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1600 Allegation Priorities

APS IH September 2014

DFPS sets priorities for the delivery of protective services. In establishing priorities, DFPS defines timeframes for conducting initial face-to-face interviews with alleged victims. The priorities are based on severity and immediacy of alleged threat to the life or physical safety of the alleged victim.

The initial face-to-face contact with the alleged victim is conducted according to the following priorities:

     Priority I: Allegations that the victim is in a state of serious harm or is in danger of death from abuse or neglect

     Priority II: Allegations that the victim is abused, neglected, or financially exploited and, as a result, is at risk of serious harm

     Priority III: All other allegations that the victim is in a state of abuse or neglect

     Priority IV: Allegations of financial exploitation when there is no danger of imminent impoverishment or deprivation of basic needs

See also 2220 Changing Allegation Priorities

40 Texas Administrative Code §705.2101

1610 Priority I Allegation: 24-Hour Face-to-Face

APS IH / May 2007

Priority I reports allege that the victim is in a state of serious harm or is in danger of death from abuse or neglect.

See 40 Texas Administrative Code §705.2101.

APS makes face-to-face contact within 24 hours of SWI’s receipt of Priority I allegations.

1611 Procedure for Priority I Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist conducts a face-to-face interview with the alleged victim within 24 hours of SWI’s receipt of a Priority I allegation.

1612 Examples of Priority I Allegations

APS IH / September 2012

Priority I allegations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Serious injuries

      Examples: a spinal injury, fractures, large open wounds, lacerations requiring sutures, head injuries, severe burns, broken hip, internal injuries

  •   Lack of life-sustaining medication

  •   Serious threats of harm or death to the alleged victim

  •   Severe lack of basic physical necessities that could result in freezing, starvation, or dehydration

  •   Need for immediate medical attention to treat conditions that could result in irreversible physical harm

      Examples: unconsciousness, acute pain, severe respiratory distress, gangrene, hemorrhaging, severe malnutrition, advanced bedsores

  •   Sexual abuse when there is danger of repeated abuse

  •   No caretaker is available; the alleged victim is unable to perform critical personal care activities, and his or her needs cannot be met by other community resources

  •   Living conditions that pose a serious health or safety hazard

      Examples: fecal contamination, dead animals, major structural damage to residence

1620 Priority II Allegation: Three-Day Face-to-Face Contact

APS IH / May 2007

Priority II reports allege that the victim is abused, neglected, or financially exploited and, as a result, is at risk of serious harm.

See 40 Texas Administrative Code §705.2101.

APS makes face-to-face contact within three calendar days of SWI’s receipt of Priority II allegations.

1621 Procedure for Priority II Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist conducts a face-to-face interview with the alleged victim within three calendar days of SWI’s receipt of a Priority II allegation.

For example, if the intake was received on May 1, the APS specialist must make a face-to-face contact on or before May 4.

1622 Examples of Priority II Allegations

APS IH / September 2012

Priority II allegations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Critical need for mental health or medical treatment

      Examples: overly aggressive behavior, pressure spots, small bedsores or other small but open wounds, malnutrition, sprains, or disease or illness that is acute but not life-threatening

  •   Falling or being pushed, hit, or scratched, which is alleged to have resulted in bruises, other injuries, or severe mental anguish

  •   Inadequate attention to physical needs

      Examples: insufficient food or medicine, but not life-threatening

  •   Illegal or improper use of the alleged victim’s income or resources to the degree that the alleged victim is unable to meet basic needs or is threatened with substantial loss of income or resources

  •   Unreasonable confinement

  •   Sexual abuse of the alleged victim, but clearly no immediate danger of repeated abuse

  •   Threats of physical violence or harm to the alleged victim

  •   Imminent eviction from a nursing home because the alleged victim’s representative failed to use the alleged victim’s income to pay for care

  •   Threats of losing the caretaker’s services, when the alleged victim is dependent on the caretaker for basic needs

1630 Priority III Allegation: Seven-Day Face-to-Face Contact

APS IH / May 2007

Priority III reports include all other allegations that the victim is in a state of abuse or neglect.

See 40 Texas Administrative Code §705.2101.

APS makes face-to-face contact within seven calendar days of SWI’s receipt of Priority III allegations.

1631 Procedure for Priority III Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist conducts a face-to-face interview with the alleged victim within seven calendar days of SWI’s receipt of a Priority III allegation.

For example, if the intake was received on May 1, the APS specialist must make a face-to-face contact on or before May 8.

1632 Examples of Priority III Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

Priority III allegations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Verbal or emotional abuse

      Examples: harassment, cursing, degrading remarks, intimidation

  •   Marginal care or threatened withdrawal of care by the caretaker when the alleged victim needs assistance with basic activities of daily living

  •   Falling or being pushed, hit, or scratched when such actions are not alleged to result in bruises, other injuries, or severe mental anguish

  •   Need for mental health or medical treatment that is not urgent

      Examples: mild depression, delusional thinking that is not dangerous to the alleged victim or others, poor nutrition, or disease or illness that is not acute

1640 Priority IV Allegations: 14-Day Face-to-Face

APS IH / May 2007

Priority IV reports allege financial exploitation when there is no danger of imminent impoverishment or deprivation of basic needs.

See 40 Texas Administrative Code §705.2101.

APS makes face-to-face contact within 14 calendar days of SWI’s receipt of Priority IV allegations.

1641 Procedure for Priority IV Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist conducts a face-to-face interview with the alleged victim within 14 calendar days from the date of SWI’s receipt of a Priority IV allegation.

For example, if the intake was received on May 1, the APS specialist must attempt a face-to-face contact on or before May 15.

1642 Examples of Priority IV Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

Priority IV allegations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Lack of appropriate contribution to food and shelter expenses by household members

  •   Misuse of a nursing home resident’s personal needs allowance by someone who is not affiliated with the nursing home

  •   Improper use of income or resources but the alleged victim’s needs are still met

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