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6000 Substitute-Care Services

6100 Overview of Substitute Care

6110 Goals and Objectives

CPS February 2017

Substitute care is provided from the time a child is removed from his or her home and placed in CPS conservatorship until the child returns home safely or is placed in another living arrangement that does not require CPS supervision.

Substitute care services are provided to ensure the safety, well-being and permanency of a child in CPS conservatorship or a young adult in extended foster care, and consist of:

  •  case management services

  •  treatment services

  •  the residential care and support provided to the child; and

  •  other supportive and therapeutic services provided to the child, the child’s parents, and the child’s substitute caregiver.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.1301

6111 Assumption of Parental Responsibility

CPS February 2017

CPS legally assumes parental responsibility for a child who is removed from the home and placed in CPS conservatorship. The decision to place a child in substitute care must be supported by a court order authorizing CPS to take possession of the child and manage his or her care.

When a child in placed in substitute care, both CPS and the child’s substitute caregiver work together to help CPS meet its parental responsibility. CPS’s parental responsibility for the child does not end until the child leaves CPS conservatorship.

For operational definitions, see 1124 Definition of Stages of Service.

6112 Goals of Substitute Care

CPS February 2017

The goals of substitute care are to ensure that a child receives:

  •  protection from abuse and neglect; and

  •  care that is consistent with his or her needs for safety, well-being, belonging, and achievement of positive permanency.

See the Permanency Planning Resource Guide.

6113 Objectives of Substitute Care

CPS February 2017

The objectives of substitute care are to:

  •  provide temporary, planned placements for a child at risk of abuse or neglect;

  •  provide or arrange for social, therapeutic, medical and educational services appropriate to the child’s needs; and

  •  make reasonable efforts to achieve positive for the child, which includes reuniting the child with his or her family, transferring conservatorship to another appropriate adult, or finding an adoptive parent.

Reasonable efforts to reunite a child with his or her family include:

  •  assessing each child’s and family’s situation;

  •  developing and implementing a time-limited service plan to change the conditions that have placed the child at risk and prepare the child and family for the child’s return; and

  •  finding a permanent placement for the child, if the child cannot be safely reunited with his or her family.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §§700.1301, 700.1305

6114 Legal and Practical Bases

CPS February 2017

CPS policies and procedures for substitute care services are based on the following:

  •  applicable state laws, including the:

  •  Texas Family Code, and

  •  Human Resources Code.

  •  applicable federal laws, including the Social Security Act, especially:

  •  Title IV-B, Child and Family Services; and

  •  Title IV-E, Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance.

      For more detailed information about the legal basis for substitute care services, see 1200 Legal Bases for Child Protective Services.

  •  the Child Care Licensing Division’s Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies.

  •  the sound standards of professional case practice.

  •  the decisions of the management representing the DFPS state office and regional offices.

6120 Initial CVS Caseworker Activities

CPS February 2017

The conservatorship (CVS) caseworker must be assigned primary or secondary in IMPACT on the parents’ family substitute care (FSU) stage and the child’s substitute care (SUB) stages within 48 hours of the child’s removal from the home.

The new caseworker must review the case record before contacting the child and parent.

6121 Required Tasks at Assignment

CPS February 2017

When the conservatorship (CVS) caseworker is assigned to the case, at initial removal or case transfer, the CVS caseworker must:

  •  review any information provided by the CVS supervisor;

  •  review the case in IMPACT;

  •  review the case file;

  •  contact the caseworkers assigned to the open stages of the case to:

  •  offer assistance, and

  •  obtain information about the child, the family, and the child’s placement;

  •  contact the following individuals, if applicable, to notify them of the caseworker’s assignment and provide contact information:

  •  the child;

  •  the caregiver;

  •  the parents;

  •  the child’s attorney ad litem;

  •  the child’s guardian ad litem;

  •  the child’s CASA supervisor;

  •  the child’s CASA volunteer;

  •  the parent’s attorney; and

  •  all service providers.

