The Compact with Texans describes the services, principles, and standards of the Department of Family and Protective Services, as well as the process for filing complaints and requesting information.
For the purposes of this document, "customers" are defined as clients, family members, advocates, taxpayers, public officials, service providers, community-based organizations, media, other agency representatives, and other interested parties.
We promote safe and healthy families and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Improving the lives of those we serve.
- Accountable: We act with a sense of urgency to deliver results in an accountable, ethical, and transparent manner.
- Respectful: We recognize the value of each person and act timely, value privacy, and treat all with respect.
- Diverse: We promote diversity, inclusion, and equality by honoring individual differences.
- Collaborative: Whether through our staff or contractors, we work in partnership with clients, families, and communities to ensure our mutual success.
- Professional: We value our staff and strive for excellence while being professional, passionate, and innovative.
- Conduct civil investigations of reported child abuse or neglect.
- Protect children from abuse and neglect.
- Promote the safety, integrity, and stability of families.
- Provide temporary and permanent placement for children who cannot safely remain with their own family.
- Investigate reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of adults who reside in the community and:
- are age 65 or older; or
- have a disability that substantially impairs their ability to care for or protect themselves.
- Identify needs, ensure current safety, and arrange for or provide protective services to alleviate or prevent future maltreatment or self-neglect.
- Work with Texas communities to grant funds for programs and initiatives designed to prevent child abuse, neglect, delinquency, running away, and truancy.
- Develop and maintain a statewide inventory of prevention programs aimed at preventing child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency.
- Collaborate with other agencies and community-based organizations to develop, a comprehensive and unified approach to deliver prevention services in effort to avoid fragmentation and duplication of services.
We commit to providing high quality services in a professional and ethical manner. In order to do so, we will:
- Treat our customers with courtesy and respect;
- Ensure access to and provision of services is fair and equitable;
- Implement new and creative approaches to improve quality of services;
- Operate based on our customers' overall needs and feedback;
- Provide understandable information in a variety of formats;
- Ensure sound management of programs and funds;
- Work in cooperation with customers;
- Protect private information and share public information in accordance with applicable laws.
Texans can expect to receive high quality services from DFPS. To meet this expectation, we will:
- Process applications and respond to contacts accurately and within required timeframes;
- Employ courteous and knowledgeable staff;
- Respond appropriately to language or other special needs;
- Expand access to information and services, such as by internet and phone;
- Provide services in safe facilities and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Abuse Hotline (Statewide Intake)
Toll-free, statewide telephone reporting system
Average hold time of 8.5 minutes or less.
Child Protective Services
Priority I: Initiated within 24 hours of the department's receipt of the report.
Priority II: Initiated within 72 hours of the department's receipt of the report.
DFPS must achieve permanency for children who are in DFPS conservatorship and who are in adoptive placement. When DFPS has temporary legal custody of a child, legal permanency must be achieved within 12 months, with the possibility of a 180-day extension that must be granted by the court.
Adult Protective Services
An APS specialist initiates an investigation within 24-hours of receiving a report from Statewide Intake regardless of the assigned priority. During the case initiation, the APS specialist contacts a person who has current and reliable information about the alleged victim’s situation and begins assessing the need for protective services, adjusting the priority as appropriate.
An APS specialist contacts the alleged victim in person within the following timeframes calculated from the time Statewide Intake received the report:
Priority 1: 24 hours
Priority 2: 3 calendar days
Priority 3: 7 calendar days
Priority 4: 14 calendar days
The DFPS Office of Consumer Relations (OCR) handles complaints about specific cases relating to DFPS program policy. We are here to help you, and you can trust us to fairly review your complaints. The DFPS programs include:
- Adult Protective Services
- Child Care Investigations
- Child Protective Investigations
- Child Protective Services
- Texas Abuse Hotline
The OCR acknowledges every complaint or inquiry that is received. If the information is appropriate for OCR to review, the OCR will notify you of the findings by letter — within the limits of confidentiality laws.
The OCR can :
- Take policy-related complaints regarding DFPS cases from the public including foster youth ages 18 years old and older, and former foster youth.
- Address general, non-specific inquiries and questions about a DFPS case as well as the case process.
- Conduct formal reviews of a Child Protective investigation when the investigation concludes a person abused or neglected a child. This is handled through the OCR Review process.
- Refer people to other agencies and programs that may be able to assist them.
If the information you provide is not an issue that the OCR can review, the OCR will either share your information with the appropriate agency or refer you to an agency that may be able to assist you.
The OCR cannot:
- Assist foster youth ages 17 years old or younger - contact the Foster Care Ombudsman.
- Take reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, this include reports of abuse, neglect or a violation of standards by a child care facility - contact the Texas Abuse Hotline.
- Handle complaints or inquiries related to the Adult Protective Services - Provider Investigations program or inspections or minimum standards investigations by the Child Care Licensing – contact the Health and Human Services Consumer Rights and Services.
- Change the findings of a case other than Child Protective Investigation findings through the OCR Review process
- Review the actions or orders of the courts or law enforcement agencies.
To find out more information about the OCR and our complaint process you may review our policies.
Office of Consumer Relations
Mail Code Y-946
PO Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
DFPS offers several hotlines to get help, depending on the type of question or complaint you have. Please see DFPS Hotlines and Information Lines for a detailed list of hotlines.
You can report suspected waste, fraud or abuse in health and human services programs to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) either online or by calling 800-436-6184. You may also make a report to the Texas State Auditor's Office by calling 800-TX-AUDIT.
The HHSC OIG is responsible for investigating waste, abuse and fraud in all health and human services programs that are provided in Texas, including services provided by the Department of Family and Protective Services. The OIG provides oversight of activities, providers, and recipients of health and human services through compliance and enforcement activities designed to identify and reduce waste, abuse, or fraud; and improve efficiency and effectiveness within the HHS system.