APS September 2022
Closing a case is a matter of judgment. APS applies all these standards on a case-by-case basis:
- Reasonable effort
Reasonable efforts do not include the following:
- Keeping a case open indefinitely because a resource might eventually become available.
- Insisting on a positive outcome in order to close the case.
Only the primary assigned APS specialist or a manager in his or her chain of command may submit a case for closure.
The APS specialist closes the case when the client’s situation is stable, even if full resolution is not a practical goal because of inadequate resources, client resistance, or some other obstacle.
Informing the Client of Case Closure
The APS specialist informs the client of case closure by one of the following methods:
- In person.
- By letter.
- By phone. (Voice mail is acceptable if a designated perpetrator does not live in the home.)
- By informing another adult involved in the client’s care (who is not a designated perpetrator) on the client’s behalf, if the client lacks the capacity to consent to closure or is not available when contacted.
Tasks Before Closing the Case
Before closing the case, the APS specialist makes sure to do all of the following:
- Make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the client is not in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- Notify external agencies and licensing boards according to policy.
- Ensure the client’s situation is stable.
- Complete all required safety contacts.
- Address all of the problems identified on the Service Plan tab in IMPACT, including documenting the root causes, actions, results, and outcomes.
- Complete a Service Authorization form in IMPACT for any purchased client services (PCS), and ensure the supervisor approved the form.
- Complete all documentation.
- Ensure the district director or designee has approved any case eligible for the Employee Misconduct Registry.
- Save the case and submit it in IMPACT to the supervisor. The supervisor’s approval is required before closure.
Documenting the Case Closure page
Before closing the case, the APS specialist does as follows:
- Chooses the reason for closure from the drop-down menu on the Case Closure page.
- Marks all appropriate checkboxes and radio buttons on the Case Closure checklist that appears on the Case Closure page, including all of the following:
- Whether the client was informed of case closure, including the date he or she was notified. If the client was not notified of case closure, the specialist must document the reason in the Comment box.
- Whether the client participated in service planning. If the client did not participate in service planning, the specialist must document the reason in the Comment box.
- Whether alternate resources were explored when PCS was used and whether receipt of the goods or services by the client was verified.
- Whether the client or another principal is unable to communicate in English or has a communication disability. The specialist completes the required fields.
The APS specialist is not required to document in the Narrative whether he or she informed the client of case closure. However, if the APS specialist documents information in the Narrative, the specialist makes sure that the checkboxes and radio buttons do not contradict that information.
APS January 2022
It is important for APS specialists to use the appropriate closure code when closing the case. An explanation of each closure code is below.
After a thorough investigation, there is no indication the client is in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
Resolved With Services/Condition Stabilized
The client was experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, but APS resolved the problem by using Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds, referrals, and so on. The abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation has been addressed and it is believed the client will be safe for the foreseeable future.
No APS Services Required
The client was experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, but APS intervention, including use of Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds, referrals, and so on, was not necessary to resolve the problem.
Self-Neglect Resolved Before Face-to-Face
Self-neglect was present at the time of the intake, but the problem was resolved before the APS specialist saw the client face-to-face.
Client Refused Services/Withdrew From Services
The client is experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, and the client has capacity to consent to but has declined or withdrawn from all protective services.
APS exhausted all reasonable efforts to resolve the client’s problems and does not know of any other alternative actions. The APS specialist, supervisor, and, as needed, subject matter expert did the following:
- Consulted about the client’s situation, all actions taken, and the cause for the client’s recidivism.
- Agreed that no further reasonable action exists that APS can take to benefit the client.
When using this closure code, the APS specialist documents the following:
- Previous attempts to remedy the client’s problems.
- The reason the actions were unsuccessful.
- The justification for using the Efforts Exhausted code in the IMPACT system.
Services Needed, But Not Available
APS validated abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation and initiated services but resources (community, state, PCS, and so on) do not exist or are not currently available to remedy the problem.
Unable to Determine
Based on the available evidence, a preponderance does not support a finding of Valid or Invalid for the allegations. The APS specialist does the following:
- Documents his or her efforts to obtain sufficient information in IMPACT.
- Completes the conclusion justification with the available information.
Moved/Unable to Locate
The APS specialist does not know the client’s whereabouts and is therefore unable to make further contact with the client.
This code many also be used as a rapid closure code when appropriate. See 13110 Rapid Closure Codes and Dispositions of Other.
When the client passes away during an open case, the APS specialist completes the open case before closing the case using a closure code of Client Died. See 11000 Death of a Client and its subsections.
APS September 2022
The APS specialist must complete a Case Initiation contact and Section 1 of the Safety Assessment when the Overall Allegation Disposition in the IMPACT system is Other and the Closure Reason is one of the following:
- Moved/Unable to Locate
- Does Not Meet Definition of APS
- Client Died
- Administrative Closure
- Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated
- Other Agency/Out of State
If the situation meets the criteria above, the APS specialist is not required to complete any of the following:
- Sections 2–5 of the Safety Assessment (including when the specialist determines rapid closure at the initial face-to-face contact).
