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6800 Special Circumstances

6810 Families Who Are Unable to Obtain Mental Health Services for Children with Severe Emotional Disturbance

CPS February 2017

A child may qualify for treatment through DSHS when it is determined that the child:

  •  has a severe emotional disturbance; and

  •  the parents’ refusal to allow a child to remain in or return to the child’s home is based solely on the parents’ inability to obtain mental health services for the child.

For additional information, see the Investigation and Referral to DSHS Residential Treatment Center Bed Resource Guide.

6811 Discussing the Option of Joint Temporary Managing Conservatorship

CPS February 2017

If CPS removal appears necessary, the investigation caseworker must discuss with the parent the option of asking the court to appoint CPS and the parent to be Joint Temporary Managing Conservators (JMC) of the child, unless CPS determines it would not be in the best interests of the child to have joint conservatorship.

The investigation caseworker must also discuss the option with the parent in post adoption conservatorship services under 6961 Post Adoption Substitute Care Services, if the child was adopted from CPS.

6811.1 Determination of Joint Temporary Managing Conservatorship

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must not discuss joint temporary managing conservatorship of the child with the parents until the supervisor and program director have approved:

  •  the removal of the child; and

  •  the caseworker going forward with a discussion of joint temporary managing conservatorship with the parents.

If CPS makes a decision to discuss joint temporary managing conservatorship with the parents, and a parent is interested, the caseworker must discuss with the county or district attorney whether to include this request in the petition.

If the county or district attorney declines to file for CPS-parent joint temporary managing conservatorship, the caseworker must staff the case with the regional attorney.

6811.2 Documenting the Discussion

CPS February 2017

The caseworker must document the following in the narrative in the family substitute care stage (FSU) stage in IMPACT whether:

  •   joint temporary managing conservatorship was discussed with the parent; and

  •   the parent wanted joint temporary managing conservatorship, and if not, why not.

6820 CPS Youth and Municipal or County Courts and the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems

CPS March 2018

Class C Misdemeanors involving tickets and fines are typically handled by municipal or county courts. The juvenile justice system handles delinquency and conduct in need of supervision issues for youth under age 17. The adult criminal justice system handles criminal violations for youth 17 and older, or younger youth (ages 14 –16) who are transferred to district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings.

Youth Who Are Not U.S. Citizens

If a youth is not a U.S. citizen, a ticket, juvenile adjudication or criminal charge may complicate efforts to obtain legal immigration status or may jeopardize a child’s permanent resident status. If the youth is not a U.S. citizen, staff must always inform the regional attorney, the youth’s attorney ad litem, and any attorney appointed to handle the charges, so that any immigration consequences can be minimized.

6821 CPS Youth and Tickets and Fines Involving Municipal or County Courts

CPS March 2018

If a caseworker learns that a CPS youth has been given a ticket from a municipal or county court the caseworker must:

  •  request a copy of the ticket;

  •  inform and consult with the youth’s attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem and CASA;

  •  consult with the regional attorney;

  •  consult with the CPS regional juvenile justice liaison, as necessary;

  •  accompany (or arrange for a DFPS staff person to accompany) the youth to court.

The caseworker must ensure that a consultation takes place between the youth and the youth’s attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, and CASA. The caseworker must never advise the youth regarding a plea. In all cases, the caseworker must request that any fine or court costs be waived pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §45.0491. The waiver of court costs and fines under section 45.0491 is discretionary, not mandatory. If the court costs and fines will not be waived, the caseworker must consult with the regional juvenile justice liaison to see how the fines can be paid.

If the case is a traffic ticket, the caseworker must inquire whether the youth can take a defensive driving course in order to have the case dismissed. Even with a defensive driving course, there may still be court costs for the case. The caseworker must request that these be waived.

