Unless the context otherwise requires, these words and
phrases shall mean the following in these rules:
(a) "Adoption" means a social and legal
process designed to establish a new legal parent/child relationship giving a
child the same rights and benefits of a child who is born to the prospective
means the following:
1. When the agency is
owned by a sole proprietorship, the individual proprietor shall be the
applicant for the license, complete the statement of responsibility and serve
as the licensee;
2. When the agency
is owned by a partnership, the general partners shall be the applicant for the
license, complete the statement of responsibility and serve as the
3. When the agency is
owned by an association, the governing body of the association shall authorize
the application for the license and complete the statement of responsibility
and the association shall serve as the licensee; and
4. When the agency is owned by a corporation,
the governing body of the corporation shall authorize the application for the
license and complete the statement of responsibility and the corporation shall
serve as the licensee.
(c) "Behavior management" means those
principles and techniques used by an agency to assist a child in facilitating
self-control, addressing inappropriate behavior, and achieving positive
outcomes in a constructive and safe manner. Behavior management principles and
techniques shall be used in accordance with the individual service plan,
written policies and procedures governing service expectations, service plan
goals, safety, and security, and these rules and regulations.
(d) "Biological Father" means a male who
impregnated the biological mother resulting in the birth of a child.
(e) "Biological Parent" means a birth parent
of a child.
(f) "Birth Parent"
means a biological parent of a child.
(g) "Board" means the persons or legal entity
in whom the ultimate legal responsibility, authority and accountability for the
conduct of the Child-Placing Agency is vested.
(h) "Caseworker" means a person employed by
the Agency who provides direct placement services and supervision following
supervisor" means a person employed by the Agency who is responsible for the
supervision of the placement services offered by the Agency and for the
designation of approval for the prospective adoptive and foster families to
receive children for care.
"Chemical restraint" means drugs that are administered to manage a child's
behavior in a way that reduces the safety risk to the child or others; that
have the temporary effect of restricting the child's freedom of movement; and
that are not being used as part of a standard regimen, as specified in the
child's service plan, to treat current symptoms of a medical or psychiatric
(k) "Child" means a
person under 18 years of age for adoption purposes and under the age of 19 for
foster care purposes.
"Child-Placing Agency" or "Agency" means a child welfare agency that is any
institution, society, agency, or facility, whether incorporated or not, that
places children in foster homes for temporary care or in prospective adoptive
homes for adoption. For purposes of this definition, agencies that engage in
placement activities are required to be licensed as Child-Placing Agencies.
This term does not apply to a licensed professional providing only home study
preparation services as an evaluator.
(m) "Child placement," or "placement
activity" means the selection, by a person or agency other than the child's
parent or guardian, of a foster family or prospective adoptive family, or
effecting the movement of the child into the foster family or prospective
adoptive family. This definition includes any preparation of a home study of a
foster home or of a prospective adoptive home. Counseling with respect to
options available, legal services, or services as an agent for the purpose of
notice of revocation of consent by the birth parent does not constitute child
placement under this definition. For purposes of this rule, this definition
does not include the Department or a licensed professional providing home study
preparation services as an evaluator.
(n) "Criminal history background check" means
a search as required by law of the criminal records maintained by law
enforcement authorities to determine whether the applicant has a criminal
record as defined in these rules.
"Criminal record" means:
1. Conviction of a crime; or
Arrest, charge, and sentencing for a crime
(i) A plea of nolo contendere was
entered to the charge; or
First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge
was granted; or
or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge; or
(iv) Arrest and being charged for a crime if
the charge is pending, unless the time for prosecuting such crime has expired
pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec.
(p) "Department" means the Georgia Department
of Human Services.
safety interventions" mean those behavioral intervention techniques that are
authorized under an approved emergency safety intervention plan and are
utilized by properly trained staff or therapeutic foster parent(s) in an urgent
situation to prevent a child from doing immediate physical harm to self or
others or those behavior intervention techniques used by prospective adoptive
or foster parents in an urgent situation to prevent a child from doing
immediate physical harm to self or others.
(r) "Emergency safety intervention plan"
means the plan developed by the facility utilizing a nationally recognized,
evidence-based, training program for emergency safety intervention, approved by
the Department. The plan shall clearly identify the emergency safety
interventions that staff and therapeutic foster parents are authorized to
utilize with a child and those interventions that are prohibited.
(s) "Evaluator" means a person or agency
authorized by law to conduct a home study. An evaluator shall be a
child-placing agency, the Department, or a licensed professional with at least
two years of adoption related professional experience, including a licensed
clinical social worker, licensed master social worker, licensed marriage and
family therapist, or licensed professional counselor.
(t) "Executive Director" means the person
responsible for overall administration of an Agency.
(u) "Facilitator" means an individual or
agency who is engaged in the matching of birth parents with adoptive parents.
This term does not apply to a person or agency who refers prospective birth
parents, prospective adoptive parents and children to licensed child-placing
(v) "Fingerprint records
check determination" means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by
the department based upon a records check comparison of Georgia Crime
Information Center (GCIC) information with fingerprints and other information
in a records check application.