- An initial face-to-face contact.
- Risk of Recidivism Assessment.
- The investigation.
- Strengths and Needs Assessment.
The APS specialist has limited contact with the client in a case closed using Rapid Closure codes. For that reason, it is important for the APS specialist to document as much information about the client in the Person Detail page as possible. The APS specialist documents any contacts made or actions taken before it became apparent that using a rapid closure code was appropriate.
Moved/Unable to Locate
The APS specialist uses this disposition in either of the following situations:
- When the client moves to another state.
- When the APS specialist does not know the client’s whereabouts and is, therefore, unable to contact the client.
Does Not Meet Definition of APS
The APS specialist closes a case as Does Not Meet Definition of APS in any of the following situations:
- When the allegation at the time of intake or initiation, even if assumed to be true as presented, does not meet the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- The client is not one of the following:
- Age 65 or older.
- An adult with a disability that substantially impairs his or her ability to live independently or provide self-care.
- The alleged perpetrator is any of the following:
- Not a caretaker, family member, or person who has an ongoing relationship with the client when the allegation is abuse or financial exploitation.
- Not a caretaker when the allegation is neglect.
- Too young to be a perpetrator (see 3330 Minors as Perpetrators).
The Does Not Meet Definition of APS closure code is not appropriate when either of the following apply:
- At first, the allegation appears to meet the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. However, after further investigation, it becomes apparent that parts of the definition do not apply.
- It is not clear at the beginning of the investigation whether the allegation meets all parts of the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, and further interview or investigation is necessary to make that decision.
In either of these situations, the APS specialist does as follows:
- Completes a full investigation.
- Reaches a finding for each allegation.
- Uses a closure code other than Does Not Meet Definition of APS.
When there are no other allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, an allegation of a missing person is not appropriate for an APS investigation. The APS specialist makes necessary notifications and closes the case using closure code Does Not Meet Definition of APS.
Examples of Invalid and Does Not Meet Definition for APS
- The intake states that an alleged perpetrator pushed a client, resulting in harm. During the investigation, the APS specialist determines the alleged perpetrator did indeed push the client, but there was no resulting harm. The initial allegation did meet the definition, but the APS specialist determined through further investigation that the allegation did not meet all parts of the definition. A finding of Invalid is appropriate.
- The intake alleges a 60-year-old client needs assistance with home repairs. After several contacts, the APS specialist determines the client is not substantially impaired. A finding of Does Not Meet Definition of APS is appropriate.
- The intake states that an alleged perpetrator (not a caretaker) yelled at a client, but the intake does not indicate whether there was fear of imminent injury. Through further investigation, the APS specialist determines that the alleged perpetrator did yell at the client, but there was no fear of imminent injury. A finding of Invalid is appropriate.
When the client dies during an open APS investigation, the APS specialist and supervisor determine whether rapid closure procedures are appropriate when using the closure code Client Died.
The Administrative Closure code is only used as outlined in the chart below.
APS exhausted all reasonable efforts to resolve the client’s problems, and no other alternative action is known to exist.
APS assisted the client through PCS funds on multiple occasions, but the client repeatedly failed to follow through with the service plan to remedy his or her situation. There are no concerns about the client’s capacity.
The APS specialist, supervisor, and, as needed, subject matter expert, discussed the client’s situation and the cause for the client’s recidivism. They all agree that no further reasonable action exists that APS can provide that would benefit the client.
The APS specialist documents the following:
The alleged perpetrator is no longer in a position to perpetrate abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against the client. The client is not being abused, neglected, or financially exploited and is not at risk in the foreseeable future.
Exception: Regardless of the above criteria, APS must conduct an investigation if the allegations made at intake or during the case initiation contact meet the definition of reportable conduct as outlined in 14412 Reportable Conduct.
The APS specialist, in consultation with the supervisor, determines whether the alleged perpetrator will have, in the foreseeable future, the type of access to the client that provides the opportunity to perpetrate ongoing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
If it is determined the intake will not be investigated and the case will be closed using the Administrative Closure code, the APS specialist documents a detailed explanation regarding that decision in IMPACT.
See 2500 Chronic Callers.
Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated
When APS receives an intake that is identical to another case (open or closed), the APS specialist closes the new intake using the closure code Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated.
To be identical, the second intake must relate to the same event or incident as the first intake, or to an ongoing situation that is either of the following:
- Being addressed in an open case.
- Already addressed in a closed case.
All of the following characteristics of the first and second intake must also be the same:
- Allegations or incident
- Alleged perpetrators
The APS specialist must obtain supervisory approval to use this closure code if the original case was closed more than 30 calendar days before the date the new intake was received.
The APS specialist follows policy for Administrative Closure if the new intake is related to an ongoing situation in which APS exhausted all efforts to resolve the client’s problems, and there is no known alternative action.
Original Intake or Investigation
A caretaker neglected a non-ambulatory client when the caretaker failed to bathe the client all week. The APS specialist validated the allegation and then made referrals for services.
