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TITLE 40SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE
PART 19DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
CHAPTER 700CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER DSCHOOL INVESTIGATIONS
RULE §700.402Definitions

The terms used in this subchapter shall have the meanings assigned to those terms in Texas Family Code, Chapter 261, and in Subchapter E of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise or the term is otherwise defined below:

  (1) Alleged perpetrator--A person who is alleged or suspected of being responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child.

  (2) 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.

  (3) CPS--Child Protective Services, a program within the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

  (4) Designated perpetrator--A person who has been determined by a preponderance of evidence to have been responsible for abuse or neglect of a child in a school setting.

  (5) Designated victim--A child who has been determined, based on a preponderance of the evidence, to have been abused or neglected in a school setting.

  (6) Preponderance of evidence--Evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.

  (7) Reason-to-believe--A finding that an allegation of abuse or neglect against school personnel or volunteers in a school setting is supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

  (8) Reporter--An individual who, on his own initiative, makes an unsolicited report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or to a duly constituted law enforcement agency, alleging the abuse or neglect of a child. If more than one individual makes an unsolicited report alleging abuse or neglect of the same child, all such individuals shall have the designation of reporter.

  (9) Ruled-out--A finding by a preponderance of the evidence that an allegation of abuse or neglect did not occur or was not committed by the alleged perpetrator.

  (10) School personnel and volunteers--Persons providing services or caring for children at a public or private school under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) who have access to children in a school setting, or persons in a private school setting who have responsibility for the care, custody, or control of children in a school setting, including school employees, contractors, school volunteers, school bus drivers, school cafeteria staff, and school custodians.

  (11) School setting--The physical location of a child's school, or of an event sponsored or approved by the child's school, or any other location where the child is in the care, custody, or control of school personnel in their official capacity, including transportation services, and excluding school settings involving only children in facilities of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) when the facility contracts with the local school district to provide educational services, and excluding school settings involving only children in facilities regulated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

  (12) Unable to complete--A finding that CPS was not able to draw a conclusion regarding an investigation of an allegation of abuse or neglect against school personnel or volunteers in a school setting because the alleged victim:

    (A) could not be located to begin the investigation, or moved and could not be located to finish the investigation; or

    (B) was unwilling to cooperate with the investigation.

  (13) Unable to determine--A finding that an allegation of abuse or neglect can neither be supported nor ruled-out by a preponderance of the available evidence.


Source Note: The provisions of this §700.402 adopted to be effective August 7, 1998, 23 TexReg 7231; amended to be effective October 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 9205

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