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2000 Intake

2100 Priorities

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

APS PI maintains a prioritization system for investigations conducted in all provider settings.

Priority I

Priority I reports:

  •   have a serious risk that a delay in the investigation will impede the collection of evidence; or

  •   allege that the victim has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation by an act or omission that caused, or may have caused, serious physical or emotional harm.

Priority I reports may include:

  •   death;

  •   sexual abuse;

  •   an injury caused by serious physical abuse;

  •   serious verbal or emotional abuse; or

  •   incitement to harm self or others.

Priority II

Priority II reports:

  •   have some risk that a delay in investigation will impede the collection of evidence; or

  •   allege that the victim has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation by an act or omission that caused, or may have caused, non-serious physical injury or emotional harm not included in Priority I.

Priority II reports may include:

  •   a non-serious injury caused by physical abuse; or

  •   non-serious verbal or emotional abuse.

Sexual abuse reports cannot be prioritized as a Priority II.

Priority III

Priority III reports allege:

  •   abuse, neglect, or exploitation that would otherwise be classified as Priority I or II, but:

  •   the alleged incident occurred more than 30 days before the date of the report; and

  •   there is no known or perceived risk; or

  •   exploitation when it is the only allegation type in the report.  

If another allegation type occurs in conjunction with exploitation, the report is classified as the more urgent priority.

The following allegations cannot be classified as a Priority III:

  •   allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in SSLCs and the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center; or

  •   allegations involving children in any setting. 

See also 3222.1 Initial Face-to-Face Requirements.

2110 Changing Priorities

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

SWI assigns priorities to investigations. The primary consideration when assigning a priority is the risk that a delay in the investigation will impede the collection of evidence. The investigator assesses the intake to determine if the priority is correct. Changes in priority may affect investigation timelines, including face-to-face (FTF) interviews with victims and the date the investigation is due.

Changing the Priority Before the FTF Contact

To downgrade a priority before the FTF contact with the individual receiving services, the investigator verifies with provider staff who have reliable information that:

  •  the individual receiving services has no visible physical injuries; and

  •  there is no physical evidence that would be lost or destroyed if there is a delay in FTF contact with the individual receiving services.

If an allegation involves a visible physical injury, the priority cannot be downgraded before FTF contact.

The investigator may determine after talking with provider staff that the intake information does not adequately describe the severity of physical injuries or that physical evidence is likely to be destroyed if contact with the individual receiving services is delayed. The investigator may upgrade the priority to ensure that relevant evidence is collected.

Changing the Priority After the FTF Contact

A priority can only be changed after the FTF visit with the individual receiving services when the interview with the individual receiving services reveals that the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred more than 30 days before the date of intake.

Examples

Examples of when a change in priority may be warranted include:

  •  upgrading from a Priority III to a Priority II because an incident is less than 30 days old. The case will now be due in 14 days instead of 21 days;

  •  downgrading from a Priority I to a Priority II after verifying with provider staff that there are no visible physical injuries and that no physical evidence will be lost or destroyed if the FTF contact with the individual receiving services is delayed. The FTF visit is due in three days instead of 24 hours;

  •  downgrading from a Priority I to a Priority III after interviewing the individual receiving services and determining a sexual abuse allegation occurred more than 30 days ago. The case will now be due in 21 days instead of 14 days; and

  •  upgrading from a Priority III to a Priority II because the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred in an SSLC or the Rio Grande State Center’s ICF/IID.

IMPACT Documentation

If the priority assigned at intake is changed, the investigator completes the Priority/Closure page in IMPACT, including the justification for the priority change.

See 3222.1 Initial Face-to-Face Requirements.

2200 Statewide Intake Procedures

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

See the Statewide Intake Handbook.

2300 Examples of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

Examples of Physical Abuse (Serious Physical Injury) Allegations

  •   An employee attempted to apprehend an individual receiving services during an unauthorized departure attempt and punched the individual in the face, resulting in a fractured jaw.

  •   An employee used excessive force when applying a restraint hold on an individual receiving services, which caused them both to fall and resulted in the individual being transferred to the hospital and diagnosed with rib fractures.

