CPS June 2011
All staff must take the reasonable steps necessary to ensure that a child’s needs for protection and safety are met and that the case is transferred effectively to FBSS, based on available information.
To facilitate the timely referral, assessment, and transfer from Investigations to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS), investigation and FBSS staff must take the steps explained in 2238 Case Transfers.
CPS June 2011
In an FBSS case, the FBSS caseworker’s first task with the family is to conduct an FBSS Family Assessment.
The investigator must attend the family assessment with the FBSS caseworker to:
• introduce the FBSS caseworker to the family; and
• provide information about the need for services.
If both the investigation and FBSS caseworkers attend the Family Team Meeting (FTM), it is optional for the investigator to attend the formal family assessment.
CPS June 2011
Making initial and subsequent contact with a child and family within the established timeframe during transfer from Investigations to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) is critical to keeping a child safe. The entire family, including all of the children, must be visited by CPS staff every 10 calendar days, until the process of assessing whether to provide FBSS is complete.
If the transfer of a case to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) is delayed by the Investigation unit, the Investigation unit maintains contact with the family every 10 calendar days.
If the delay is caused by the FBSS unit, the FBSS unit maintains contact with the family every 10 calendar days.
If it is not clear which unit must maintain contact with the family because of a delay:
• the caseworkers and supervisors immediately consult with their program directors; and
• the investigator maintains face-to-face contact with the entire family, until management determines how best to proceed.
This information also appears in 2465 Maintaining Contact With the Family During the Transfer to FBSS.
CPS January 2013
Obtaining Consent to Enter and Assess
The family-based safety services (FBSS) caseworker or investigator must obtain the parent’s verbal consent to:
• enter the family’s home and remain in the home; and
• enter the family’s home to conduct a family assessment.
See 2350 Visits to the Home.
If the parent indicates that he or she no longer consents to the caseworker remaining in the home or conducting the family assessment, the FBSS caseworker and investigator must leave the home and stop conducting the assessment.
Obtaining Consent for a Visual Exam
If the FBSS caseworker or the investigator needs to visually examine the child, the caseworker:
• explains the need for the examination;
• explains the scope of the examination; and
• offers the parent an opportunity to consent to the exam before performing it.
See 2371 Examinations of Alleged Victims and Other Children in the Home.
The investigator documents in the IMPACT system (in the Investigation stage, in the Contact Detail Narrative):
• the parent’s consent to enter the home to conduct the assessment; and
• the parent’s consent to conduct a visual examination, if applicable.
If the investigator is unable to attend the assessment, then the FBSS caseworker documents the parent’s consent using either of the following methods:
• Document the consent as a secondary worker, in IMPACT, in the Investigation stage, in the Contact Detail Narrative.
• Send documentation of the parent’s consent by email to the investigator for that caseworker to paste into the Investigation stage in IMPACT.
See 1221 Constitutional Protections.
CPS June 2011
Scope of a Family Assessment
The family assessment includes:
• the reason for CPS involvement;
• details on the children, parents, and all adults who care for the children in the home;
• details on the children in the parental child safety placement (PCSP) and PCSP caregivers, if applicable, and
• the overall state of the family’s functioning.
See 6418 Incarcerated Parents.
When necessary, the caseworker may contact people outside the family (such as relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors) to gain a better understanding of the family’s functioning.
Before contacting people outside the family, the caseworker ordinarily discusses the prospect of doing so with the family, unless the child’s safety is in question.
1450 Confidentiality of Information
Appendix 2262: Confidentiality of School Records
Purpose of a Family Assessment
The purpose of the family assessment is to enable the caseworker and the family to do as follows:
• Understand the issues that placed the child at risk and determine the underlying cause of the risk.
Example issue: A mother leaves a four-month old unattended on a couch. The infant rolls off the couch and is injured.
Example cause: The mother has little knowledge of child development or parenting.
• Identify the family’s strengths, sources of support, concerns, expectations, goals, needs, and outside resources to help the family resolve the issues that placed the child at risk.
Examples of a family’s strengths could include that a parent is employed, the home life is stable, the children are in good health, the family receives support from other family members and from the community.
• Identify the issues that will be the focus of the family service plan. The issues may include services, as needed, for the parents, the caregivers (if different than the parents), and the children. In all cases, the link between the family assessment and the family service plan must be clear.
