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3000 Ensuring Child Safety

3100 When a Child Who is With His or Her Family Cannot be Located

CPS March 2016

In the investigation (INV), alternative response (AR), family preservation (FPR), and conservatorship stages, the caseworker must take immediate actions to find a family if the caseworker cannot contact a child who is with the family, or the caseworker loses contact with the child and family during the case, and needs to:

  •  investigate a report of alleged child abuse or neglect;

  •  provide protective services to a family receiving family-based safety services; or

  •  provide, in limited circumstances, protective services to the family of a child in the managing conservatorship of DFPS.

If CPS is unable to find the child and family, and the child is not in DFPS conservatorship, CPS must notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and request that the child be placed on the Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL) in the DPS Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC).

If a child in DFPS conservatorship is abducted by his or her biological family and the appropriate law enforcement officials decline to file a missing person report on the child with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the worker must immediately notify the supervisor and the special investigator program director (SIPD). The SIPD must request that DPS place the child and the Family on the Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL). See 3114 Child in DFPS Conservatorship Abducted by Family.

Children in DFPS conservatorship who are runaways and  are placed into NCIC as a missing person must not be placed on the CSCAL.

Absent parents who do not have possession of a child involved with DFPS are not subject to placement on the CSCAL.

Families who can be located but do not cooperate with the investigation are not subject to placement on the CSCAL.

If at any time the caseworker believes that the child is in imminent danger, the caseworker must staff with the supervisor. If the supervisor agrees the child is in imminent danger, the supervisor must staff with the SIPD to submit a referral to DPS immediately.

If a child or family that is listed on CSCAL is located, the special investigator program director must be notified immediately.

3110 Conducting a Search for a Child

3111 Preliminary Search

CPS March 2016

In an investigation (INV), alternative response (AR), or family preservation (FPR) stage, the caseworker must begin a preliminary search immediately after the first unsuccessful attempt to contact the child and family. The caseworker must continue the preliminary search:

  •  until the child is located, or

  •  for no more than three calendar days (72 hours from the start of the preliminary search).

During the preliminary search, the caseworker must complete all reasonable actions that would assist in locating the child or family as quickly as possible. The preliminary search must include all reasonable actions based upon the circumstances of the case as indicated in the Finding Families Resource Guide, including, but not limited to, the following:

  •  Visit the location where the family was reported to live or stay at different times of the day, especially before or after “regular business hours,” such as before 8AM and after 7PM.

  •  Request or conduct available on-line searches, to include the DFPS Family Inquiry Network Database Research System (FINDRS) unit (for a quick search) and the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign Project (TIERS).

  •  Contact local law enforcement for any locating information on the family.

During the preliminary search, the caseworker must gather:

  •  the name, personal description, gender, race, date of birth and any known identifying numbers (including social security number and driver’s license number) of each family member; and

  •  the family’s last known address.

If the caseworker is unable to locate the family during the preliminary search, the caseworker must complete the following activities beginning the fourth calendar day after starting the preliminary search. The caseworker:

  •  documents the search activities and results, including specific addresses, phone numbers, and names of people involved in the caseworker’s search;

  •  staffs the case with the supervisor; and

  •  takes the appropriate action, depending on whether the case is a Priority1 INV or a Priority 2 INV, AR, or FPR. See:

3112 Priority 1 Investigation Cases

3113 Priority 2 INV, AR, and FPR Cases – The Twenty Day Search

3112 Priority 1 Investigation Cases

CPS March 2016

If the case is a Priority 1 investigation, and the preliminary search is unsuccessful, the caseworker must complete the following additional tasks no later than the fourth day after beginning the preliminary search, but immediately after completing the preliminary search.

The caseworker:

  •  informs the SIPD that the case is a priority 1 investigation, and the caseworker conducted a preliminary search but was unable to locate the family;

  •  completes the Child Safety Check Alert List Data Entry Form for the DPS Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC); and

  •  emails the completed form to the SIPD.