  •  ask what actions have been taken to meet the requirements for notice of CPS conservatorship See 3224 Notification and 6121.2 Initial Removal: Providing Notice of CPS Conservatorship; and

  •  consult 5840 The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), if a child is identified, or may be identified, as Native American.

6121.1 Initial Removal: CVS Caseworker Must Take Actions Not Taken by Removal Worker

CPS February 2017

When assigned to the case at initial removal the conservatorship (CVS) caseworker assumes responsibility for any required actions that the removal caseworker has not taken by the date of the adversary hearing (or another date agreed on during the post-removal transfer staffing).

See also:

5410 Types of Court Orders and the Process for Obtaining a Court Order for Removal of a Child

6122 Consulting With Staff After a Child Is Removed.

6121.2 Initial Removal: Providing Notice of CPS Conservatorship

CPS February 2017

At initial removal, the conservatorship (CVS) caseworker must provide notice of CPS conservatorship to the following, if names and addresses can be determined:

  •  all paternal and maternal relatives of the child (including adult relatives of the alleged father) who are related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity;

  •  all legal custodians of minor siblings;

  •  all adult siblings; and

  •  all persons designated by the parent as a potential caregiver on Form 2625 Child Caregiver Resource.

42 U.S.C. §671(a)(29)

Texas Family Code §262.1095

6122 Consulting With Staff After a Child Is Removed

6122.1 Scheduling a Post Removal Transfer Staffing

CPS February 2017

No later than 10 days after a child is removed from his or her home, the CPS supervisors for the stages involved must schedule a transfer staffing meeting with the relevant caseworkers to:

  •  discuss the child’s removal;

  •  identify a plan to meet the child’s immediate needs; and

  •  discuss a transfer visit.

6122.2 Scheduling a Transfer Visit

CPS February 2017

During the staffing meeting, staff must arrange a visit with the family to transfer the case from the caseworker who removed the child to the conservatorship (CVS) caseworker who will manage the case, and to introduce everyone involved.

The following individuals must attend the transfer visit:

  •  the removing caseworker;

  •  the CVS caseworker;

  •  the child;

  •  the parents; and

  •  the child’s family members (if they are involved).

6123 Case Conference and Supportive Supervision in CVS, I See You (ISY), and Kinship

CPS February 2017

All conservatorship (CVS), I See You, and kinship developmentcaseworkers receive guidance for case decisions through:

  •  case staffings);

  •  case conferences and

  •  supportive supervision.

The purpose of case staffings, case conferences, and supportive supervision are to:

  •  provide time for the caseworker and supervisor to discuss the status of cases on the caseworker’s workload and jointly decide the next steps to take to achieve:

  •  a thorough assessment of child safety;

  •  the case plan outlined in the Family Plan of Service; and

  •  the permanency goals and services in the Child Plan of Service,

  •  give the supervisor an opportunity to:

  •  provide supportive supervision;

  •  address caseworker developmental issues; and

  •  outline a plan to address any identified developmental issues.

For more information on frequency of conferences and staffings and details on what is required see 1491 Case Conference and Supportive Supervision.

6130 Case Record and Workload Management

6131 Case Stages

6131.1 Case Definition

CPS February 2017

A case refers to a child or a family that is receiving direct delivery services from child protective services staff.

See 1421 The Case Record for a description of the case record. In the Records Management Handbook also see 1200 Definition of a Case Record.

6131.2 Types of Conservatorship Stages

CPS February 2017

See:

6131.21 Family or Parent Stages

6131.22 Child Stage

6131.23 Casework Related Special Requests

6131.24 Foster and Adoptive Home Development

6131.25 Adoption Stage

6131.26 Subcare Case Related Special Request: C-PB Stage

6131.27 Preparation for Adult Living

6131.21 Family or Parent Stages

CPS February 2017

CPS establishes a family substitute care stage (FSU) for the parents who are receiving child protective services when one or more children are in CPS conservatorship and placed in substitute care.