• Identify the family’s community relationships and cultural sources of support that may assist the family in completing tasks and services.
CPS September 2011
To conduct a family assessment, the family-based safety services (FBSS) caseworker takes the following steps.
Step 1: Identify Key Issues
Before completing the FBSS Family Assessment, the caseworker identifies the key issues to discuss with the family by reviewing:
• the allegations;
• the risk assessment and safety assessment from the investigation;
• the child’s safety plan;
• all previous CPS history with the family, if any; and
• all previous criminal history with the family, if any.
Step 2: Meet With the Family
To conduct the family assessment, the caseworker usually meets with the family in the family’s home. The meeting is normally the caseworker’s first contact with the family. It is also the caseworker’s first step toward developing the family service plan and to help establish relationships in the Family Tree in IMPACT.
If a Family Team Meeting (FTM) is held before the family assessment and the FBSS caseworker attends the FTM, the caseworker may meet with the family after the FTM to conduct the family assessment.
3114 Constitutional Requirements for an FBSS Family Assessment
2440 Family Team Meetings
2238 Case Transfers
1432 Family Tree
Step 3: Complete Form 2627 FBSS Family Assessment
After meeting with the family to complete the family assessment, but before the FBSS staffing, the FBSS caseworker completes Form 2627 FBSS Family Assessment.
Step 4: Document the Assessment
After the meeting with the family, the caseworker:
• documents the Family Assessment on Form 2627 FBSS Family Assessment;
• documents the completed form in the External Documentation section in the IMPACT system; and
• documents the results and recommendations of the family assessment, either by:
• assigning the FBSS caseworker as a secondary caseworker on the case to enter the information directly into the IMPACT system, on the Contact Detail page of the investigation (INV) stage, or
• sending the results and recommendations of the family assessment in an e-mail to the investigator.
CPS June 2011
One or more of the following staff meet to consult in what is known as the FBSS Staffing to determine whether to transfer a case from Investigations to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS):
• The investigator, the investigator’s supervisor, or both
• The FBSS caseworker who completed the FBSS Family Assessment, or the FBSS caseworker’s supervisor, or both
Other staff who may attend, as appropriate, include:
• the program directors for Investigations and FBSS;
• other investigation or FBSS caseworkers;
• the disproportionality specialist, to assist in identifying racial biases and culturally relevant services;
• subject matter experts, as needed; and
• a child safety specialist.
Supervisors are encouraged to use conference calls or other forms of technology when it is not feasible for a caseworker or supervisor to consult in the FBSS staffing in person.
The FBSS caseworker takes copies of the completed FBSS Family Assessment, Form 2627, to the staffing for attendees.
CPS June 2011
At the conclusion of the FBSS Staffing, held to determine whether to transfer a case from Investigations to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS), both the investigation and FBSS supervisors must agree to one of the following decisions:
1. Transfer the case from investigations to FBSS
2. Close the case in the investigation (INV) stage of the IMPACT system because the caregiver is capable of protecting the child and controlling any existing threats to the child’s safety and a safety plan is not needed; or
3. Consult with DFPS Legal staff in a staffing about the possibility of legal intervention (that is, obtaining a court order, if the parents do not want to participate in services, or requesting the child be removed from the home).
For more information on case transfer decisions and how to handle case transfer disagreements, see 2464 Making Key Decisions About Transferring a Case to FBSS.
See 2469 Documenting an Investigation Without Offering FBSS.
CPS January 2013
All case activities, from referral through the case transfer, must be clearly documented in the case record.
In most cases, to maintain a complete description of CPS staff activity:
• the Investigation unit documents case activity in IMPACT on the Contact Detail page;
• the Investigation unit documents the FBSS referral, using Form 2628 FBSS Referral; and
• the FBSS caseworker documents the FBSS Family Assessment, using Form 2627 FBSS Family Assessment, and includes it in the External Documentation section of IMPACT;
• the FBSS caseworker documents the case activity either by:
• assigning the FBSS caseworker as a secondary caseworker on the case to enter the information directly into the IMPACT system, on the Contact Detail page of the investigation (INV) stage; or
• sending the information in an email to the investigator to be included in his or her documentation in the investigation (INV) stage.
Specifically, the FBSS documentation includes information on:
• the FBSS family assessment;
• the FBSS staffing; and
• any other documentation that factored into the case decision.
See 3220 Conducting the FBSS Family Assessment.