  •   An employee told an individual receiving services he needed to go to time-out, grabbed his arm, and physically dragged him by the arm to the time-out area, resulting in three-inch bruises to the individual’s forearm.

  •   An individual receiving services was treated for third degree burns to the neck after an employee threw hot coffee on him.

Examples of Physical Abuse (Non-Serious Physical Injury) Allegations

  •   An employee slapped an individual receiving services after the individual kicked the employee. The individual receiving services had no visible injuries.

  •   An individual receiving services grabbed a magazine away from an employee, who then grabbed the magazine back, rolled it up, and struck the individual on the side of the face.

  •   An employee told an individual receiving services he needed to go to time-out, and the employee physically redirected the individual.

Examples of Sexual Abuse Allegations

  •   An individual receiving services alleged sexual encounters with an employee during off-grounds excursions, describing in accurate detail the employee’s automobile and the location and interior of the employee’s apartment.

  •   After a year of residency in a facility, an individual receiving services was diagnosed as being pregnant by an unknown father.

  •   An adult receiving services in the community alleged his direct provider imposed non-consensual sexual activity on him.

  •   The spouse of an HCS foster care provider is alleged to have sexual relations with an individual receiving services. The spouse is deemed an agent because of the accepted responsibility (formally or informally) for providing services.

Examples of Verbal or Emotional Abuse Allegations

  •   A state supported living center employee told an individual receiving services, “You better act right or else.”

  •   An ICF/IID group home staff member told an individual receiving services, “I’m gonna kill you man!” during a restraint.

  •   An HCSSA employee told an individual receiving services, “If you call and report this, I’m going to finish you!”

  •   An HCS group home staff member told an individual receiving services, “You are a liar, and that’s why your family doesn’t want you around!” As a direct result, the individual threatened self-harm.

While verbal or emotional abuse may be more subjective than physical or sexual abuse, it can indicate a pattern of abuse committed by an alleged perpetrator. An allegation of verbal or emotional abuse may be the precursor for additional allegations of other types of abuse.

Examples of Neglect Allegations

  •   An individual receiving services who is on one-to-one observation for suicide precautions was left unattended for a short period of time.

  •   An individual receiving services was unattended in a building for several hours because staff did not arrange transportation for the individual or check the building before securing it for the evening.

  •   An individual receiving services was left with feces smeared on him for three hours when monitoring checks should have been conducted every hour.

  •   An individual receiving services took the medication of another individual residing in the same residence because staff left the medication cabinet unlocked.

  •   An individual receiving services fell and hit his head on the wall, and staff failed to report it to the appropriate medical staff.

  •   An individual receiving services who has a history of unauthorized departures and getting injured left the home through the back door while a staff member was outside talking to their friend at their car.

  •   An individual receiving services was badly burned by hot bathwater because the direct provider did not check the temperature of the water coming from the faucet.

Examples of Exploitation Allegations

Exploitation Any Setting

  •   An employee traded a pack of cigarettes for a $75 pair of boots from an individual receiving services.

  •   An individual receiving services was coerced to shine an employee’s boots without compensation.

  •   A family member who is also a paid provider for the individual receiving services borrowed money from the individual and did not pay it back.

  •   A provider brings an individual receiving services to the bank. While there, the provider has the individual write a check, payable to cash from the individual’s bank account for $580.00. The provider takes the money from the teller. The provider and the individual leave the bank together and the provider uses the cash to pay the provider’s cell phone bill.

  •   A consumer-directed services (CDS) employee uses the individual receiving services’ vehicle to run personal errands while she is supposed to be shopping for the individual. The employee goes to the nail salon, the cell phone store, and her own home to start a load of laundry.

Examples of Attempted Exploitation (only in a community provider setting)

  •   An individual receiving services gives her credit card to the HCSSA employee so the employee can go to the store for the individual. Once the employee is done shopping for the individual, he goes to another store and attempts to buy $600.00 worth of car audio equipment. The store manager checks the credit card and sees it doesn’t belong to the employee. The manager calls security and law enforcement. The transaction was unsuccessful, but the act was attempted exploitation.