Listing a Family on the Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL)

Within 24 hours of being notified that a preliminary search on a P1 investigation did not locate the child or family, the SIPD must notify DPS and request that the child and family be placed on CSCAL. The SIPD must:

  •  send an encrypted email with the completed Child Safety Check Alert List Data Entry Form to the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) at tcic.controlroom@dps.texas.gov (identifying information on the family must not be included in the Subject line of the email);

  •  select the CSCAL checkbox on the Case Summary page in IMPACT; and

  •  send a copy of the email and attachment to the caseworker.

The caseworker must file a copy of the email and attachment in the case record.

3113 Priority 2 INV, AR, and FPR Cases – The Twenty Day Search

CPS March 2016

If the case is a Priority 2 investigation (INV), alternative response (AR), or family preservation (FPR), and the preliminary search is unsuccessful, the caseworker’s supervisor must request that a special investigator (SI) begin the 20 day search. The supervisor must make the request no later than the fourth day after the caseworker began the preliminary search, but immediately after the caseworker completed the preliminary search.

Texas Family Code 261.3022(d)

The SI must begin the 20 day search the next calendar day after the supervisor’s request. The SI and caseworker continue the search:

  •  until the child is located, or

  •  for no more than 20 calendar days.

Exception for a Child in Imminent Danger

If at any time the caseworker believes that the child is in imminent danger, the caseworker must staff with the supervisor. If the supervisor agrees the child is in imminent danger, the supervisor must staff with the special investigator program director (SIPD) to submit a referral to DPS immediately.

Twenty Day Search Actions

The SI must complete all reasonable actions that would assist in locating the child or family as quickly as possible. The search must include all reasonable actions based on the circumstances of the case. See the Finding Families Resource Guide for strategies and guidance for determining these steps.

Listing a Family on the Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL)

Nineteenth Day Actions

If, no later than the 19th day of the 20 day search, the SI and caseworker have not located the child:

  •  the SI and caseworker must inform their respective supervisors;

  •  the SI and caseworker must document the search activities and results, including specific addresses, phone numbers, and names of people who were contacted during the searches; and

  •  the SI must complete the Child Safety Check Alert List Data Entry Form and email it to the SIPD.

Twentieth Day Actions

Within 24 hours of receiving the Child Safety Check Alert List Data Entry Form, the SIPD must:

  •  send an encrypted email with the completed CSCAL data entry form to the DPS Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) control room (identifying information on the family must not be included in the Subject line of the email);

  •  select the CSCAL checkbox on the Case Summary page in IMPACT; and

  •  send a copy of the email and attachment to the caseworker.

The caseworker must file a copy of the email and attachment in the paper case record.

3114 Child in DFPS Conservatorship Abducted by Family

CPS March 2016

If a child is in DFPS conservatorship, DFPS has the authority to report the child as missing to law enforcement for placement onto the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database as a missing person.

If a child in DFPS conservatorship is abducted by his or her biological family and the appropriate law enforcement officials decline to enter the child as a missing person on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), staff does not conduct a preliminary or 20 day search for the child. Instead, the caseworker must, within 24 hours of law enforcement’s decision not to enter the child as a missing person:

  •  notify the supervisor; and

  •  complete the CSCAL data entry forms and send them to the SIPD.

See 6314 When a Child or Youth is Missing from CPS Conservatorship.

The SIPD must, within 24 hours of receiving the Child Safety Check Alert List Data Entry Forms:

  •  send an encrypted email with the completed CSCAL data entry form to the DPS Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) control room (identifying information on the family must not be included in the Subject line of the email);

  •  select the CSCAL checkbox on the Case Summary page in IMPACT; and

  •  send a copy of the email and attachment to the caseworker.

The caseworker must file a copy of the email and attachment in the paper case record.

If the child is on the CSCAL when located, see 3121 CPS Locates a Child on CSCAL or 3122 Law Enforcement Locates a Child or Family on CSCAL.