For details on documenting a referral to FBSS, see 2238 Case Transfers.
CPS January 2013
Documenting the Level of Service
At the conclusion of the FBSS staffing, the FBSS and investigation supervisors determine whether the family meets the criteria for receiving family-based safety services (FBSS).
If the family meets the criteria, the FBSS supervisor:
• determines the level of service the family requires (regular, moderate, or intensive); and
• assigns the case to the appropriate caseworker.
See 3130 Criteria for FBSS Cases.
For all cases that will be transferred to FBSS, the referring investigation supervisor:
• progresses the case to the family preservation (FPR) stage in the IMPACT system within one work day of the FBSS staffing; and
• transfers the FBSS case to the FBSS supervisor.
Within one work day of the FBSS staffing, the FBSS supervisor receives the:
• the paper copy of the case; and
• the IMPACT stage.
Upon receiving the case, the FBSS supervisor reviews:
• the referring investigator’s documentation;
• the details of the FBSS Family Assessment; and
• the information from the staffing.
Based on the review, the supervisor assigns the case to an FBSS caseworker.
Closing a Case Without Offering Services
If, at the conclusion of the FBSS Family Assessment and FBSS staffing, the Investigation and FBSS supervisors determine that the child is safe and a safety plan is not needed, the investigator closes the case in the investigation (INV) stage. See 2464 Making Key Decisions About Transferring a Case to FBSS.
Within one work day after the FBSS staffing, the FBSS caseworker documents the results and recommendations of the family assessment either by:
• assigning the FBSS caseworker as a secondary worker on the case to enter the information directly into the IMPACT system, on the Contact Detail page of the investigation (INV) stage; or
• sending the results and recommendations in an email to the investigator.
The investigator then completes the documentation in IMPACT, including entering supporting information and noting the decision to close the case.
For more information about the timeframes required when transferring a case from investigations to FBSS, see:
3210 Transferring a Case From Investigation to FBSS
2238 Case Transfer
CPS September 2013
If a family moves across regional lines or outside the FBSS unit’s area of responsibility or if an FBSS case needs to transfer from one FBSS caseworker to another FBSS caseworker, the following steps must be taken to ensure continuous service delivery:
Step 1: As soon as the need for case transfer is identified, the transferring FBSS supervisor emails the receiving FBSS supervisor or regional contact for FBSS services to set up case transfer. The email must include the following information:
• Completed FBSS referral
• Completed FBSS family assessment
• Locating information for the family
• Any existing parental child safety placement (PCSP)
• A copy of the safety plan, Family Team Meeting plan, or plan for parental child safety placement, if applicable
• The recommended level of FBSS
• Recommended services
Step 2: Within one work day, the receiving FBSS supervisor sends an email to the referring FBSS supervisor identifying the FBSS caseworker assigned to the case and the date and time of the FBSS staffing.
Step 3: The receiving FBSS caseworker must make contact with the family to confirm the family’s residence in the area before the FBSS staffing.
Step 4: The FBSS staffing must be held within 10 work days from the date that the receiving FBSS supervisor assigns a FBSS caseworker to the case. The referring FBSS unit and the receiving FBSS unit must participate in the FBSS staffing as outlined in 2460 Transferring a Case to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS).
A case transfer summary must be completed by the referring FBSS caseworker before transferring the case to the receiving FBSS caseworker, so that the receiving FBSS caseworker is able to use the information to provide continuity of services to the family. The case transfer summary must be completed in full and include detailed assessment of the progress of services, ongoing needs to address child safety and the family’s protective capacities, and any parental child safety placement and safety plan that may be in place.
If the family cannot be located by the receiving FBSS unit, the referring FBSS unit is responsible for taking steps to locate the family. If the family is located again outside of the original working days, the referring FBSS unit again refers the family to FBSS in the appropriate location.
Resolving Disagreements Regarding Case Transfers
The receiving FBSS supervisor must accept the referral for case transfer and may not refuse to accept it.
If the referring FBSS supervisor and the receiving FBSS supervisor disagree about the responsibilities of their respective units, their program directors must resolve the disagreement.
If the program directors cannot resolve the disagreement, the program administrators makes the final decision.
For additional information, see 2222 Preventing and Resolving Disagreements Among Staff Regarding Residence Designations.
Child safety must be the paramount consideration in the decision-making process.