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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 37 Juveniles

Chapter 5 Department of Children's Services

Part 5 Child Care Agencies

37-5-501. Part definitions.

(a) As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires, “child care agency” includes “child abuse agency,” “child caring institution,” “child placing agency,” “detention center,” “family boarding home or foster home,” “group care home,” “maternity home,” or “temporary holding resource” as defined in subsection (b).

(b) As used in this part, unless otherwise excluded pursuant to § 37-5-503, and unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Care giver,” “care givers,” “care provider,” or “care providers” mean the person or persons or entity or entities responsible for providing for the supervision, protection and basic needs of the child;

(2) “Child” or “children” means a person or persons under eighteen (18) years of age;

(3) (A) “Child abuse agency” means and includes any place, facility or service operated by any entity or person, that undertakes to or does provide any services of any nature whatsoever, including, but not limited to, emergency shelter care, homemaker services, or parent training services, designed to prevent or treat child abuse or neglect or to protect children from child abuse or neglect. “Child abuse agency” does not include any entity or a person licensed by the state to practice medicine or psychology while in the course of such practice; nor any school, hospital, mental health center, or similar institution operated or approved by any agency or department of the state; nor any church or church-related organization;

(B) Nothing in subdivision (b)(3)(A) shall be construed, however, to diminish or repeal the duty of any person to report suspected child abuse pursuant to chapter 1, parts 4 and 6 of this title; and

(C) The provisions of this subdivision (b)(3) do not constitute an appropriation of funds, and, commencing with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2000, no funds shall be expended under the provisions of this subdivision (b)(3) unless such funds are specifically appropriated in the general appropriations act pursuant to §§ 9-4-5101 - 9-4-5114, or a specific amendment or supplement thereto;

(4) “Child care” means the provision of supervision, protection and the basic needs of a child for twenty-four (24) hours a day including the provision of such temporary services to a child awaiting placement in permanent care. Care for a child of less than twenty-four (24) hours duration is licensed by the department of human services pursuant to title 71, chapter 3, part 5;

(5) “Child care agency” or “agency” means the person or entity that provides child care, regardless of whether such person or entity is licensed;

(6) “Child caring institution” means any place or facility operated by any entity or person providing residential child care for thirteen (13) or more children who are not related to the primary care givers;

(7) “Child placing agency” means any entity or person that places children in foster boarding homes or foster homes for temporary care or for adoption or any other entity or person or group of persons who are engaged in providing adoption studies or foster care studies or placement services as defined by the rules of the department;

(8) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of children's services;

(9) “Department” means the department of children's services;

(10) “Detention center” means a place or facility operated by any entity or person, governmental or otherwise, for the confinement in a hardware secure facility of a child or children who meet the criteria of § 37-1-114(c) or other applicable laws and who:

(A) Are in need of legal temporary placement;

(B) Are awaiting adjudication of a pending petition; or

(C) Are awaiting disposition or placement;

(11) “Family boarding home or foster home” means a home (occupied residence) operated by any entity or person that provides residential child care to at least one (1) child but not more than six (6) children who are not related to the primary care givers;

(12) “Foster child or children” means the person or persons who are living in a child care or residential child care facility as a result of the removal by a court of custody from the child's parent or parents to the department, by a surrender of parental or guardian rights executed by the child's parent or parents or guardian, or as the result of the execution of any legal document transferring legal custody from the parent or parents or guardian of the child to the department, or to the entity or person operating a child care agency;

(13) “Group care home” means any place or facility operated by any entity or person that provides residential child care for at least seven (7) children but not more than twelve (12) children who are not related to the primary care givers;

(14) “Maternity home” means any place or facility operated by any entity or person that receives, treats or cares for more than one (1) child or adult who is pregnant out of wedlock, either before, during or within two (2) weeks after childbirth; provided, that the licensed child placing agencies and licensed maternity homes may use a family boarding home approved and supervised by the agency or home, as a part of their work, for as many as three (3) children or adults who are pregnant out of wedlock; and provided further, that “maternity home” does not include children or women who receive maternity care in the home of a person to whom they are kin within the sixth degree of kindred computed according to civil law, nor does it apply to any maternity care provided by general or special hospitals licensed according to law and in which maternity treatment and care is part of the medical services performed and the care of children is brief and incidental;

(15) “Related” means, for purposes of “child care,” the children, step-children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, siblings of the whole or half-blood, step-siblings, nieces, nephews or foster children of the primary care giver. For purposes of “residential child care,” “related” means children, step-children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, siblings of the whole or half-blood, step-siblings, nieces or nephews of the primary care provider;

(16) “Residential child care” means the provision of supervision or protection, and meeting the basic needs of a child for twenty-four (24) hours per day; and

(17) “Temporary holding resource” means a place or facility housing primarily no more than eight (8) children operated by any entity or person, governmental or otherwise, providing a short-term (less than seventy-two (72) hours, exclusive of non-judicial days) placement alternative for a child or children in a primarily staff-secure facility, as defined by the department, while the child or children await adjudication of a pending petition or disposition following adjudication, or pending return to a dispositional placement. This facility shall have a maximum of two (2) hardware secure rooms. At least one half (½) of the rooms in the facility shall be non-hardware secure.

Acts 2000, ch. 981, § 19.

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