3120 After a Family is Placed on CSCAL

CPS March 2016

Staff must not close a case solely because the family was placed on CSCAL. The caseworker and SI must continue searching for the family:

Investigation, Alternative Response, or Family Preservation Cases

The caseworker and SI must continue searching for the family in investigation, alternative response, or family preservation cases until the supervisor and SIPD can agree to close the case, based on whichever of the following occurs first:

  •  the child is located

  •  all avenues for searching for the family have been exhausted; or

  •  thirty days have passed since the CSCAL was filed.

Family Substitute Care or Family Reunification Cases

The caseworker and SI must continue searching for the family in family substitute care or family reunification cases until the court dismisses conservatorship of the child.

3121 CPS Locates a Child on CSCAL

CPS March 2016

If CPS locates a child, the caseworker or SI who located the child must immediately notify the supervisor and SIPD that the child has been found.

The caseworker’s supervisor must ensure that a face-to-face contact is made immediately if possible, but no later than twenty-four hours after the child is located. The caseworker must make the contact unless the SI located the child in a face-to-face contact.

The caseworker or SI must interview the child or family member, and any other children or individuals who are at the location, and gather information about the allegations and child safety. If the caseworker or SI determines there is danger to a child, the caseworker or SI must take one of the actions described in 3200 CPS Actions When Danger to a Child is Present.

The SIPD must immediately send an encrypted email to the DPS Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) control room to inform them that the child has been located and that the child and family can be taken off the CSCAL.

Texas Family Code 261.3024(b)

The SIPD must include the following information in the email:

  •  sufficient information to identify the family on the CSCAL;

  •  the date the child was located;

  •  the name of the agency that located the child;

  •  the Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) of the agency if the agency was a law enforcement agency; and

  •  whether the child is still with the family or DPS removed the child from the home.

The SIPD must then:

  •  send the caseworker a copy of the email and attachment;

  •  deselect the Child Safety Check Alert List checkbox in IMPACT; and

  •  add a contact to the case to document the circumstances in which the child or family were located.

The caseworker must file a copy of the email and attachment in the paper case record.

3122 Law Enforcement Locates a Child or Family on CSCAL

CPS March 2016

When a law enforcement officer locates a child or his or her family as the result of a hit on the CSCAL, the officer contacts Statewide Intake.

Statewide Intake:

  •  makes a call out to the router (during regular work hours) or the on-call worker (after regular work hours) in the area where the child or family was located by the officer and informs the router or worker that the officer is requesting an immediate call back, unless the officer has indicated otherwise;

  •  completes a priority 1 intake; and

  •  routes it to the county where the child or family was located by the officer.

A caseworker, after being notified that a law enforcement officer is with family members and is waiting for CPS to arrive, must immediately:

  •  go to the scene to interview the child or family;

  •  assess the child’s safety; and

  •  obtain valid locating information.

If the caseworker determines there is danger to a child, the caseworker must take one of the actions described in 3200 CPS Actions When Danger to a Child is Present.

After meeting with the child or family, the caseworker must inform the supervisor and SIPD that the child has been located.

The SIPD must:

  •  deselect the CSCAL checkbox in IMPACT; and

  •  add a contact to the case to document the circumstances in which the family or child were located.

3123 Child or Family on CSCAL is Not Located

CPS March 2016

When informed that DPS has purged the case from CSCAL, SIPDs must:

  •  deselect the CSCAL checkbox in IMPACT; and

  •  add a contact to the case to document that DPS has purged the CSCAL record on the child and family.

3130 When a Child is Safe, but a Principal Cannot Be Located

CPS November 2015

When a child is safe, but a non-child principal has moved, cannot be located, or cannot be identified, and it prevents a caseworker from gathering enough information or taking action to ensure ongoing child safety, the caseworker must make reasonable efforts to locate the principal. While attempting to locate the principal, the caseworker must gather information from all available sources and comply with all required tasks and timelines to the extent possible.