"Foster care" means supervised care for a child in a home other than the
child's own home on a 24-hour full-time basis for a temporary period of
(x) "Foster family" or
"foster home" means a private home where the foster parent(s) live which has
been approved by the institution/agency to provide 24 hour care, lodging,
supervision and maintenance for no more than six children under the age of
(y) "Foster parent(s)" means
the adult member(s) of a foster family who provides supervision and care in a
parental role for a child in foster care and who has a satisfactory criminal
history background check determination.
(z) "Home study" means assessment of the home
environment of an applicant to determine suitability of that environment as a
foster home or a prospective adoptive home.
"Inducements" mean any financial
assistance, either direct or indirect, from whatever source. The term
"inducements" shall not include:
or reimbursement of medical expenses directly related to the biological
mother's pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child and medical
care for such child if paid by a licensed Child-Placing Agency or an
2. Payment or
reimbursement of expenses for counseling services or legal services for a
biological parent directly related to the placement by such parent of her or
his child for adoption if paid by a licensed Child-Placing Agency or an
3. Payment or
reimbursement of reasonable living expenses for the biological mother if paid
by a licensed Child-Placing Agency, or
4. Payment or reimbursement of reasonable
expenses for rent, utilities, food, maternity garments and maternity
accessories for the biological mother if paid from the trust account of an
attorney, who is a member of the State Bar of Georgia in good
means a document issued by the Department that grants permission for the holder
to provide placement services.
"Manual hold" means the application of physical force, without the use of any
device, for the purpose of restricting the free movement of a child's body and
is considered a form of restraint. A manual hold does not include briefly
holding a child without undue force to calm or comfort the child, holding a
child by the hand or by the shoulders or back to walk the child safely from one
area to another where the child is not forcefully resisting the assistance, or
assisting the child in voluntarily participating in activities of daily
(dd) "Mechanical restraint"
means a device attached or adjacent to the resident's body that is not a
prescribed and approved medical protection device and that he or she cannot
easily remove that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to his or her
body. A mechanical restraint does not include devices used to assist patients
with appropriate positioning or posture secondary to physical impairments or
Rehabilitation Option Provider (MRO)" means that category of behavioral health
services designed for the maximum reduction of impairments related to mental
illness or addiction and restoration of a Medicaid recipient to his/her best
possible functional level.
"Out-of-state licensed agency" means an agency or entity that is licensed in
another state or country to place children for adoption.
"Owner" means any individual or any
person affiliated with a corporation, partnership, or association with 10
percent or greater ownership interest in the business or agency licensed as a
child placing agency and who:
1. Purports to
or exercises authority of the owner in a child placing agency;
2. Applies to operate or operates a child
3. Enters into a
contract to acquire ownership of a child placing agency.
(hh) "Preliminary records check application"
means an application for a preliminary records check determination on forms
provided by the department.
"Preliminary records check determination" means a satisfactory or
unsatisfactory determination by the department based only upon a comparison of
Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) information with other than fingerprint
information regarding the person upon whom the records check is being
adoptive family" or "prospective adoptive home" means a family unit (which may
include a single parent family unit) and their place of residence approved by
an Agency to receive a child for adoption.
(kk) "Prospective adoptive parent(s)" means
the adult member(s) of a prospective adoptive family who expect to assume all
legal and social obligations and privileges of parent(s) through the legal
adoption of a child.
"Record(s)" means the individual files established and maintained by a
Child-Placing Agency which include data concerning a child, an applicant, a
prospective adoptive family, and/or foster family.
(mm) "Records check application" means two
sets of classifiable fingerprints, a records search fee to be established by
the Department by rule and regulation, payable in such form as the Department
may direct to cover the cost of a fingerprint records check, and an affidavit
by the applicant disclosing the nature and date of any arrest, charge, or
conviction of the applicant for the violation of any law; except for motor
vehicle parking violations, whether or not the violation occurred in this
state, and such additional information as the department may require.
(nn) "Room, Board and Watchful Oversight"
means providing a safe, comfortable room, adequately nutritious meals and
oversight to ensure a child's basic safety needs are met.
(oo) "Satisfactory criminal history
background check determination" means a written determination that a person for
whom a records check was performed was found to have no criminal
(pp) "Seclusion" means the
involuntary confinement of a child away from other children, due to imminent
risk of harm to self or others, in a room or an area from which the child is
physically prevented from leaving.
(qq) "Sponsoring agency" means a Georgia
Child-Placing Agency that serves as the primary coordinating agency with the
foreign authorities, prospective adoptive parent(s), and children being placed
through inter-country adoptions.
(rr) "Time-out" means a behavior management
technique that involves the brief separation of a child from the group or
setting where the child is experiencing some behavioral or emotional distress,
not to exceed twenty (20) minutes, designed to deescalate the emotionally
charged condition of the child. During "time-out" a child's freedom of movement
is not physically restricted.
"Unsatisfactory criminal history background check determination" means a
written determination that a person for whom a records check was performed has
a criminal record.
singular includes the plural, the plural the singular, and the masculine the
feminine, when consistent with the intent of these Rules.