CPS establishes a family reunification stage (FRE) for the parents who are receiving family reunification services when:

  •  all children previously in substitute care are returned to the parents’ home; and

  •  CPS maintains conservatorship.

6131.22 Child Stage

CPS February 2017

CPS establishes a child substitute care (SUB) stage for a child:

  •  who is placed in conservatorship and is receiving conservatorship services from CPS staff; or

  •  for whom CPS has managing or possessory conservatorship regardless of the child’s living arrangement.

A child’s SUB stage in IMPACT is connected to the parent’s family substitute care stage (FSU) stage. When parental rights are terminated, the family’s FSU stage is closed and the child’s SUB stage becomes the primary stage. The caseworker still has read-only access into any closed stages.

6131.23 Casework Related Special Requests

CPS February 2017

A casework-related special request (CRSR) is a request for services for a non-abuse or non-neglect client. When assigned a stage a CRSR will appear as a case in IMPACT. CRSRs include:

  •  Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) requests;

  •  adoption service requests; and

  •  out-of-state  requests.

6131.24 Foster and Adoptive Home Development

CPS February 2017

CPS establishes a foster home (FAD) stage for the person or family unit for whom a home study is conducted to be a foster or adoptive home.

6131.25 Adoption Stage

CPS February 2017

The caseworker establishes an adoption (ADO) stage for the child who is being placed for adoption before the adoptive placement has been made.

6131.26 Substitute Care Case Related Special Request: C-PB Stage

CPS February 2017

The caseworker opens a case and assigns a C-PB stage for a youth parent and his or her child who live together in the youth parent’s placement when CPS:

  •  pays for the placement of the youth’s child; and

  •  has not obtained legal custody of the youth’s child.

See 10630 Youth Parents in DFPS Conservatorship.

6131.27 Preparation for Adult Living

CPS February 2017

The caseworker assigns a Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) stage for a youth in conservatorship who is age 16 or older.

6132 The Case Record

CPS February 2017

For a description of electronic and paper case records, see 1421 The Case Record.

In the Records Management Handbook, see:

2310 Electronic Records

2320 Physical Records

6133 Case Recording

6133.1 Documentation and Communication

CPS February 2017

When a child is placed in substitute care, staff must document the:

  •  contacts, assessments, and services provided to the child and the child’s family; and

  •  key decisions made and actions taken during care that affect the child and the child’s family.

Timeliness

A caseworker must enter into IMPACT any face-to-face contact with the child on the same day of the contact. The caseworker must enter the completed narrative no later than seven calendar days from the contact. The caseworker must enter all other case information into IMPACT as soon as possible, but no later than seven calendar days from the date of the event being documented, unless there are different timeframes to document the event. See:

1430 Case Recording

6133.21 Documenting Contacts Using the Contact Details Page

6133.22 Documenting Monthly Contacts and Visits

6133.23 Required Narrative Content

6133.24 Contacts and Visits with the Child, Parent, Kinship, Relatives, and Caregiver

6133.25 CPS Contact with Collaterals, Court, and Legal Parties

6133.26 Supervisor Consultation

 

6133.2 Documenting Contacts in Substitute Care
6133.21 Documenting Contacts Using the Contact Details Page

CPS February 2017

A caseworker must record his or her contacts with a family as a Contact Detail, using a separate Contact Detail page for each contact and narrative.

6133.22 Documenting Monthly Contacts and Visits

CPS August 2017

The caseworker must document his or her contacts, including any visits, in IMPACT, according to the time frames specified in 6133.1 Documentation and Communication. This includes any contacts that take place with:

  •   the child;

  •   the child’s caregiver;

  •   the child’s family;

  •   the child’s attorney and guardian ad litem;

  •   professionals;

  •   collaterals; and

  •   community resources.

The caseworker must also document any parent-child or child-sibling visits that occur, even if the caseworker did not coordinate or observe the visit.

The caseworker must document all case contacts in the family substitute care (FSU) stage.

Once the FSU stage closes, all case contacts must be documented in the following manner:

  •   If there is a family reunification stage (FRE) stage, the caseworker must document all case contacts in the FRE stage.