  •   A provider takes his grandfather (who is also the individual receiving services) to the bank to sign a reverse mortgage for $67,000. While at the bank, the mortgage broker observes the grandfather appears frightened and uncomfortable making the transaction. The mortgage broker notifies his manager, security, and law enforcement. The provider did not successfully complete the reverse mortgage process but the act was attempted exploitation.

Examples of Theft (only in a community provider setting)

  •   An individual receiving services leaves her rings on the bathroom counter. When she goes to get them later that evening, the rings are gone. The only person who has been in the individual’s home is the CDS employee. The individual alleges the CDS employee stole them during her shift.

  •   The individual receiving services accuses his provider of stealing checks from his checkbook while he was bathing. He didn’t see the theft but the checks are missing from the back of his checkbook.

  •   An individual receiving services observes his pill minder is missing several days of pain medications. The only other person who has access to the pill minder is the individual’s Medicaid-paid Community Attendant Services (CAS) employee. The individual alleges the CAS employee stole his prescription medication.

  •   An individual receiving services believed her home health attendant, an HCSSA employee, stole her stationary bike.

2310 Anonymous Allegations

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Investigate all allegations regardless of whether the reporter is known.

See also 2311 The Reporter.

2311 The Reporter

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

The identity of the person making a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to DFPS is kept confidential.

Human Resources Code §48.101

2320 Intake Reports of a Similar Nature

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

In the Statewide Intake Handbook, see 2324 Subsequent Information on a DFPS Case.

For additional information on cases of a similar nature in the investigation stage, refer to 5100 Case Merge.

2330 Incomplete Information

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

The investigator begins an investigation even if the intake information is incomplete.

2340 After Hours

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Each office designates three individuals as on-call staff available after business hours. The on-call list must include an investigator and a supervisor. The third individual can be an investigator, supervisor, or administrative staff person.

To return the call, the investigator:

  •  calls 1-800-252-3223;

  •  hears a recording asking him or her to enter the extension number; and

  •  enters the four digit extension number indicated by SWI on voice mail.

In the Statewide Intake Handbook, see 6920 APS Call Out and Assignment.

2350 Maintaining On-Call List

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Each district maintains the on-call list in IMPACT for each county it serves during and after business hours. The schedule must be entered by the 15th of the month before the month the schedule goes into effect. However, assignments can be changed as needed. The electronic on-call list must be updated as changes are made.

2360 Routing Coordinator

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

During business hours, one staff member from each county must be designated as the routing coordinator. The routing coordinator accepts intakes from SWI and assigns each intake to an investigator. All routing coordinators can assign cases, but only those at the level of investigator or above may assign priorities and primary allegations.

The routing coordinator for each county must be available on a regular basis to check for new intakes. A different staff member can be designated each day. A system must also be established for investigators to check IMPACT regularly for newly assigned intakes.

2370 Completing a Provider Information and Referral (I&R) Report

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

If SWI receives a report that does not meet the criteria for investigation, the intake worker completes the report as an information and referral (I&R). The intake worker then routes the report to the field for review.

2380 Procedures for Handling I&R Reports

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

I&R reports are classified into four categories:

  •  Active case

  •  Other state agency investigation

  •  Client rights or administrative issues

  •  Misclassification

I&R reports are assigned to a designee in each district. The designee reviews the I&R reports and consults with his or her supervisor, or the supervisor’s designee, as necessary. The designee who is assigned the I&R takes the appropriate action as outlined in the table below:

When was the I&R received?

I&R Type

Review must occur by when?

Action must be taken by when?

During business hours

Active Case

Other State Agency Investigation

Client Rights or Administrative Issue

Misclassification

On the business day that the information is reported to SWI

On the business day that the information is reported to SWI

On a business day but after working hours

Active Case

Other State Agency Investigation

Client Rights or Administrative Issue

Misclassification

No later than the next business day from when the information is reported to SWI

No later than the next business day from when the information is reported to SWI

On a weekend or holiday

Active Case

Other State Agency Investigation

Client Rights or Administrative Issue

Within 24 hours from when the information is reported to SWI

No later than the next business day from when the information is received from SWI

On a weekend or holiday

Misclassification

Within 24 hours from the time the information is reported to SWI

Within 24 hours from the time the information is reported to SWI

Field staff concerns about SWI are emailed to the DFPS QAUNIT mailbox. Include in the email the case number and a brief summary. Field staff should not call or email a specific SWI intake worker directly.