A new reporter alleges the client went without a bath for several days. The APS specialist determines this report is referring to the same week identified in the original intake.
Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated. The reports are referring to the same incident.
The client was unable to pay an electric bill due to money mismanagement. There were three cases before this one also with money management problems. In all of these cases, the client refused to make any changes or accept referrals to a money management program, and her medical doctor provided a statement that the client can handle her own finances.
The client is unable to pay her rent. The APS specialist learns the client is still mismanaging her money.
Administrative Closure. The client is unable to pay her regular expenses because of repeatedly mismanaging her funds and refusing to make any changes. There are no other known actions that APS can take.
The intake states the client was assaulted by her son. The investigation shows the client’s son slapped her and pushed her down. The APS specialist validated the allegation and closed the case.
A new intake is received stating the client’s son pushed her. The APS specialist learns this intake is referring to the same incident investigated in the previous intake.
Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated. The intakes are referring to the same event or incident with the same client and alleged perpetrator.
A client who owns his home has no running water and exposed wiring throughout the house. The cost to make repairs is over $10,000. The client refuses to seek a USDA loan or to move, and APS closed the case.
The city wishes to condemn the client’s house because of the unsafe conditions. The client refuses to move.
Administrative Closure. Repairs are too costly for purchased client services (PCS), the client has refused suggested solutions, and there are no other known actions for APS to take.
The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of another DFPS program. The APS supervisor or designee contacts SWI support staff at 1-800-252-3223 or 512-929-6920 and requests that SWI re-enter the intake for the correct program.
Other Agency or Out of State
The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of another entity or Texas state agency, including Health and Human Services Commission, or under the jurisdiction of another state.
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
The APS supervisor or designee contacts Statewide Intake (SWI) and requests the intake be re-entered for the correct program when an intake falls under the jurisdiction of either of the following:
- HHSC Provider Investigations (PI)
- HHSC Child Care Regulation (CCR)
Out of State
When a case falls under the jurisdiction of another state, and there is reason to believe the client is in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, the APS supervisor or designee reports the client’s situation to the appropriate adult protective services agency.
APS September 2022
When an APS specialist submits a case for approval to close, the electronic approval can only be completed by an APS staff member in one of the following positions:
- Program administrator
- District director
- Director of Field Operations
When a supervisor or other manager submits a case for approval to close, the approval must come from someone higher on the management chain than the requester.
The following people may not approve cases for closure, even while they are in the role of acting supervisor, acting program administrator, or acting district director:
- APS specialist
- Subject matter expert (SME)
Self-Approval of Case Closure
When a case is assigned to a supervisor, program administrator or district director, the approval to close a case on his or her own workload must be obtained from someone higher on the management chain. There must be a valid business need for the self-approval and management approval must be documented in the Comments section of the case approval page in IMPACT.
Review and Approval of Case Closure
When an APS specialist submits a case for approval to close, the APS supervisor does as follows:
- Reviews the submitted case, including any assessments and reassessments, within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date in IMPACT to make sure that all of the following apply:
- All allegations have been investigated adequately and documented in IMPACT. This applies to allegations made at intake and to those discovered during the case.
- All current danger factors identified during the case are listed on the Safety Assessment or Safety Reassessment, if applicable.
- The service plan is complete.
- APS has made all reasonable efforts to make sure the client is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- The case is appropriate for closure.
- Rejects a submitted case, if any of the following apply:
- APS has not adequately investigated some or all of the allegations. This applies to allegations made at intake and to those discovered during the investigation.
- One or more current danger factors identified are missing from the Safety Assessment or Safety Reassessment, if applicable.
- The identified root cause has not been adequately addressed.
- The Strengths and Needs Assessment was not completed when required by policy.
- APS has not made all reasonable efforts during the case to make sure that the client is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
- There are other valid reasons to reject the submission.
When an APS specialist submits a case for closure and it requires two levels of management approval, both approvals must be completed within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date in IMPACT. This does not include investigations submitted to the district director or designee to review for reportable conduct criteria as outlined in 14412 Reportable Conduct.
The supervisor is not required to review investigations to determine whether the APS specialist complied with performance management standards.
APS January 2022
The phrase “problem resolved” implies all the following are true:
- The client is as safe as possible under the circumstances.
- The client’s major needs are being met.
- Resources exist to keep the situation stable for the foreseeable future or at least three months.
The chart below describes case outcomes that meet reasonable effort standards and result in one of the following:
- Full resolution.
- A resolution sufficient for closure (client stabilized).
Type of Case
Full Resolution: Case is closed
Resolution Sufficient: Case is closed if other conditions for full resolution are not practical and client is stable
The financial exploitation stopped. For example:
The financial exploitation stopped. For example:
The abuse stopped. For example:
The abuse stopped. The perpetrator still has access to the client, and both of the following conditions apply:
All major needs are met and likely to be met indefinitely. For example:
The neglect stopped. For example: