Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Family Violence Program Nonresidential Center Provider Manual
Revision: 09-1
Effective: April 22, 2009

Section 5000

Facility, Safety and Health

5100  Facility Codes

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Notes

  • Facility codes vary greatly from city to city and it is up to the organization to obtain this information. Each city will classify a structure differently, which will determine the applicable codes.
  • For more information regarding facility code requirements of nonresidential centers, see the HHSC Family Violence Program contract, Article 13, Section 13.06(ii).

5200  Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Notes

  • Family violence nonresidential centers are required to comply with Title II of the ADA because of their contractual relationship with a state agency (that is, HHSC), and Title III of the ADA because they meet the definition of public accommodation. To reference Titles II and III of the act, go to www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/publicat.htm#Anchor-ADA-35882.
  • The ADA prohibits discrimination against a client with a mental or physical disability. It provides that individuals with disabilities may not be denied full and equal access to the services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations offered by the nonresidential center.
  • The ADA requires that nonresidential centers remove architectural and communication barriers that are structural in nature in existing facilities or impede immediate evacuation, when it is "readily achievable" to do so. Architectural barriers are physical elements of a facility that impede access by people with disabilities. "Readily achievable" means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without too much difficulty or expense.
  • Communication tools that are an integral part of the physical structure of the facility can be barriers. These might include conventional signage (inaccessible to individuals with visual impairments) and audible alarm systems (inaccessible to individuals with hearing impairments).
  • The ADA requires that all remodeling and new construction follow ADA accessibility guidelines.
  • The ADA also requires that a nonresidential center allow the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability, unless it would jeopardize the safe operation of the facility.
  • To reference ADA of 1990 Title II, go to www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg2.html.
  • To reference ADA of 1990 Title III, go to www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg3a.html.
  • For more information regarding facility compliance requirements of nonresidential centers, see the HHSC Family Violence Program contract, Article 13, Section 13.06(jj).

Suggested Practices

Common barriers to serving persons with disabilities and possible solutions include the following:

  • Budget a line item or fundraising goal specific to accessibility needs.
  • Address perceived lack of victims with disabilities with outreach, recruitment and/or needs assessment in the community.
  • Address staff misconceptions and fears with staff education and training.
  • Address unintentional exclusions/rigid rules, policies with flexibility in rules and shelter center policies.
  • Address multi-story building barriers with emergency evacuation assistance devices, such as a life slider (www.lifeslider.com) or evac-chair (www.evac-chair.com) that is accessible to employees and volunteers.
  • Address telecommunication issues with use of a TTY or a relay service (see Texas Relay at www.puc.state.tx.us/relay/index.cfm).

5300  Facility Requirements

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Law

§379.1901 Facility Requirements for the Nonresidential Center

Notes

  • A safe outdoor play area may be on the nonresidential center's property or on another property maintained by the nonresidential center that is considered a safe space.
  • Safe homes are not required to mark exits with exit signs.

Suggested Practices

It is recommended that nonresidential centers provide:

  • a designated space for teenagers,
  • at least one bathroom with accommodations for children, and
  • furnishings for young children.

It is recommended that the nonresidential center's environment:

  • reflect the ethnic/cultural diversity of residents and nonresidents;
  • be comfortable and welcoming to people of all ages, and
  • include such things as magazines, books and artwork for residents without children, including the elderly.

5400  Safety and Security

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

5410  Security Systems

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Law

§379.1902 Security System

Suggested Practice

When determining the security system for and layout of the center, it is recommended that centers consider stalking issues associated with batterers.

5420  Security Policies and Procedures

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Law

  • §379.1903 Security Policies and Procedures
  • The Family Violence Prevention and Services chapter of U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 110, §10402 (a)(2)(E)

Notes

  • HHSC interprets "person or persons responsible for the operations of the nonresidential center" as the board of directors and the executive director.
  • To reference the code, go to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=BROWSE&TITLE=42USCC110.
  • If the nonresidential center decides to have a confidential location, be aware that even though most property appraisal records are considered public information and available on the Internet, nonresidential centers have the right to confidentiality of location and can have these records barred from public access, including the Internet. This right is found in the Texas Tax Code, §25.026. To reference the code, go to http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/TX/htm/TX.25.htm.