2381 Active Case

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

If an I&R relates to an active case, the designee:

  •  reviews the I&R;

  •  consults with the supervisor or the supervisor’s designee, as needed; and

  •  assigns the I&R to the investigator with the active case.

When more than one investigator has an open case on an individual receiving services, the designee reviews the open cases and assigns the I&R to the appropriate investigator.

The investigator:

  •  opens and reviews the I&R;

  •  follows up on the information provided in the I&R; and

  •  saves and closes the I&R in IMPACT.

2382 Other State Agency Investigation

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

When an I&R includes information that needs to be addressed or investigated by DADS, DSHS, or another state agency, the designee:

  •  reviews the I&R;

  •  consults with the supervisor or the supervisor’s designee, as needed;

  •  calls or faxes the information to the appropriate state agency; and

  •  saves and closes the I&R in IMPACT.

In the Statewide Intake Handbook, see 2800 Reports for Other Texas State or Community Agencies and its sub-items for guidelines and contact information for DADS, DSHS, and other state agencies.

2383 Client Rights or Administrative Issues

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

When an I&R includes information related to client rights or administrative issues that are addressed by the provider, the designee:

  •  reviews the I&R;

  •  consults with the supervisor or the supervisor’s designee, as needed;

  •  faxes or emails the information to the appropriate provider; and

  •  saves and closes the I&R in IMPACT.

If the I&R pertains to an individual receiving services residing in a state supported living center, HCS, or ICF/IID, the designee emails an electronic copy to DADS Waiver Survey and Certification.

2384 Misclassification

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

An I&R is misclassified when SWI classifies the report as an I&R but the report includes information that should have resulted in an intake. When an I&R is misclassified, the designee:

  •  reviews the I&R; and

  •  consults with the program supervisor or the supervisor’s designee.

If the supervisor or the supervisor’s designee determines the allegation meets the criteria for an intake, the designee who is assigned the I&R:

  •  contacts SWI by phone at 1-800-252-3223; and

  •  provides SWI staff with the call ID for the I&R that needs to be re-entered as an intake.

Once the information has been entered by SWI, the intake is called out to the appropriate district. Field staff make the required notification based on the time listed on the intake, and then save and close the I&R in IMPACT.

If a delay in notifying the provider, administrator, or chief executive officer (CEO) may jeopardize the safety of an individual receiving services, the supervisor or the supervisor’s designee faxes a de-identified copy of the I&R to the provider, administrator, or CEO. The fax cover sheet should explain that:

  •  the I&R will be investigated once an intake is generated; and

  •  an investigator will follow up with a notification by phone after receiving notification of the intake from SWI.

Requests for a re-entry need to be approved by a program supervisor or higher. Program staff should not send re-entry requests through the Internet reporting system or to the SWI QA unit. If a re-entry is needed, program staff must contact SWI support staff through the number reserved for DFPS staff at 800-252-3223 or, if in the Austin area, at 512-929-6920.

2385 I&Rs with Unknown Providers

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

If a provider is not identified in the I&R, the investigator or designee saves and closes the I&R in IMPACT.

2386 Maintaining Copies of I&Rs in District Offices

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

District staff maintain copies of all I&Rs received from SWI for 30 calendar days. After 30 calendar days, I&Rs can be destroyed using a method that ensures confidential material is not viewed by unauthorized personnel.

2390 Streamlined Caller List

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

The district office maintains a list to track individuals receiving services who have a pattern of making frivolous or patently false allegations. This list is called the streamlined caller list.

Criteria for Addition to the Streamlined Caller List

To be placed on the streamlined caller list, the individual receiving services must have a pattern of making frivolous or patently false allegations. An individual receiving services establishes a pattern when the alleged victim reports at least three frivolous or patently false allegations within a one month period. Allegations that are frivolous or patently false include:

  •   The details of the specific allegations are virtually identical. For example, the alleged victim says in every report that the same three staff pull him out of his bed at night and beat him with a broom.