See the Finding Families Resource Guide.

For investigations

Caseworker Requirements

The caseworker must take immediate actions to locate the principal. These actions must be ongoing throughout the life of the investigation. After exhausting reasonable efforts, the caseworker must immediately, but no later than 30 calendar days after intake, request that a special investigator (SI) be assigned to the case.

Special Investigator Requirements

Within 10 calendar days after being assigned to the investigation, the SI must complete any actions to locate the principal that are appropriate for the case, document the actions, and notify the caseworker about the results.

If the SI locates the principal and makes face-to-face contact, the SI must interview the principal, and any other children or individuals who are at the location, and gather information about the allegations and child safety. The SI must immediately notify the caseworker and supervisor. If the SI determines that there is danger to a child, the SI must take one of the actions described in 3200 CPS Actions When Danger to a Child is Present.

When the SI makes contact or takes actions related to child safety, the SI must immediately contact the caseworker and supervisor.

If Principal Still Not Located

If, after the SI is assigned to the case, the principal is still not located, the supervisor and program director must evaluate next steps for the case.

For FPR and CVS

If, after taking all reasonable actions, the caseworker is still unable to locate the principal, the caseworker must staff with the supervisor to discuss the next steps.

To the extent possible, the SI must assist the caseworker in locating the principal, if requested.

If the principal is still not located after the SI is assigned to the case, the supervisor and program director must evaluate next steps for the case. See 6314 When a Child or Youth is Missing from Care.

3200 CPS Actions When Danger to a Child is Present

CPS February 15, 2015

Existing Custody or Visitation Court Orders

Safety Plan

Required Contact

Ending a Safety Plan

Whenever possible, while consistent with child safety, and after staffing with a supervisor, a caseworker must first try to implement a safety plan by taking one or more of these actions:

  •  Require a caregiver to take action to control the danger to a child.

  •  Refer the family for a Family Team Meeting.

  •  Implement a Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP).

  •  Seek one of the following legal actions, after staffing with the attorney representing DFPS:

  •  Remove an alleged or designated perpetrator from the home.

  •  Assist a parent in getting a court order for protection of a child or family member.

  •  Get a temporary restraining order if the caseworker believes that a parent is going to remove a child from the state.

  •  Get a court order that requires a parent to participate in services.

Texas Family Code §§262.1015; 264.203

Existing Custody or Visitation Court Orders

If there is an existing custody or visitation court order regarding the child, and a PCSP or documented Safety Plan (Form 2604-b) affecting a parent’s right to contact with the child is put into place, the caseworker must staff with attorneys representing DFPS within two weeks of learning that there is a court order.

Safety Plan

The caseworker must complete Form 2604-b Safety Plan form whenever the caseworker takes one of the actions described in 3200 CPS Actions When Danger to a Child is Present.

The caseworker must ensure that each individual agreeing to and signing the Safety Plan form understands and agrees to:

  •  his or her responsibilities;

  •  the potential consequences of non-compliance; and

  •  the actions or circumstances needed to eliminate the need for the Safety Plan.

The caseworker must provide a signed copy of the Safety Plan form to all individuals who signed it.

Required Contact

If the safety plan includes a provision requiring an individual to reside with a parent and child, either in the parent’s home or in another home, the caseworker must contact that individual as often as necessary to ensure child safety, but at least once a month.

Ending a Safety Plan

The caseworker must end a Safety Plan when:

  •  it is no longer needed to ensure the safety of the child; or

  •  the stage will be closed with no further CPS involvement.

3210 Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP)

CPS March 2016

Texas Family Code, Chapter 264, Subchapter L

A Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP) is a temporary, short-term placement by a parent for a child who is unsafe in his or her own home (or a sibling of a victim where the placement is needed to protect the children from each other).

