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1420 Opening a Case

CPS 96-8

Management Policy

In CAPS, an electronic case record is established if staff:

  •  document an intake alleging abuse and neglect, or

  •  record a CRSR which is assigned for follow-up.

In CAPS, a situation begins with the opening of a case (new or closed) and ends when all stages and the case are closed. When the same case re-opens with a new request for services or a new report of abuse and neglect is accepted for investigation, it is considered a new situation in an existing case.

1421 The Case Record

CPS 96-8

Management Policy

The complete case record may consist of both electronic records and paper records. With the exception of cases closed prior to the implementation of CAPS, DFPS must have an electronic case record for each child and family who receives protective services. The electronic case record contains, but is not limited to,

  •  identifying information about the client,

  •  the basis for determining the client's eligibility for service,

  •  the services provided,

  •  the goals and objectives of the services,

  •  the results of the services,

  •  the providers of service, and

  •  other agencies or professionals involved in the case.

When it is necessary to view the complete case record off line (outside of CAPS), the electronic case record must be printed and duplicated. Reasons for printing the electronic case record include, but are not limited to:

  •  subpoena for court when the worker needs to take the record,

  •  parent, victim, or designated perpetrator requests a copy,

  •  request for production,

  •  request from DFPS attorney,

  •  to provide to adoptive parent,

  •  case reading for federal audit,

  •  request from law enforcement or prosecutor for criminal case, or

  •  child death review teams.

Note: In all of these requests, staff need to identify whether the entire case record is needed or whether certain parts only need to be printed. Anything that has a physical signature must be filed in the paper case record after being signed. Any paper documentation coming from external sources, such as school records, court documents, and medical or counseling records are to be filed in the paper case record and their whereabouts documented in the external records window of CAPS.

1422 Organization of Paper Case Records

CPS 96-8

Management Policy

DFPS organizes paper case records for investigation, family preservation, substitute-care, and adoption services in a family-based filing system. The system reduces the need for duplicate documentation for each child in substitute care. Staff must use the standard formats and follow the standard instructions specified in Appendix 1422 for these types of services.

Approval

DFPS also has standard formats for foster care eligibility case records (see 1515 Foster Care Financial Eligibility Case Record) and adoption subsidy eligibility case records (see 1712.2 Adoption Assistance Eligibility Case Record), but their use is optional.

Note: To manage the size of the active file on an open case, staff create an inactive file for materials that are more than two years old. The active file and the inactive file are identically organized; and both are kept in the local office for the life of the case record. When a case is closed, the active and inactive files are consolidated and retained as specified in Item 1470, Retention and Disposal of Case Information.

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