a copy and certified copy or original of his or her birth certificate, social security card, and Texas identification card.

      At 18 years of age, if not already provided, the caseworker provides a child with a certified copy of their birth certificate, social security card, Texas identification card, immunization records, information contained in his or her health passport, proof of enrollment in Medicaid, and information about a Medical Power of Attorney.

      These documents are required to be provided per the Texas Family Code §264.121 and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).

Personal Items: All objects and other materials in possession of the child upon admission, given as a gift, prescribed for the child, purchased by or for the child, or purchased using the child’s Medicaid or other benefits, which include, but are not limited to, medication, medical and healthcare items, luggage, toys, money, gift cards, allowances, televisions, radios, and CDs and electronics.

Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Activities: Benefits and services provided to children in DFPS-paid substitute care who are age 16 or older and likely to remain in foster care until at least age 18, who can qualify for services up to their 21st birthday. Services and benefits may include:

  •  Casey Life Skills Assessment to assess strengths and needs in life skills;

  •  life skills training in core areas including financial management;

  •  job readiness and life decisions/responsibility;

  •  educational and vocational services;

  •  transitional living allowance (TLA) up to $1000 (distributed in increments up to $500 per month for children who participate in PAL life skills training, to help children with initial start-up costs in adult living);

  •  after care room and board (ACRB) assistance, based on need, up to $500 per month for rent, utility deposits, food, etc. (not to exceed $3000 of accumulated payments per child);

  •  case management to help children with self-sufficiency planning and resource coordination;

  •  teen conferences;

  •  leadership development activities; and

  •  additional supportive services, based on need and availability of funds, such as mentoring services and driver’s education.

Primary Care Physician (PCP): A physician or provider who has been designated by STAR Health to provide a medical home to members, and who is responsible for providing initial and primary care to patients, maintaining the continuity of patient care, and initiating referral for care.

Primary Medical Needs: A child with primary medical needs is one who cannot live without mechanical supports or the services of others because of non-temporary, life-threatening conditions (40 TAC §748.61, §749.61, and §750.61).

Principal: Includes the following individuals working at the operation that has contracted with DFPS: executive director, chief executive officer, comptroller or business manager, and chief financial officer.

Programmatic Services: Types of services licensed and regulated by the DFPS Licensing Division, which include child-care services, treatment services, emergency care services, the Transitional Living Program, the Assessment Services Program, and respite child-care services conditions (40 TAC §748.61, §749.61, and §750.61).

Prudent Parent Standard: The standard to apply when making day-to-day decisions regarding child activities based upon the child’s age and development and guidelines set forth in minimum standards.

Psychiatrist: A licensed physician with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.

Psychologist: A person who holds a license to engage in the practice of psychology issued under Occupations Code §501.252.

Public School: A school accredited by TEA and receives state funding administered by TEA.

Reason to Believe (RTB): A finding of RTB means that a preponderance of evidence indicates that abuse,  neglect,  or exploitation occurred. If any allegation disposition is RTB, the overall case disposition is RTB.

Receiving Contractor: Any individual or legal entity designated by and contracting with DFPS, after having received Form 2085-FC Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential Care, to provide or be responsible for the residential care of the child.

Relative: A person connected to a child by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Representative: A foster parent, caregiver (including kinship caregiver), or residential child care provider who, for purposes of the Texas Residency Affidavit, confirms that the child resides or receives services at the address provided on the DPS Form DL-5.

Residential Child Care: The care, custody, supervision, assessment, training, education, or treatment of an unrelated child or children for 24 hours a day that occurs in a place other than the child’s own home.

Return for Extended Foster Care: Young adults who were in DFPS managing conservatorship when turning 18 years of age and left care on turning 18 or later for a period of trial independence can return to participate in extended foster care if eligibility criteria are met and there is an available placement.

School-Age Children: Children eligible for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Serious Incident: Any non-routine occurrence that has an impact on the care, supervision, or treatment of a child or children. This includes, but is not limited to, suicide attempts, injuries requiring medical treatment, runaways, commission of a crime, and allegations of abuse or neglect or abusive treatment.

Service Level Monitor: The Contractor engaged by DFPS to monitor the provider’s performance and documentation related to the service level requirements.

Service Levels: An authorized structure that categorizes the child’s needs into a graduated scale from minimal intervention to severe intervention. (40 TAC Chapter 700, Subchapter W. Service Level System.)

Service Management: A clinical service performed by the STAR Health contractor (Superior/Cenpatico) to facilitate development of a health care service plan and coordination of clinical services among a member’s primary care physician and specialty providers to ensure members with special health care needs have access to, and appropriately utilize, medically necessary covered services.

Service Plan: The provider’s developed plan that addresses the services that will be provided to a child to meet the child’s specific needs while placed in the provider’s care.

Sibling Group: Children originating from the same household and in DFPS conservatorship. The following relationships are included within the definition of sibling: biological siblings, who may have either one or both parents in common; siblings who are related by adoption; and step-siblings, who are siblings in which the parents have had a significant relationship and have cohabitated as a family unit for a period of time. A sibling relationship continues even if the parental rights of the siblings have been terminated or otherwise disrupted.

Skilled Caregiver: A health service is determined to be skilled based upon whether or not clinical training is necessary for the service to be delivered safely and effectively and on the need for physician-directed medical care. Examples of individuals with clinical training include a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, respiratory therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist. This list is not all-inclusive. Services provided by a certified nursing assistant or home health aide do not qualify as skilled care services.