  •   DFPS has found that there is no supporting evidence that abuse, neglect, or exploitation has occurred.

  •   The alleged victim makes repeated requests that a specific investigator or an investigator of a specific gender be sent to interview him or her.

  •   The allegations are determined to be attention-seeking behavior or symptomatic of the alleged victim’s diagnosis of mental health or intellectual disability, and there is no supporting evidence that abuse, neglect, or exploitation has occurred. This is determined by the alleged victim’s:

  •   interdisciplinary or service planning team in a facility, the Rio Grande State Center’s ICF/IID, an HCS or TxHmL waiver provider, LMHA, LIDDA, or community center provider; or

  •   provider, case manager, service coordinator, or service planning team, as applicable, in a community provider setting.

Before placing an individual receiving services on the streamlined caller list, the supervisor or designee must consult with the individual’s:

  •   interdisciplinary or service planning team in a facility, the Rio Grande State Center’s ICF/IID, an HCS or TxHmL waiver provider, LMHA, LIDDA, or community center provider; or

  •   provider administrator or designee, case manager, service coordinator, or service planning team, as applicable, in a community provider setting.

Information Included on the Streamlined Caller List

The district includes the following information on the list:

  •   An individual receiving services’ name

  •   Specific information about the criteria used to determine the individual receiving services is eligible for streamlined investigations

  •   Date the individual receiving services was added to the streamlined caller list

  •   Date the individual receiving services is removed from the streamlined caller list

  •   Date the supervisor or designee reviews the streamlined caller list

Removal from the Streamlined Caller List

To ensure that the district’s streamlined caller list is updated and current, the program administrator or designee checks the streamlined caller list on a quarterly basis.

The supervisor or supervisor’s designee removes the individual receiving services from the list if the reason for putting the individual on the list no longer applies. The supervisor or designee then notifies the applicable entities according to the following table:

Setting

Who is notified?

A facility, the Rio Grande State Center’s ICF/IID, HCS/TxHmL waiver provider, LMHA, LIDDA, or community center provider

The interdisciplinary or service planning team

Community provider

  •    The case manager, service coordinator, or service planning team; and

  •    the provider administrator or designee

Reasons for removal from the list may include the following:

  •  The individual receiving services is no longer calling in false allegations.

  •  The individual receiving services has transferred from the facility or has been discharged.

  •  The individual receiving services has changed provider agencies.

  •  Specific details of the allegations no longer match why the individual was placed on the chronic caller list, so there is no longer a specific pattern.

See 3800 Streamlined Investigations in All Settings.

2400 Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs)

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Children’s advocacy centers (CACs) provide an environment where community agencies share information and develop strategies to meet the needs of each investigation, child, and individual with a disability.

CACs provide specialized forensic interviews conducted by trained, neutral professionals using research and practice-informed techniques as part of a larger investigative process. The services of the CACs are intended to minimize the need for multiple interviews by community agencies involved in serving victims of abuse. Re-victimization may occur when interviews are not coordinated.

There are local CACs in each district of the state. District APS staff established memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with their local CACs. The MOUs vary in terms of who is eligible to receive services through the local CACs.

2410 Criteria for CAC Services

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Each MOU specifies the criteria for APS referral to a CAC in terms of alleged victims, types of allegations, and specifics as to notification to the CAC. The investigator notifies the CAC when the investigator receives an intake alleging sexual abuse or serious physical injury of an individual receiving services.

2411 CAC Coordination Procedures

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Based on the MOU, the investigator:

  •  reviews the intake to determine whether the allegations are appropriate for referral to the CAC;

  •  contacts the CAC within 24 hours or by the next business day after determining the victim meets the criteria for a forensic interview. The investigator may determine a forensic interview is necessary before or during the investigator’s initial face-to-face contact with the victim. If this determination is made during the initial face-to-face contact, the investigator does not complete the interview or obtain a statement from the victim at that time;

  •  attends and participates in the CAC multi-disciplinary team meeting as needed to conduct the interview. To assist with the interview, the investigator may verbally disclose relevant case information to the CAC interviewer;

  •  coordinates with the alleged victim’s provider to transport the alleged victim to the CAC. Arrangements can include transportation by facility staff, volunteers, or other persons who are not principals in the investigation. Under no circumstances should the alleged perpetrator be involved in transporting the alleged victim to the CAC;

  •  signs the CAC confidentiality agreement before the forensic interview;

  •  observes and takes notes of the interview, and documents the interview as a contact in IMPACT. At the conclusion of the forensic interview, the CAC staff provides a copy of the recorded interview to the investigator. The investigator stores the recording in the external case file according to DFPS record management policy;

  •  collects other necessary evidence to determine a finding; and

  •  discloses the finding of the investigation to CAC staff, upon request and at case closure.