See:

Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP) Resource Guide

PCSP Assessment and Agreement Tool

PCSP Assessment and Agreement Tool (Spanish)

3211 Evaluating the Child’s Safety Before Placement

CPS March 2016

Before allowing the child to go into a Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP), the caseworker must evaluate the potential caregiver and household to determine whether the child will be safe in the PCSP. As part of the evaluation, the caseworker must:

  •  run DFPS History Checks on all residents in the PCSP. If the PCSP caregiver is a principal on an open CPS stage, the caseworker and the supervisor must staff with the caseworker and the supervisor of the open stage;

  •  run criminal history checks on all residents in the PCSP age 14 and older;

  •  evaluate the safety of the PCSP physical home environment; and

  •  evaluate the ability of the PCSP caregiver to keep the child safe.

3211.1 FBI Records Checks

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must request an FBI exigent check for any adult or emancipated minor, age 14 and older, who is a member of the PCSP household if:

  •  the household member currently lives outside Texas;

  •  the household member has lived out of state within the last three years; or

  •  the caseworker suspects the household member has a criminal history in another state.

As soon as possible, the caseworker must also ensure that the household member submits to an FBI fingerprint check. The caseworker must inform the parent and proposed PCSP caretaker that CPS cannot allow the placement to be made if the person is not willing or able to provide fingerprints in Texas. If the household member has not been fingerprinted or made arrangements to be fingerprinted within two weeks of the date the PCSP is made, the caseworker must staff with the supervisor, and the program director if necessary, to determine how to proceed.

When the household member lives outside of Texas, the caseworker must not agree to allow the person to leave Texas with the child until the caseworker obtains the results of the FBI fingerprint check and determines that there is no bar to placement.

3211.2 Household Members That Previously Lived Outside of Texas

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must determine whether any household members age 14 and older lived in other states before living in Texas, and the caseworker must contact those states to determine if the person had CPS, APS, or CCL involvement in the other state. If the caseworker verifies the person’s CPS, APS, or CCL involvement in another state, the caseworker must consult with the supervisor before proceeding with the placement.

For guidance on completing an out-of-state PCSP consult the PCSP Resource Guide.

3211.3 PCSP Household Member with Criminal History

CPS March 2016

A PCSP cannot be approved if a PCSP home household member has a disqualifying criminal history. Arrests without convictions are not an absolute bar, but must be evaluated.

An absolute bar to placement is any of the following:

  •  a conviction or deferred adjudication for any felony listed in Appendix 4525: Offenses From the Texas Penal Code, in the attachment Assessing Criminal History Offenses and Convictions for PCSPs; or

  •  a conviction or deferred adjudication for any felony not listed in Appendix 4525, but which has occurred in the last five years.

Staff must evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, any criminal history that is not an absolute bar to placement and decide whether the history would pose a current danger to the child being placed. If staff cannot obtain the information needed to make this determination before placing the child, the PCSP cannot be approved.

3211.4 PCSP Household Member with Abuse or Neglect History

CPS March 2016

A PCSP cannot be approved if a PCSP household member has any of these allegation dispositions in a CPS, RCCL or CCL case:

  •  Reason to Believe (RTB)

  •  Unable to Determine (UTD)

  •  Unable to Complete (UTC)

Staff must evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, APS (including Adult Foster Care – AFC) and other CPS, RCCL and CCL dispositions, and decide whether the history would pose a current danger to the child being placed. If staff cannot obtain the information needed to make this determination before placing the child, the PCSP cannot be approved.

3211.5 Notifying Parent or Guardian of PCSP Approval or Denial

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must notify the parent or guardian about whether the PCSP has been approved, but must not disclose any criminal or DFPS history of the PCSP household members.

Texas Family Code §264.903(c)

3211.6 Collateral Contacts

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must make collateral contacts to confirm that the PCSP is safe before the child goes into the PCSP or, if that is not possible, within 24 hours after the child goes into the PCSP.

