The APS In-Home Investigations and Services Program put a new casework practice model into action on September 1, 2014. It benefits clients by helping our caseworkers make decisions, identify needs, and resolve problems so clients are less likely to be abused, neglected, or financially exploited in the future. APS calls the practice model SHIELD (Strategies that Help Intervention and Evaluation Leading to Decisions).
SHIELD includes three assessment tools:
- Safety Assessment
- Risk of Recidivism Assessment
- Strengths and Needs Assessment
After this change, the percentage of clients who experienced abuse, neglect, or exploitation again within six months declined from 11.6 percent in FY 2014 to 11.1 percent in FY 2015.
Improving Provider Investigations
APS took steps to improve investigations involving clients who have intellectual or developmental disabilities or mentally illness. APS changed the name of the program from Facility Investigations to Provider Investigation and made other policy and structure changes in FY 2015. The Texas Legislature also broadened the type of cases APS investigates, protecting more vulnerable Texans.
APS restructured the program and hired a statewide program director to help ensure consistency, ensure clients get the protection and safety they deserve, and help the State of Texas continue to comply with a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on the operation of state supported living centers.