  •   If there is no FSU or FRE stage, the caseworker must document all case contacts in the oldest child’s SUB.

The caseworker must also document any other DFPS action in the case and the parents’ and children’s interactions with DFPS.

6133.23 Required Narrative Content

CPS February 2017

The narrative for the monthly face-to-face contact must include descriptions of:

  •  the issues discussed;

  •  the child’s needs;

  •  the quality of services provided by CPS;

  •  the need for additional services or sources of support;

  •  the case goals; and

  •  any other issues related to safety, permanency, and well-being.

See also 1431 Narrative Guidelines.

6133.24 Contacts and Visits with the Child, Parent, Kinship, Relatives, and Caregiver

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document all contacts, including:

  •  face-to-face contacts;

  •  telephone calls;

  •  documents received;

  •  text messages;

  •  emails;

  •  letters; and

  •  any communications received via social media.

6133.25 CPS Contact with Collaterals, Court, and Legal Parties

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document all contacts, conferences, and agreements with collaterals, the court, the parents, or other parties to the lawsuit, and any attorneys representing the parties. See 5230 Working With the Child’s Attorney Ad Litem, Guardian Ad Litem, and CASA.

6133.26 Supervisor Consultation

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document all significant consultations between supervisors and caseworkers regarding a case, including date, subject, and relevant conclusions.

6133.3 Documenting Legal Activity

CPS February 2017

If a legal status changes, the caseworker must document the change in IMPACT within 24 hours. The caseworker must document all legal actions within seven days. See 5240 Documentation of Legal Status and Legal Action.

The caseworker must update a child’s biographical information under the Person tab in the child’s substitute care (SUB) stage in IMPACT within seven days of new information being received.

If a child is, or may be, of Native American origin, follow the policies in 5840 The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

6133.4 Documenting Health Information

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must enter each child’s medical, dental, and therapeutic appointments in IMPACT within seven days. The caseworker documents this information in the child’s:

  •  substitute care (SUB) stage; and

  •  adoption (ADO) stage, if there is one.

The caseworker must enter the child’s current medical and dental information on the Medical/Mental Assessment page.

The caseworker must update the child’s Medical/Developmental History when the Child Plan of Service (CPOS) is developed or reviewed.

The caseworker must file copies of relevant documents in external documentation. See 6134 External Documentation.

The caseworker must enter information on the child’s medical consenter in IMPACT on the same day the consenter is designated or changed, or by 7:00 p.m. on the next calendar day, and must keep the information current.

6133.5 Maintaining the Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH) Report

CPS February 2017

If a child has an existing health, social, education, and genetic history (HSEGH), or one is required, the caseworker must update it as new information is gathered and changes occur.

See 6921 Completing the Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH) Report.

In the Records Management Handbook, also see 3210 Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH).

6133.51 Education Information

CPS February 2017

The caseworker updates the Education section on the Person Detail in the child’s:

  •  substitute care (SUB) stage; and

  •  adoption (ADO) stage, if there is one.

The caseworker must update the information when a child:

  •  enters CPS conservatorship;

  •  is enrolled into a school;

  •  is discharged from a school; and,

  •  begins and ends each school year.

6133.52 Relatives and Fictive Kin

CPS February 2017

When an individual related to the case is identified and the caseworker obtains the person’s locating information, the caseworker must update the Person List in the family substitute care stage (FSU) and substitute care (SUB) stage for relatives, fictive kin, and permanency resources. See the Services to Kinship Caregivers Resource Guide, under Definitions.

6133.6 Documenting Information on Case Principals

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document and update personal information, including address and contact information, for all case principals on the Person List page in IMPACT.

6133.7 Documenting Other Actions
6133.71 Documenting Services to Parents and Caregivers

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document services, referrals, and information provided to the child’s parents and caregivers. See 6310 Services to the Child’s Family When the Child Is in Substitute Care.

6133.72 Documenting Permanency Planning Meetings

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document permanency planning meetings held when a child is in substitute care, using the Permanency Planning Meeting pages in the substitute care (SUB) stage in IMPACT.