See:

3121 Notification to Law Enforcement

3224 Investigations Involving Children

5310 Arranging the Paper Case File

7200 Release of the Provider Abuse and Neglect Report

Records Management Group Handbook, 4000 Records Retention and Disposal

2500 Forensic Assessment Center Network

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

The Forensic Assessment Center Network (FACN) is a coordinated group of geriatricians, pediatricians, and other medical professionals in Texas who are experts in identifying abuse and neglect. The FACN is a joint project between DFPS and the University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston that provides medical expertise for APS PI investigators.

The purpose of the FACN is to improve APS’ access to medical professionals with expertise in conducting forensic assessments. The goal of the FACN is to provide statewide access to:

  •   forensic assessment services;

  •   expert testimony in abuse or neglect investigations;

  •   training to APS PI employees on the medical aspects of abuse and neglect; and

  •   expert testimony in judicial proceedings.

The FACN:

  •   helps APS PI staff determine whether abuse or neglect occurred by providing forensic assessment services, including a:

  •   review of case records, or

  •   second opinion of a medical professional’s report regarding an abuse or neglect determination.

  •   may be used as a primary or secondary source for forensic assessment services.

The investigator:

  •   interviews a local medical professional, if one is available, to address the allegation before making a referral to the FACN, then if needed,

  •   makes a referral to the FACN using the Forensic Assessment Center Network Resource Guide for Adult Protective Services Provider Investigation Program.

The Forensic Assessment Center Network Resource Guide for Adult Protective Services Provider Investigation Program contains procedures for making and documenting an FACN referral, terms, and contact information.

See:

FACN Resource Guide for APS PI

3930 Peer Review

2600 Sexual Contact Between Individuals Receiving Services

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

APS PI investigates allegations that an individual receiving services has been sexually abused by another individual receiving services. APS’s investigation determines whether neglect on the part of provider staff may have made it possible for the sexual abuse to occur. In these cases, the staff person who may have been negligent is identified as the alleged perpetrator.

2700 Aggression Between Individuals Receiving Services

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Aggression between individuals receiving services is any incident in which an individual receiving services is hostile or violent toward another individual receiving services. Aggression can be verbal or physical in nature.

APS PI investigates aggression between individuals receiving services in some instances to determine if neglect by facility staff may have made it possible for the aggression to occur.

APS PI investigates aggression between individuals receiving services when:

  •  one or both of the individuals receiving services were on special precautions, such as close observation or one-to-one observation;

  •  one or both of the individuals receiving services have a history of aggression;

  •  staff members verbally or physically encouraged one or both of the individuals receiving services to become aggressive; or

  •  one or both of the individuals receiving services received serious physical injury.

2800 Sensitive and High Profile Cases

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

Sensitive and high profile cases are stored in a protected area in IMPACT to limit access by staff, even for inquiry purposes. Examples of cases that may require special handling include cases in which:

  •  a DFPS employee is the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator;

  •  the spouse, relative, significant other, or household member of a DFPS employee is the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator;

  •  the alleged victim is a ward of a guardianship agency or program;

  •  the case has gained or is expected to gain the attention of a legislator;

  •  a non-DFPS employee in the same office, such as a DADS guardianship specialist, is the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator;

  •  the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator is a high profile individual, such as a county judge, legislator, or district attorney;

  •  the case has gained or is expected to gain media attention;

  •  the individual receiving services has died under unusual circumstances; or

  •  the district director or designee determines that a form must be completed for similar reasons.