3211.7 Staffing with Regional Attorney

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must immediately staff with the program director and the regional attorney if:

  •  a court orders placement with a PCSP caregiver who is barred under policy or who has been evaluated and denied placement; or

  •  the caseworker seeks removal that is denied by an attorney or the court and the only options are to:

  •  return the child to the home; or

  •  place the child with a PCSP caregiver who is barred under policy or who has been evaluated and denied placement.

3212 Program Director Approval

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must get program director approval before the child is allowed to go into a PCSP.

3213 Documenting a PCSP Placement

CPS March 2016

Once the caseworker, supervisor and program director approve a Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP) caregiver and household for placement, the caseworker, before leaving the child in the placement, must:

  •  complete a PCSP Assessment and Agreement Tool; and

  •  provide the parent and caregiver a paper or electronic version of the completed and signed tool.

The caseworker must document in the Safety Plan the details about the conditions under which a parent can have access to the child; the respective duties of the caregiver, parent, and department to safely meet the child’s needs; and the PCSP end date.

The caseworker must document the PCSP in IMPACT in the PCSP section, if it is available for that stage of service. If the PCSP section is not available, the caseworker must record the PCSP in a contact narrative.

If the caseworker evaluates and denies all potential PCSP caregivers, the caseworker, within 24 hours after assessing the last potential PCSP caregiver, must:

  •  complete a PCSP Assessment and Agreement Tool on the last caregiver and household evaluated, and

  •  document the evaluation and denial reasons of all other potential PCSP caregivers in a contact narrative.

3213.1 Voluntary Caregiver Manual

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must provide the PCSP caregiver with the Voluntary Caregiver Manual before leaving the child in a placement.

3213.2 New Children Placed into an Existing PCSP

CPS March 2016

Before a new child is placed into an existing PCSP where children from the same case are already placed, the caseworker must:

  •  evaluate the safety of residents in the home with respect to the new child;

  •  evaluate the safety of the PCSP physical home environment with respect to the new child;

  •  evaluate the ability of the PCSP caregiver to keep the new child safe; and

  •  document the results in a contact narrative.

Before placing a new child into an existing PCSP where children from a different case are already placed, the caseworker must evaluate the situation as a new PCSP placement following the steps described in this section.

3213.3 Program Director Documentation in Approving or Denying PCSPs

CPS March 2016

Whenever any PCSP is elevated to a program director (PD) for approval or denial, the PD must document the basis for his or her decision within five days of making the decision.

If any member of the PCSP household has criminal or abuse or neglect history that must be evaluated, the documentation must include:

  •  the nature of abuse or neglect or criminal history;

  •  the reasons for the decision, including a description of:

  •  Specific sources of information used to make the determination that the problem that led to the criminal offense is no longer a problem;

  •  How circumstances have or have not changed since the last incident, or an explanation about how the abuse, neglect or criminal history is or is not related to child safety;

  •  the PD’s decision to approve or deny the PCSP.

See the PCSP Resource Guide.

3214 Option to Enter Into Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must inform the parent and PCSP caregiver about the option to enter into an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative, to ensure the PCSP caregiver may consent to necessary decisions in the child’s life.

Texas Family Code, Chapter 34

3215 Required Contacts

3215.1 Required Contact with Child and PCSP Caregiver

CPS March 2016

While the child is in a Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP), the caseworker must make face-to-face contact with the child and the PCSP caregiver within the first 10 calendar days of placing the child in the PCSP and at least once a month thereafter.

At each contact, the caseworker must assess whether the PCSP placement remains safe and whether the plans to meet the child’s needs are still appropriate. If the placement is to continue, the caseworker must confirm that the caregiver is willing and able to continue the placement. CPS must ensure the child does not remain in the PCSP household any time the PCSP caregiver is no longer willing or able to safely care for the child.