See:

6250 Permanency Planning Meetings

6252 Permanency Planning Meetings for Youth 14 and Older

6133.73 Documenting Transfer and Closing Summaries

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must complete a Transfer Summary when the stage remains open and is transferred to another caseworker.

The caseworker must complete a Closing Summary in each stage of service when it is closed.

6134 External Documentation

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must file copies of the following documents in the child’s paper case file when they are gathered:

  •  birth, citizenship, or immigration status documents;

  •  health records, including a copy of a recent medical exam;

  •  school records;

  •  signed Foster Care Assistance Application forms;

  •  court reports;

  •  signed court orders, affidavits, and other court documents;

  •  signed service plans;

  •  notices sent regarding Permanency Planning Meetings;

  •  placement and medical authorizations; and

  •  correspondence, photographs, authorizations, and similar documentation.

In the Records Management Handbook see:

1220 Physical File

1221 Contents of a Physical File

2300 Maintenance of Records

6140 General Caseworker Court Duties

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must support CPS litigation in the following ways:

  •  appear as a witness in any hearing where the caseworker’s presence is requested;

  •  prepare the Status Review and Permanency Review reports for the court;

  •  prepare for the hearing, but do not bring the entire record to the hearing unless it has been subpoenaed;

  •  if the record has been subpoenaed, the caseworker follows the DFPS Subpoena Policy;

  •  if the record has not been subpoenaed, the caseworker consults with the attorney representing CPS about using a brief summary document;

  •  cooperate with discovery requests following the advice of the attorney representing CPS; and

  •  provide information to the attorney representing CPS, so that the attorney can draft, review, and finalize legal documents.

See 5200.2 General Caseworker Court Duties and Restrictions for additional information about cooperating with the attorney representing CPS and following other requirements.

See 6600 Case Planning with Relatives and Other Kinship Caregivers.

6141 Communication with the Child, Parents, Attorneys, Courts, Relatives and Caregivers

6141.1 Child or Youth Access to Caseworker and Unit Management

CPS February 2017

When a child age 10 or older is placed in substitute care, the caseworker must:

  •  give the child or youth Form 6590 CPS Contact Information; and

  •  explain how the child can use the contact information to get immediate assistance.

The caseworker must:

  •  provide the form during the initial meeting with the child or youth; and

  •  verify during regular monthly visits that the child or youth still has the contact numbers available.

6141.11 Responding to a Message from a Child or Youth

CPS February 2017

When the caseworker receives a message from the child or youth, the caseworker must respond immediately if it is an emergency. If the caseworker is not able to respond, the caseworker must contact the supervisor and develop a plan to address the emergency.

In non-emergency situations, the caseworker must make every effort to contact the child or youth as soon as possible, within 24 hours or the first business day following a weekend or holiday.

6150 Notifications

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must keep certain parties informed of significant events that occur while a child is in the conservatorship of CPS.

42 U.S.C. §671(a)(35)

Texas Family Code §§264.018, 264.107(g), 264.123

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC Chapter 700, Subchapter M, Division 2

This policy covers significant events about which the caseworker must notify certain parties but does not cover notice requirements that pertain to court hearings or required notices to the court. For those requirements see 5200 General Issues and Requirements Relevant to CPS Legal Proceedings and 5332 Required Notification to the Court.

6151 Whom to Notify

CPS February 2017

Unless otherwise specified, the caseworker must provide notice to:

  •  the child’s parent;

  •  the parent’s attorney, if applicable;

  •  an attorney ad litem appointed for the child;

  •  a guardian ad litem appointed for the child;

  •  a volunteer advocate appointed for the child (CASA);

  •  the licensed administrator of the child-placing agency (CPA) responsible for placing the child or the licensed administrator’s designee;

  •  the foster parent, kinship caregiver, prospective adoptive parent, or director of the group home or general residential operation where the child is residing (child’s placement); and

  •  any other person determined by a court to have an interest in the child’s welfare.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.1357

6151.1 Exceptions to the Notification Requirements

CPS February 2017

General

The caseworker is not required to notify a person or entity according to the requirements above if:

  •  the person or entity previously received notice of the event;

  •  the person or entity is required to provide notice of the event to CPS (for example, CPA or caregiver provides notice to CPS about psychotropic medication dosages); or

  •  the person has failed to leave current contact information, or no contact information is available to the caseworker.