Suggested Practices

  • When determining whether to have the nonresidential center be either a public location or a confidential location, the nonresidential center should weigh all of the philosophical concerns regarding safety and security issues.
  • Because of the rapid advancement of technologies, a nonresidential center and survivors are at greater risk of stalking and breaches of confidentiality. A nonresidential center should consider addressing the security of technologies used within the organization and by survivors, such as cell phones, cordless telephones, computer databases, Internet access and e-mail.
  • More information about disaster preparedness in Texas (U.S. Region VI) can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at www.fema.gov/.

5500  Health and Hygiene

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Notes

  • To reference information regarding health topics and resources, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/ or contact the local or regional health department.
  • For more information regarding health code requirements of nonresidential center facilities, refer to the HHSC Family Violence Program contract, Article 13, Section 13.06(kk).

5510  Immunizations

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Law

Health and Safety Code — A nonresidential center with a physician on site should be aware that Health and Safety Code §161.004 requires every physician to review the immunization history of any child under 18 years. Physicians are then required to either administer the needed immunizations or make referrals for the immunizations, unless exempt under this section.

Note

If a client wishes to obtain an exemption from immunizations for reasons of conscience, they may obtain the form to do so at www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm#exclusions.

Suggested Practice

It is recommended that the nonresidential center call the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Division, to develop an immunization plan to ensure that families have information about how and where to get immunized.

5520  Communicable Diseases

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Law

Health and Safety Code — Chapters 81, 84 and 87 govern the control and reporting of communicable diseases. These chapters outline regulations regarding notifiable conditions and reportable diseases. To reference the Health and Safety Code, go to http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/hs.toc.htm.

Notes

  • To reference the DSHS website containing a list of notifiable conditions and reporting forms, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/investigation/conditions/default.asp.
  • If a resident discloses that she or he has a communicable disease, the primary responsibility for reporting that to DSHS is for medical professionals and school administrators. However, there may be some situations where the center is obligated to report communicable diseases directly to DSHS. If you have specific questions regarding whether or not to report a communicable disease, it is advised that you obtain a release from the participant before calling the local health authority for case-specific information.
  • For more information about when and where to report, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/ or call the DSHS Infectious Disease Control Unit at 512-458-7455.

Suggested Practice

It is recommended that the nonresidential center contact the local or regional health department or DSHS for free information, posters and brochures on the subjects of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • A nonresidential center collecting any health or medical information could be subject to HIPAA.
  • While a nonresidential center would not normally consider itself a health care provider and might not be under the federal HIPAA legislation, some nonresidential centers might be under the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act. Also, the parameters of HIPAA for the state of Texas have been expanded through the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 181, Medical Records Privacy Act.
  • To determine if the nonresidential center is considered a "covered entity" under HIPAA, go to www.cms.hhs.gov/HIPAAGenInfo/01_Overview.asp.

To reference information regarding the requirement to report notifiable conditions and compliance with HIPAA, contact your local health department or go to http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/hipaa/.

5530  Health Care Resources

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Note

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a national program designed to provide low-cost health insurance for minors in families that are income eligible and do not qualify for Medicaid. The state of Texas developed TexCare Partnership to provide this service in Texas. To reference the Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), go to www.texcarepartnership.com/CHIP-About-TexCarePartnership.htm.

Suggested Practice

Nonresidential centers are encouraged to network with health professionals to establish on-site free health screening services and to offer on-site woman, child, well baby and nutrition programs.

5540  Smoking Regulations

Revision 09-1; Effective April 22, 2009

Notes

Suggested Practices

  • It is recommended that the organization develop policies that protect minors from accessing cigarettes from volunteers, staff, or other residents or nonresidents. The Health and Safety Code offers a comprehensive approach to reducing children's access to tobacco products, and provides for educating the public regarding the dangers of the use of tobacco. To reference the code, go to http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/hs.toc.htm.
  • The organization with outside-designated smoking areas should consider all the safety issues, such as safe and well-lit smoking areas and safe re-entry.
  • The organization's outdoor smoking policies should balance the right to smoke and the right to a smoke-free environment.