The Youth's Permanent Record

Class C misdemeanors can be a charge such as theft or assault, which if on the youth’s record can hinder a young person’s ability to obtain employment. If the youth pleads guilty to a Class C charge, it will go on his or her record as a conviction regardless of whether she or he is under age 17. Therefore, it is important for caseworkers to work with the attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem and CASA to ensure the charge is resolved without impacting the youth’s record.

For additional information, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide under Tickets and Fines.

6822 CPS Youth and Juvenile Justice

CPS March 2018

When a youth in CPS conservatorship becomes involved with the juvenile justice system, CPS does not relinquish conservatorship. All the regular casework activity continues. A referral for a Local Permanency specialist may be needed. The caseworker must provide notice to all parties as described in 6151.3 Notification Requirements and Schedule.

The youth’s caseworker works cooperatively with law enforcement, juvenile justice officials, and the youth’s caregiver to plan appropriately for the youth. A youth placed in CPS conservatorship and who is also involved with the juvenile justice system needs coordinated and cooperative services from both systems. Staff should contact the CPS regional juvenile justice liaisons for assistance as needed.

The circumstances under which a youth in CPS conservatorship may become involved with the juvenile justice system include the following:

  •  a brief or extended detainment in a county juvenile detention center before an adjudication hearing on charges;

  •  a deferred adjudication situation under the supervision of the juvenile probation department in which completion of the program can result in a dismissal of the charges;

  •  adjudication and placement in the custody or probation of a local or county juvenile probation department (JPD); or

  •  adjudication and placement in the custody or parole of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD).

For more information about juvenile justice and contacts, see the Juvenile Justice section of the CPS Intranet.

Representation

When a person under the age of 17 has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense as a juvenile, the caseworker must contact:

  •  the assistant district attorney or CPS attorney that represents DFPS in the CPS case;

  •  the regional attorney; and

  •  the child’s attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem and CASA worker.

See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide for a description of offenses.

Caseworkers must never counsel the youth to accept an adjudication or any other type of plea, including a revocation of the youth’s probation. The criminal defense attorney counsels the youth as to whether to accept or decline any offer made by the juvenile prosecutor’s office. If the court has not appointed a criminal defense attorney for the youth, the caseworker must ensure that an Application Requesting Appointment of Counsel or a petition for a determination of indigence is filed with the juvenile court. See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide for more information.

Usually when a youth receives a Class C charge a criminal defense attorney will not be appointed to the case. If the youth already has a criminal defense attorney for other charges, the caseworker must immediately notify the defense attorney about the Class C misdemeanor. If the criminal attorney will not handle the youth’s Class C misdemeanor, the caseworker must consult with the regional attorney, youth’s attorney ad litem, and guardian ad litem.

6822.1 Pre-Adjudication Detention

CPS March 2018

CPS youth can be detained briefly in one of the state’s local and county juvenile detention centers before an adjudication hearing. The caseworker works with the juvenile detention staff to either pick up the child for CPS placement (current or new placement) or prepare for the 10 day detention hearing pending the adjudication hearing.

6822.11 IMPACT Living Arrangement and Medicaid Eligibility Issues

CPS March 2018

If the youth will be returning to the foster care provider after the detention center placement and CPS has agreed to continue making payments during the youth’s absence to “hold the bed,” staff should not enter the detention center placement in IMPACT. However, foster care eligibility specialist (FCES) staff must suspend the Medicaid payment during the time the youth is in the detention center.

The caseworker must contact the foster care eligibility specialist when a youth is in detention. The eligibility specialist assigns the youth a foster care eligibility status with a Medicaid type of None.

The caseworker’s supervisor must contact the eligibility specialist to review the foster care or Medicaid eligibility when a temporary absence exceeds 14 days and follow the policy for temporary absences in 1537 Foster Care Payments During Absences From Foster Care Placements. For those 18 and older, the supervisor must follow the policy in 10424 Temporary Absences From Extended Foster Care.

If the youth will not be returning to the foster care provider and CPS is not making payments during the absence from the foster care provider to hold the bed, the caseworker must end the previous placement and record the detention center placement.