Exception to Parental Notification Requirements

The caseworker is not required to notify a parent of the events above or any other significant event if:

  •  CPS cannot locate the parent;

  •  a court has restricted the parent’s access to information;

  •  the child is in the permanent managing conservatorship of CPS and the parent has not participated in the child’s case for at least six months;

  •  the parent’s rights have been terminated; or

  •  CPS has documented that it is not in the child’s best interest to involve the parent in case planning.

6151.2 Notification Requirements and Schedule

CPS February 2017

The notification time frame starts from the time the caseworker becomes aware of the event. If the caseworker becomes aware of an event and a hearing is scheduled before the deadline for providing notice, the caseworker must provide notice of the event at the hearing.

The caseworker must provide notice in a manner that would most reliably provide actual notice to the person, including the use of electronic notice whenever possible.

At Least 48 Hours Before the Event

Event

Persons to Notify

Non-emergency change in the residential child-care facility of a child in care

  •  child’s parent(s);

  •  the parents’ attorney;

  •  attorney ad litem;

  •  guardian ad litem;

  •  CASA; and

  •  the licensed CPA administrator/designee.

Within One Hour Following the Event

Related Policy

Event

Persons to Notify

6461.2 Efforts to Locate.

Child who was missing from care and placed on the Amber Alert system returns to care

  •  appropriate law enforcement officials; and

  •  SI assigned to case.

Within 24 Hours Following the Event

Related Policy

Event

Persons to Notify

6461.1 Notification Requirements

Child is missing or runs away from care

  •  appropriate law enforcement officials;

  •  the court;

  •  child’s parent(s);

  •  the parents’ attorney;

  •  the child’s attorney ad litem;

  •  the child’s guardian ad litem;

  •  the child’s CASA;

  •  the regional special investigator program director (SIPD);

  •  the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at the 24-hour call center: 1-800-THE LOST (1-800-843-5678) (The caseworker must also obtain a reference number from NCMEC); and,

  •  the child’s probation or parole officer if involved with Juvenile Probation or the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

6461.5 Caseworker Actions When a Missing Child Returns to Care

Child returns after being missing or having run away from care

  •  appropriate law enforcement officials;

  •  the court;

  •  child’s parent(s);

  •  the parents’ attorney;

  •  the child’s attorney ad litem;

  •  the child’s guardian ad litem;

  •  the child’s CASA;

  •  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at the 24-hour call center: 1-800-THE LOST (1-800-843-5678); and

  •  the child’s probation or parole officer if involved with Juvenile Probation or the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

6461.5 Caseworker Actions When a Missing Child Returns to Care

Child reports that child was the victim of a crime while being missing or having run away from care

appropriate law enforcement officials

6490 If a Child Dies While in Substitute Care

Child dies in substitute care

  •  child’s parent (may be notified even if rights terminated) or relatives who have been involved with the child if parents cannot be found;

  •  SWI;

  •  CVS supervisor and PD;

  •  medical examiner or justice of the peace;

  •  law enforcement when necessary,

  •  the court;

  •  the child’s attorney ad litem;

  •  parent’s attorney(s);

  •  the child’s guardian ad litem;

  •  attorney representing CPS in child’s case;

  •  CPS regional attorney; and

  •  LCPAA (Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator).