Social Skills: Skills necessary to function in the community. Social skills include, but are not limited to, the ability to communicate with others, knowledge of community resources, scheduling and attending medical appointments, interviewing for a job, cultural competency, and the ability to interact in various social situations.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: A designation that enables eligible undocumented children in DFPS conservatorship to become permanent residents under the terms and conditions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

STAR Health: A statewide, comprehensive healthcare system that was designed to better coordinate and improve access to healthcare for:

  •  children in DFPS conservatorship (under age 18);

  •  young adults in CPS extended care or voluntary foster care agreements (ages 18 through the month of their 22nd birthday);

  •  young adults who were previously in foster care and are living independently and receive either Former Foster Care Children’s (FFCC) Medicaid or Medicaid for Transition Youth (MTFCY) (ages 18 through the month of their 21st birthday); and

  •  young adults who were previously in foster care who are participating in the Former Foster Care in Higher Education (FFCHE) program (ages 18 through the month of their 23rd birthday).

STAR Health Denial Letter: A letter informing a child’s caregiver that a request for service authorization from a medical, dental, vision, or behavioral health care provider will be or has been either denied or reduced in full or in part. The letter should also describe the process for appealing any such determination.

Subsequent Move: Any placement change after the child’s initial placement; including movement from one foster home to another within the same child-placing agency.

Substitute Care: The residential care and support provided to a:

  •  child in DFPS’s managing conservatorship who has been placed in a living situation outside the child’s own home in order to protect the child from abuse or neglect; or

  •  child who has turned 18 years of age and has voluntarily agreed to participate in DFPS’s Extended Foster Care program and meets the requirements of such.

Superior HealthPlan Network: The organization responsible for managing STAR Health.

Supervise (children): Awareness of and responsibility for a child’s ongoing activity. Supervision requires caregivers to have knowledge of program and children’s needs and to be accountable for service delivery. The operation is responsible for providing the degree of supervision indicated by a child’s age, developmental level; and physical, emotional, and social needs.

Surrogate Parent: A person appointed by the court or school district to make decisions regarding special education services for a child who does not have a parent available. The law prohibits a CPS caseworker or residential treatment center staff from serving as a surrogate parent. A foster parent may serve as a surrogate parent, if appointed.

Telecommunications: The transmission, emission, or reception of voice and/or data through any medium by wire, radio, other electrical, electromagnetic or optical means. Telecommunications includes all aspects of transmitting information, such as telephone, text messaging, videoconferencing, and any type of communication via the internet including Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), e-mail, social networking, instant messaging, and wireless data exchange.

Texas Health Steps: All children entering DFPS conservatorship must receive a preventive health care visit, known as a Texas Health Steps (THSteps) medical checkup, within 30 days of entering DFPS conservatorship. THSteps medical checkups are periodic preventive health care services for children birth through age 20 enrolled in Medicaid. THSteps medical checkups include:

  •  Comprehensive health and developmental history

  •  Comprehensive unclothed physical exam

  •  Appropriate immunizations (according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices)

  •  Laboratory tests (including lead toxicity screening)

  •  Health Education (anticipatory guidance including child development, healthy lifestyles, and accident and disease prevention)

Therapy: The provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties through a collaborative process that facilitates progress toward mutually determined treatment goals and objectives. Therapy is provided by a trained professional who demonstrates competence in the ability to appropriately use treatment modalities for individuals, families and groups.

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Training: Child-centered, strength-based instruction that considers the unique culture, experiences and beliefs of the child and ensures that training participants understand and can apply the following:

  •  the impact that traumatic experiences have on the lives of children;

  •  the symptoms of childhood trauma;

  •  how to understand a child’s personal trauma history;

  •  how to recognize the child’s trauma triggers; and

  •  how to respond in ways that improve a child’s ability to trust, to feel safe, and to adapt to changes in the child’s environment.

Treatment Services: A specialized type of child-care services designed to treat and/or support Children with Emotional Disorders, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Primary Medical Needs as described in 40 TAC §748.61.

Trial Independence: Trial independence is a period of time that allows a young adult who was in DFPS managing conservatorship when turning 18 years of age to leave care on turning 18 or later for up to six months (or up to 12 months with a court order), to see if he or she can live independently. If necessary, the young adult can return to foster care during this period for extended foster care if eligibility criteria are met.

Tuition and Fee Waiver: A waiver of tuition and fees at state supported colleges, universities and vocational schools for eligible children who are in DFPS conservatorship:

  •  on or after their 18th birthday; or

  •  the day they receive their high school diploma or its equivalent; or

  •  at age 14 or older are eligible for adoption.

Texas Education Code, §54.366

Unplanned Discharge: A discharge where DFPS has not given the provider advance notice of removal.

Upheld: A finding of Reason to Believe (RTB) was sustained through an administrative review.

Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement Form 2540: DFPS’s form that documents the child’s agreement to voluntarily remain in foster care after his or her 18th birthday. The form outlines the categories of activity which qualify a child to remain in foster care.

Well-being Specialists: DFPS liaisons to Superior, the company that operates the provider network for STAR Health, a Medicaid managed care health care program for children in DFPS conservatorship and young adults who have aged out of care. Contact information for regional well-being specialists can be found on the STAR Health – A Guide to Medical Services at CPS page of the DFPS website.

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