At each contact, the caseworker must determine whether there are changes to the residents of the PCSP household or short-term caregivers. The caseworker must run CPS background checks on any new PCPS resident or short-term caregiver and criminal background checks for those age 14 and older.

The caseworker must document any changes to a parent’s access to the child, the plan to safely meet the child’s needs, or the expected end date in a revised Form 2604 Safety Plan as set forth in this section.

3215.2 Required Parent Contact

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must contact all parents who agreed to the PCSP every 10 calendar days. At each contact, the caseworker must assess whether the child can safely return to the physical custody of a parent.

 

3216 Extending a PCSP

CPS March 2016

If a child is still in a Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP) 60 days after the first placement in a PCSP, the caseworker must determine and document appropriate next steps. A child’s placement in subsequent PCSPs does not restart the 60-day clock.

The caseworker must continue the PCSP if:

  •  a parent is cooperating with DFPS, continuing to work services and complying with the Family Plan or Safety Plan; or

  •  the current PCSP caregiver is seeking legal custody.

The caseworker must continue the PCSP until the child safely returns to the physical custody of the parent or the PCSP caregiver obtains an initial order for legal custody.

Otherwise, the caseworker must staff with an attorney for DFPS for legal intervention. If an attorney for DFPS determines that no legal intervention is available or seeks legal intervention that is denied and, no further services will be provided to the parent, the caseworker must take steps to close the PCSP with the child still in the placement.

The caseworker must get approval from a program director for a PCSP to exceed 90 calendar days after the first placement in a PCSP.

3217 Closing a PCSP

CPS March 2016

The caseworker must close a PCSP when:

  •  the child returns home;

  •  the child moves to another PCSP household; or

  •  the child cannot safely return home but the caseworker determines that either:

  •  the child can safely reside with another person who is legally entitled to possession; or

  •  it is necessary to remove the child and seek legal custody to ensure the child’s safety.

Texas Family Code §§264.904; 264.905

3218 Closing a Case or Stage When the Child Remains in a PCSP with a Caregiver Who Does Not Have Legal Custody

CPS March 2016

If CPS is no longer providing services to the parent, and the caseworker is closing a case or a stage of service, and the child is remaining with a PCSP caregiver who does not have legal custody, the caseworker must document that:

  •  no parent is cooperating with DFPS, continuing to work services, or complying with the Family Plan and/or Safety Plan;

  •  the current PCSP caregiver is unable or unwilling to seek legal custody; and

  •  an attorney for DFPS has determined that no legal intervention is available or sought legal intervention that was denied.

Before closing the case or stage, the caseworker must:

  •  document the basis for determining that the child can safely remain with the caregiver;

  •  ensure and document that the caregiver is willing to continue the PCSP without CPS involvement;

  •  ensure and document there is a workable plan for making sure the child’s needs are met after CPS is no longer in the case;

  •  ensure and document the child is aware of the plan to close the case and that the caregiver’s, parent’s and child’s questions have been answered;

  •  get supervisor and program director approval; and

  •  complete and sign the Voluntary Caregiver’s Case Closure (see Appendix 2 of the PCSP Resource Guide) and get signatures of the caregiver, a supervisor and, if possible, the parent. The program director must either sign the form, or the caseworker must document the program director’s verbal approval in a contact narrative.

The caseworker must give a paper or electronic copy of the Voluntary Caregiver’s Case Closure (see Appendix 2 of the PCSP Resource Guide) to the caregiver and parent and maintain a copy in the case record.

3220 Removing a Child

3221 Initiating a Removal

CPS March 2016

Required Approvals

Explaining the Process to Parents and Caregivers

Gathering Information From Parents and Caregivers

Documents That Must Be Provided to Parents in Exigent Circumstances

Explaining the Removal to the Child

Texas Family Code §262, Subchapter B

The caseworker must remove a child from the home if there is danger to a child, and there is no other reasonable way to ensure the child’s safety. The caseworker must refer the family for a Family Team Meeting before removing the child, or document in IMPACT the reason such a referral was not possible.