11152 Notifying Parents About Psychotropic Prescriptions and Significant Medical Conditions

Significant change in medical condition, including mental or behavioral health conditions; enrollment or participation in a drug research program, or initial prescription of a psychotropic medication

child’s parents

As Soon as Possible But Not Later Than Two Business Days After the Event

Event

Persons to Notify

Caseworker receives a discharge notice from contracted or kinship placement

The child’s CASA, guardians, and attorneys ad litem

As Soon as Possible but Not Later Than Three Business Days After the Event

Event

Persons to Notify

Child is placed in a new placement

The child’s CASA, guardians, and attorneys ad litem

Emergency removal from a contracted or kinship placement

The child’s CASA, guardians, and attorneys ad litem

As Soon as Possible but Not Later Than Five Business Days After the Event

Event

Persons to Notify

The decision to move a child from one contracted placement to another contracted placement or kinship home (DFPS initiated placement change)

The child’s CASA, guardians, and attorneys ad litem

As Soon as Possible but Not Later Than 10 Days After the Event

Event

Persons to Notify

Placement change, including failure to locate an appropriate placement for one or more nights

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

Significant change in medical condition, including mental or behavioral health conditions; enrollment or participation in a drug research program, or initial prescription of a psychotropic medication.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

A medical consenter declines consent for a medically necessary course of treatment for a physical, behavioral, or dental condition as well as any prescribed medication.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

Any change in dosage of a psychotropic medication which includes titration (adjusting the amount) or discontinuation of the medication.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

A major achievement or change in school performance, including:

  •  any failing grade in a reporting period that jeopardizes the student’s advance to the next grade level;

  •  a serious disciplinary event at school; and

  •  any event for which the school district is required by §25.007 Texas Education Code to provide notice to DFPS.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

An investigation by Residential Child Care Licensing or Child Protective Services of alleged abuse or neglect, regardless of whether the subject child is alleged to have been the victim or perpetrator of abuse or neglect

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

  •  The child’s involvement with law enforcement or juvenile justice, regardless of whether the child is involved as a victim or alleged offender; or

  •  any other serious legal situation.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

The use of emergency behavior intervention,* if DFPS receives notice about such use from the individual or entity who used the emergency behavior intervention.

  *  including personal restraints, emergency medication, seclusion, mechanical restraints, or chemical restraints.

All persons or entities listed in
6151  Whom to Notify

6160 Caseworker’s Duty to Report Abuse and Neglect in an Open Conservatorship (CVS) Case

CPS February 2017

If the conservatorship (CVS) caseworker is working on a current case and has cause to believe that a child:

Then the caseworker must:

  •  has been or might be abused or neglected again by anyone; or

  •  has been trafficked,

  •  ensure the child’s immediate safety; and

  •  make a new report to Statewide Intake (SWI) immediately but no later than 24 hours.

Statewide Intake will notify law enforcement as described in the Statewide Intake (SWI) Policy Handbook, 1130 Notification to Law Enforcement. The additional report is required even if the caseworker has already taken action to protect the child. The new referral ensures that there is documentation of the report and how it was handled. See 2132 Reporting Requirements for DFPS Staff.

If the incident involves a family member who has a current open CVS case, the caseworker must incorporate the information reported to Statewide Intake into the family assessment and plan and address the dangers to the child’s safety.

Texas Family Code §261.101

6161 Completing and Submitting the Monthly Required CVS Contact and the Monthly Evaluation/Assessment for Supervisory Approval

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must complete the Required Monthly CVS Contact the same day as the contact with the child. The caseworker must complete the narrative for the contact within seven days of the face-to-face visit with the child.

No later than the fifth business day of the following month, the caseworker must complete and save the Monthly Evaluation/Assessment Report and submit it to the approving supervisor.

Approval

The supervisor is responsible for approving the Monthly Evaluation/Assessment Report, including the Required Monthly CVS Contact, in IMPACT within 15 days of the date of submission.

If the contact narratives and the Monthly Evaluation/Assessment Report meet policy and minimum standards, the supervisor approves the documentation in IMPACT.

The supervisor must approve the documentation only when it meets the policy requirements.

If the documentation does not meet policy requirements, the supervisor must:

  •  not approve the documentation;

  •  provide guidance to the caseworker; and

  •  designate a reasonable time for the caseworker to resubmit the documentation.

