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5424 Notification and Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.1 Notification of Decision in Non-EMR Cases

APS IH / April 2017

The administrative law judge (ALJ) sends a copy of the decision to the perpetrator or his representative and to the attorney representing APS, who sends the finding to the district director or designee. The district director or designee:

  •   documents the final decision in the Administrative Review of Investigation (ARI) stage;

  •   updates the perpetrator's status in the IMPACT case management system, if appropriate;

  •   in conjunction with the regional attorney, determines and approves the manner, timing, and content of the release of data; and

  •   files it in the paper case file.

5424.2 Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

APS IH / September 2012

Once due process is completed and the finding is upheld, the finding may be released to:

  •  the perpetrator’s employer; or

  •  anyone else that allows the perpetrator access to children or adults who are age 65 or older or who have disabilities.

Before disclosing case information or investigation findings to other persons or organizations, the APS specialist refers to 5100 Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Release of Case Information.

Content of Release of Findings

The APS specialist must make timely notification by sending the Release of Findings to the perpetrator’s employer or other entities.

This form includes:

  •  the name of the designated perpetrator;

  •  the nature and seriousness of the valid allegations; and

  •  the names of the victims of maltreatment, if appropriate.

If the release is an emergency, the APS specialist sends the Emergency Release of Findings, which outlines:

  •  DFPS’s decision that an emergency exists and that immediate intervention is indicated to prevent or remedy serious harm to an adult who is age 65 or older or who has a disability;

  •  the designated perpetrator’s right to appeal an emergency release; and

  •  notification to the entity if, as a result of an appeal, the original APS decision is altered or reversed.

If the release is the final release following a prior emergency release of the findings, the APS specialist sends the Final Letter of Due Process, which outlines:

  •  due process has been offered or provided; and

  •  whether the findings have been overturned.

See:

2270 Referring Cases to Law Enforcement

5422 Administrative Review in Non-EMR Cases

5422.1 Procedure for Administrative Review in Non-EMR Cases

5424.3 Emergency Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.4 Release of APS Findings to Professional Licensing Boards, Commissions, and Other Agencies

5424.21 Release of Findings on Investigations of Home and Community Support Services Agency (HCSSA) Staff

APS IH / April 2015

If the outcome of the non-EMR due process is to release the investigation findings, the APS specialist releases the findings to both the Home and Community Support Services Agencies (HCSSA) and to DADS, as the contractor for the HCSSA.

The specialist sends the Release of Findings to:

  •  the administrator or director of the HCSSA; and

  •  either:

  •  DADS Report-DFPS at DfpsReports@dads.state.tx.us, or

  •  DADS Manager of Compliance and Oversight

P.O. Box 149030

Austin, TX 78714

Mail Code E-306

The APS specialist documents notification of the HCSSA in the IMPACT case management system. The APS specialist files a copy of the form in the paper case file.

If the release is the final release following a prior emergency release of the findings, the APS specialist sends the Final Letter for Due Process that outlines:

  •  whether due process has been offered or provided; and

  •  whether the findings have been upheld or overturned.

Upon completion of an investigation in which the dispositions of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation allegations are Invalid or Unable to Determine, the APS specialist may inform an employer or licensing agency of the findings without a release hearing. The notification may be verbal or written.

See:

5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases

5422.1 Procedure for Administrative Review in Non-EMR Cases

5424.2 Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.3 Emergency Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.22 Release of Findings on Investigations of Foster Home Providers and Employees

APS IH / April 2015

If the outcome of the non-EMR due process is to release the investigation findings, the APS specialist releases the findings to both DADS and the contracted or licensed adult foster home provider.

The specialist sends the Release of Findings to:

  •  the foster home provider, if the perpetrator is an employee of the foster home provider; and

  •  either:

  •  DADS Report-DFPS at DfpsReports@dads.state.tx.us, or

  •  DADS Manager of Compliance and Oversight

P.O. Box 149030

Austin, TX 78714

Mail Code E-306

The APS specialist documents notification of the foster home provider in the IMPACT case management system. The APS specialist files a copy of the notification letter in the paper case file.

If the release is the final release following a prior emergency release of the findings, the APS specialist sends the Final Letter for Due Process, which states that:

  •  due process has been offered or provided; and

  •  the findings have been upheld or overturned.

Upon completion of an investigation in which the dispositions of allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation are Invalid or Unable to Determine, the APS specialist may inform an employer or licensing agency of the findings without a release hearing. The notification may be verbal or written.

5424.3 Emergency Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

APS IH / June 2012

An emergency is defined as abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation that, without immediate intervention, would result in a state of or risk of serious harm to an adult who is age 65 or older or who has a disability.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.4101(a)(2)

Although abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation information is not usually released outside DFPS before the results of the release hearing are known, the information may be released if DFPS determines that a delay in release would create an emergency because the perpetrator will have continuing access to vulnerable adults or children. The APS specialist consults with the regional attorney to determine whether an emergency release is allowed or required. The APS specialist consults with the regional attorney to determine whether an emergency release is required.

If it is determined an emergency release is necessary, the employer or other person allowing the perpetrator access to vulnerable adults is notified of the findings. For content included in the release to external agencies in an emergency, see 5424.2 Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases.