Texas Family Code §§262.101; 262.102; 262.104; 262.113

Required Approvals

Before removing the child, the caseworker must have supervisor and program director approval and, according to the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, a court order or exigent circumstances.

The caseworker must consult with the attorney representing DFPS if the caseworker needs a court order for removal.

The caseworker must immediately consult with the attorney representing DFPS after a removal based on exigent circumstances.

Explaining the Process to Parents and Caregivers

At the time of removal, the caseworker must inform the parent of the reasons for the removal, and provide the brochure While Your Child is in Care.

Texas Family Code §262.109(c)

Gathering Information From Parents and Caregivers

The caseworker must gather any available information needed to complete Form 2279 Placement Summary. The caseworker must provide the parents with Form 2625 Child Caregiver Resource and, to the extent possible, assist the parents in completing the form. The caseworker must begin the evaluation process of any identified potential caregivers as soon as possible.

Texas Family Code §262.114

Documents That Must be Provided to Parents in Exigent Circumstances

If the removal is based on exigent circumstances, the caseworker must provide a completed Form 2231(es) Notice of Removal of Children to all parents at the time of removal, or no later than the first working day following removal. This is not required if the court orders otherwise, or for a Baby Moses case.

Texas Family Code §262.109

Explaining the Removal to the Child

The caseworker must have an age-appropriate conversation with the child about why the removal is necessary.

3222 Making a Placement in Substitute Care

CPS February 15, 2015

Before placing the child in substitute care, the caseworker must provide a pre-placement visit and address any concerns the child may have about the placement. To the extent possible, the caseworker must place the child with a relative who is willing and able to safely care for the child. The caseworker must document the child’s placement in IMPACT as soon as possible or by close of the next day.

3223 Discussion of Child’s Needs

CPS February 15, 2015

At the time of the placement, the caseworker must discuss the child’s needs with the substitute caregiver, provide the caregiver with any necessary documentation and arrange for a medical consenter and an educational decision maker for the child.

3224 Notification

CPS September 2015

Within 30 calendar days after removal, the caseworker must ensure that notice is provided to the following individuals, if their names and addresses are known:

  •  all maternal grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and sibling relatives of the child;

  •  all adult grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and sibling relatives of:

  •  the child’s legal father, or;

  •  the child’s alleged father, if DFPS has a reasonable basis to believe the alleged father is the child’s biological father;

  •  all relatives and fictive kin identified as potential caregivers on the Child Caregiver Resource form;

  •  any legal custodians of the child’s siblings; and

  •  any other relative or fictive kin the caseworker determines should receive notice.

Notice is not required for persons served with citation by the court, or determined ineligible for notice based on criminal or family violence history.

42 U.S.C. §671(a)(29)

Texas Family Code §262.1095

3225 Court Filings

CPS February 15, 2015

The caseworker must file this information with the court prior to the Adversary Hearing:

  •  a copy of each Child Caregiver Resource Form;

  •  any completed home assessment on a child’s relatives or fictive kin;

  •  if a child was placed with an identified relative or fictive kin before the full adversary hearing, the name of the relative or fictive kin;

  •  if the child was not placed with an identified relative or fictive kin before the full adversary hearing, the caseworker must identify the reasons why and actions taken, if any, to place the child with a relative or fictive kin.

In all information filed, Social Security Numbers must be redacted.

Texas Family Code §262.114(a-1)

3226 Conservatorship Caseworker Assignment

CPS February 15, 2015

A conservatorship caseworker must be assigned as soon as possible after opening a substitute care stage. The conservatorship caseworker and the caseworker initiating the removal must cooperate in completing and filing all required legal forms and documents, attending court hearings, and ensuring that all required visits take place.

After the adversary hearing, the conservatorship caseworker has primary responsibility for taking any other actions needed to meet the child’s needs.

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