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Definitions of Terms

CPS August 2019

The definitions below serve as a glossary for this handbook. See also:

Other definitions in the CPS Handbook


CPS Definition September 2019

A principal, also called a principal source, is a person closely connected with the case. This term includes the following:

  •  A child who is a victim or alleged victim of abuse or neglect by a parent or caregiver.

  •  All other children who live in the child’s home.

  •  All parents and caregivers who are part of the household, including those whom the court has appointed as sole or joint managing conservators and live with the child.

  •  Everyone responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the children in the family or household, even if the person is not a parent or caregiver, including others whom the court has appointed as managing or possessory conservators.

  •  Each alleged or designated perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.

  •  Each victim who is also a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.

  •  Noncustodial parents, if DFPS knows or determines their location and their parental rights have not been terminated. This applies whether or not they visit the child.

  •  All people age 14 and older who live with the child as the result of a parental child safety placement.

The Person List page in IMPACT must include all principals in the case.

Each person in the case is either a principal or a collateral.


CPS Definition August 2019

A staffing is an internal meeting attended by DFPS staff, family services contractors (FSC), single source continuum contract (SSCC) staff, or any combination of these people, with the purpose of discussing the status of a case or a child care operation. It may also include Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) employees or others not employed by DFPS, as appropriate.

Other Definitions in the CPS Handbook

1124 Definition of Stages of Service

1221.1 Definitions of Search and Seizure

1221.2 Definition of Imminent and Exigent

1291 Definitions Related to Release Hearings

1410 Case Definition

1610 Definitions Related to Permanency Care Assistance

1912 Definitions Related to Substance Abuse

2113.1 Definitions of Abuse

2113.2 Definitions of Neglect

2114 Statutory Definition of Person Responsible for Child's Care, Custody, or Welfare

2115 Terms Used in Primary Statutory Definitions

2116 Other Definitions

5313.1 Definition of Unapproved Facility (for placement)

8110 Definitions (Purchased Child Protective Services)

8251 Definitions (Preparing for Judicial Determination)

8521.1 Definitions (Home Study Services)

8241 Definitions (Evaluation, Treatment, and Substance Abuse Services)

8526.1 Definitions (County Contracts)

Appendix 2472.1-B: Definitions of Roles

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