 

6170 Actions Requiring Supervisor Approval

CPS February 2017

The supervisor is responsible for approving certain case actions. Some case actions are done through IMPACT, while others are done through case supervision staffings. Case actions that require supervisor approval include, but are not limited to:

  •  monthly evaluation or assessment report and accompanying required monthly contact with the child;

  •  service authorizations;

  •  child and family service plans;

  •  child placements;

  •  child Placement Forms;

  •  unsupervised parental visitation with the child;

  •  stage closures; and

  •  court reports.

6171 Actions Requiring Child Placement Management Staff Approval

CPS February 2017

The following actions must be approved by a person who meets the requirements for a child placing management staff member, as defined in Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies, TAC §749.675:

  •  child placements;

  •  home studies; and

  •  initial child’s service plans (which also serve as the intake study and initial assessment report). See §749.1131.

6180 Discharging Children from Substitute Care

6181 Services Preceding Discharge

CPS February 2017

At the time of a child’s discharge from substitute care, the child’s caseworker must provide transition services to:

  •  the child;

  •  the substitute caregiver; and

  •  either:

  •  the child’s family if the child is returning home; or

  •  the caregiver with whom the child is being permanently placed if the child is not returning home.

The purpose of these services is to ensure a smooth transition by helping the child, the substitute caregiver, and the child’s family or other permanent caregiver adjust to the child’s permanent placement. To that end, the caseworker meets with each person involved in the transition to assess and discuss everyone’s needs and determine how they will be met.

Ordinarily, the caseworker’s specific planning for the child’s discharge from substitute care begins 30 to 45 days before the child’s discharge date.

If the Child Is Being Placed in Another State

If the child is being placed out of state, the caseworker must secure the approval of the appropriate Interstate Compact authority before asking the court to discharge the child. See 9200 Understanding the Interstate Placement Process.

6182 Services at Discharge from Substitute Care

CPS February 2017

Administration

At the time of a child’s discharge from substitute care, the child’s caseworker must take the following actions.

Provide Information to the Receiving Family

The caseworker must ensure that the family receiving the child has been given:

  •  information on the child’s care and current needs;

  •  the service plan for the family or child, depending on whether the child is being placed with the parent or someone else;

  •  placement authorization forms, if the child is being placed with someone other than the parent;

  •  pertinent court orders;

  •  documents from the record, including medical and school records;

  •  details on Texas Health Steps, the Medicaid program provided under contract with the Texas Department of State Health Services; and

  •  other items accumulated during the child’s stay in substitute care. See Appendix 6000-1: Discharging Children from Substitute Care.

Transfer the Child’s Benefits to the Receiving Family

The caseworker must ensure that the child’s benefits have been transferred to the caregiver, when appropriate. A child’s benefits may include Medicaid, SSI, bank accounts, and so on.

  •  If an SSI application was initiated, the caseworker must ensure that it is completed.

  •  If the new caregiver must apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to insure an uninsured child, the caseworker must confirm that the caregiver knows how to apply and if not, offer to help.

Document the Case in IMPACT

The caseworker must document discharge tasks in IMPACT by:

  •  completing a Closing Summary;

  •  completing the page for Placement Detail and Removal;

  •  filling in the discharge planning document; and

  •  clearly documenting the child’s new address.

If CPS has been dismissed as conservator, the caseworker must update the Legal Status page in IMPACT no later than seven days after the date of dismissal. See 5243 Entering a Change in Legal Status or Legal Action Into IMPACT.

For More Information

For special issues related to discharges from substitute care, see 6500 Family Reunification and 10600 Other Services to Older Children in Substitute Care.

For details on providing discharge services with permanency planning goals, see 6200 Case Planning for Positive Permanency.

For a list of the information and materials the family should be given at discharge, see Appendix 6000-1: Discharging Children from Substitute Care.

To learn more about Texas Health Steps, see Appendix 11211-A: Texas Health Steps – Obtained Through STAR Health or Traditional Medicaid.

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