2810 Procedure for Sensitive or High Profile Cases

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

The investigator consults with his or her supervisor about designating the case as sensitive in IMPACT when:

  •   there is reason to believe a case is sensitive or high profile; or

  •   an individual receiving services died as a result of abuse or neglect.

The investigator designates the case as sensitive in IMPACT by:

  •   selecting the Sensitive Case indicator located under the Special Handling section of the Case Summary page; and

  •   entering the reason for the sensitive designation in the Comments section.

Once the case is designated as sensitive, IMPACT restricts all users’ access to the case with exception of:

  •   the primary and secondary APS specialists;

  •   the assigned APS specialist’s chain of command; and

  •   staff with the sensitive case security attribute in IMPACT.

While a case is marked sensitive, the investigator cannot reassign it or assign a secondary caseworker. The investigator can only assign individual tasks to other staff. The investigator’s supervisor reassigns the case or assigns a secondary caseworker as necessary.

See:

7100 Confidentiality of Investigative Process and Report

7200 Release of the Provider Abuse and Neglect Report

Office of Communications Handbook, 4410 Release of Records and Confidentiality Issues

2811 Procedure for Sensitive or High Profile Case Form

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

The investigator completes the APS PI High Profile Case form when a case is determined to be sensitive or high profile as outlined in 2800 Sensitive and High Profile Cases.

After completing the form, the investigator emails the form to the supervisor for review and follows district protocol for review of the form. The program administrator or designee emails the form to the APS PI director and documents his or her actions in IMPACT.

See:

IMPACT FYI: Record, Review, Modify, or Delete Sensitive Case

7230 Release to HHSC Office of Inspector General (OIG)

Appendix I: Actions That Constitute a Crime

Death of an Individual Receiving Services

If the investigator suspects an individual receiving services died as a result of abuse or neglect, he or she notifies law enforcement and OIG and enters information related to the individual’s death as described in 2811.1 Documenting the Death of Individual Receiving Services in IMPACT.

See:

2800 Sensitive and High Profile Cases

3121 Notification to Law Enforcement

3122 Notification to HHSC Office of Inspector General

2811.1 Documenting the Death of Individual Receiving Services in IMPACT

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

In addition to following policy 2800 Sensitive and High Profile Cases, the investigator completes information in IMPACT related to the individual’s death. APS PI collects data on all deaths of individuals receiving services and reports the total number of deaths due to abuse and neglect. To report an accurate number of deaths, certain information must be entered in IMPACT. See:

3123.11 Entering Contact Detail

3123.12 Entering Person Detail

3123.13 Entering Allegation Detail

2811.11 Entering Contact Detail

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

The investigator enters a contact in the Contact Detail narrative that documents the date that APS PI was notified of the death of the individual receiving services and the date that law enforcement was notified. If provided, the investigator also documents the name of the assigned officer and the law enforcement case number in the Contact Detail narrative, as well as in the appropriate fields of the Abuse and Neglect Report.

2811.12 Entering Person Detail

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

If investigating a death or if the individual receiving services dies during an investigation, the investigator completes the Date of Death and the Reason for Death code on the Person Detail page according to the following table:

If reason for death is …

then the investigator selects …

abuse or neglect …

APS – Related to A/N.

inconclusive as to abuse or neglect ...

APS – UTD or INC.

not related to abuse or neglect …

APS – Not related to A/N.

clinical in nature…

APS – Not related to A/N.

2811.13 Entering Allegation Detail

APS Provider Investigations November 2017

On the Allegation Detail page, the investigator selects Fatal under Seriousness of Injuries only if the death is the result of confirmed abuse or neglect.

If an investigator enters Fatal in the Seriousness of Injuries field, IMPACT requires the Reason for Death code to be APS – Related to A/N.

See:

3121 Notification to Law Enforcement

3122 Notification to Office of Inspector General (OIG)

3223.3 Conducting Joint Interviews of Individuals Receiving Services and Witnesses

2900 Intakes from Other States

APS Provider Investigations April 2017

If the report concerns alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an individual receiving services in another state, the investigator takes sufficient information to notify the appropriate out-of-state agency by telephone or fax.

Staff can find information about out-of-state agencies on the National Center on Elder Abuse website.

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