If delay would create an emergency, the designated perpetrator does not have to receive written notification before the release. However, the designated perpetrator is entitled to receive written notification as soon as possible and has the right to appeal the findings.

Emergency Release of Findings Involving Home and Community Support Services Agencies (HCSSAs) and Foster Homes

In investigations involving Home and Community Support Services Agencies (HCSSAs), foster homes, or their employees, if it is determined an emergency exists; findings are released before completion of the administrative review or release hearing process.

The APS specialist sends the Emergency Release of Findings to:

  •   DADS Licensing and Long Term Care Regulatory
PO Box 149030
Mail Code E-342
Austin, Texas 78714-9030; and

  •   the HCSSA or foster home provider, as appropriate.

See:

5422.1 Procedure for Administrative Review in Non-EMR Cases

5424.2 Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.31 Notice of Emergency Release of Findings to the Designated Perpetrator

APS-IH / June 2012

The APS specialist notifies the designated perpetrator by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the emergency release of findings made to the perpetrator’s employer or other entity. This notification includes:

Emergency Release

Request for an Administrative Review

See:

5421 Sending Notice of Intent to Release in Non-EMR Cases

5424.2 Release of Findings in Non-EMR Cases

5424.4 Release of APS Findings to Professional Licensing Boards, Commissions, and Other Agencies

APS IH September 2014

In addition to employers, APS may choose to release findings of APS investigations(Valid, Invalid, Unable to Determine, Other) to licensing boards, commissions, or other agencies who allow the perpetrator access to vulnerable adults.

Some examples of these entities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners

Texas Board of Nursing

Texas Medical Board

State Bar of Texas

Guardianship Certification Board

Before notifying these entities of any APS investigative findings of Valid, the APS specialist must follow the administrative review and release hearing procedures in 5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases.

Before notifying the appropriate entity of any investigation findings, the APS specialist consults his or her supervisor and regional attorney. The regional attorney assists the APS specialist in determining what professional licensing regulation or code of conduct the perpetrator violated. It is important for the professional board to understand what code of conduct was violated as a result of the validated abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

For example, an APS investigation of alleged sexual abuse may reveal that a consensual sexual relationship exists between an APS client (a consenting adult) and the licensed professional. Although this relationship would not constitute sexual abuse as defined in the Texas Administrative Code §705.1005, the licensed professional’s acts may violate ethical standards set by his or her specific licensing board. Codes of Conduct are typically located on the agencies’ websites.

The APS specialist documents the notification in IMPACT. A copy of the written notification is retained in the paper case file and a notation is made in the External Documentation page.

5424.41 Release of APS Findings to the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners

APS IH / May 2011

Before notifying the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, the specialist consults the regional attorney to determine what professional licensing regulation or code of conduct the perpetrator violated.

To notify the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, the APS specialist:

  •  completes the Complaint (see instructions) and the General Release forms;

  •  returns both forms and any additional supporting documentation to the address shown on the complaint form.

The APS specialist may also obtain the appropriate forms by calling 1-800-942-5540.

5424.42 Release of APS Findings to the Board of Nurse Examiners

APS IH / May 2011

Before notifying the Texas Board of Nursing, the specialist consults the regional attorney to determine what rule or code of conduct the perpetrator violated.

To notify the Texas Board of Nursing, the specialist:

  •  completes the complaint form; and

  •  returns the form and copies of any additional supporting documentation to the address shown on the complaint form.

The names of the victim and witnesses are not included. The board requests names, if needed.

The APS specialist may also obtain the appropriate form by calling (512) 305-6838 or 1-800-821-3205.

5424.43 Release of APS Findings to the Texas Board of Medical Examiners

APS IH / May 2011

Before notifying the Texas Medical Board, the specialist consults the regional attorney to determine what rule or code of conduct the perpetrator violated.

To notify the Texas Medical Board, the specialist:

  •  completes the complaint form; and

  •  returns the form and copies of any additional supporting documentation to the address shown on the complaint form.

The APS specialist may also obtain the appropriate forms by calling 1-800-201-9353.

5424.44 Release of APS Findings to State Bar of Texas

APS IH / May 2011

Before notifying the State Bar of Texas, the specialist consults the regional attorney to determine what rule or code of conduct the perpetrator violated.

To notify the State Bar of Texas of validated findings against a licensed attorney, the APS specialist:

  •  completes the Grievance Form; and

  •  returns the form and copies of any additional supporting documentation to the address shown on the complaint form.

The APS specialist may also obtain the appropriate forms by calling 1-800-932-1900.

5424.45 Release of APS Findings to Guardianship Certification Board

APS IH / September 2011

Before notifying the Guardianship Certification Board, the specialist consults the regional attorney to determine what rule or code of conduct the perpetrator violated.

To notify the Guardianship Certification Board of validated findings against a certified guardian, the APS specialist:

  •  completes the Complaint Form; and

  •  returns the form and copies of any additional supporting documentation to the address shown on the complaint form.

The APS specialist may also obtain the appropriate forms by calling 512-463-1625.

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