See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide for the process.

6822.12 Legal Status and Legal Action in IMPACT

CPS March 2018

For pre-adjudication situations, there is no new entry for IMPACT’s Legal Status.

Under Legal Action, the only entry staff would make would be to record the 10-day detention hearings under Legal Actions Special Orders: Other, and explain in Comments.

6822.13 Medical Payment Issue for Non Medicaid CPS Youth in JPD placements

CPS March 2018

For pre-adjudication situations, the local or county juvenile probation departments (JPDs) that run the juvenile detention centers have asked parents to pay for a child’s medical expenses while the child is in detention awaiting trial.

See 6822.31 Providing Medical Care to Youth Adjudicated to JPD Custody or Probation.

6822.2 Adjudication Hearing

CPS March 2018

The caseworker works with the juvenile detention staff to prepare for and attend the adjudication hearing.

6822.3 When a Youth Is in JPD Custody or on JPD Probation

CPS March 2018

if a youth in CPS managing conservatorship is adjudicated and placed in juvenile probation department (JPD) custody or on probation, the caseworker must continue to perform case management responsibilities, outlined in 6400 Services to Children in Substitute Care. The caseworker consults the CPS regional juvenile justice liaison as needed. Refer to the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide or the Juvenile Justice section of the CPS Intranet.

Documenting in IMPACT

If a youth is adjudicated in a juvenile hearing, the caseworker must record the hearing information and outcome under Legal Action in IMPACT.

6822.31 Providing Medical Care to Youth Adjudicated to JPD Custody or Probation

CPS March 2018

JPD Custody

If a youth in CPS conservatorship is placed in the custody of a local or county juvenile probation department (JPD), the county is responsible for providing the youth’s medical and dental care. However, some counties limit such responsibility to annual exams or an emergency situation.

If the youth is placed in a secure juvenile probation institution that is used primarily to detain delinquent youth (a facility designed to prevent the youth from leaving for reasons other than the youth’s safety), the caseworker contacts the youth’s foster care eligibility specialist, who must suspend the youth’s foster care assistance and Medicaid. Federal law prohibits the use of Medicaid funds when youth are in locked facilities.

The caseworker works with the assigned juvenile facility worker to ensure that the child’s medical needs are being met. If there are medical needs that the local or county JPD state they will not cover, refer to the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

As specific problems develop, CPS staff should also consult with the regional CPS juvenile justice liaisons and well-being specialists.

JPD Probation

When a youth is placed on probation and CPS resumes responsibility for placing the youth in a suitable living arrangement, CPS re-establishes the youth’s eligibility for foster care assistance and reinstates the youth’s Medicaid benefits.

6822.32 Serving as Medical Consenter

CPS March 2018

When a youth in CPS conservatorship is placed in the custody of a local or county juvenile probation department (JPD), the youth’s caseworker must continue to follow the CPS medical consent policy. See 11100 Medical Consent.

When the court designates CPS as the medical consenter, CPS maintains the designation of medical consenter; the designation does not transfer to the local or county JPD. Similar to when a youth in CPS conservatorship is placed in residential treatment centers (RTCs), CPS caseworkers must be available to participate in medical activities when necessary. When the CPS caseworker is the medical consenter and a new CPS caseworker is assigned, the new CPS caseworker must complete a new 2085 B and follow the policy noted in 11117 Changing Medical Consenter and Backup Consenter.

6822.4 Coordinated Service Planning
6822.41 Contact Information

CPS March 2018

In the local or county juvenile probation department (JPD) system, a different case manager is assigned when a youth is moved from one JPD facility to another or is placed on probation. The youth’s CPS caseworker must maintain up-to-date contact information on the assigned JPD case manager/probation officer and likewise provide the JPD case manager or probation officer with up-to-date contact information for the CPS caseworker and supervisor.

6822.42 CPS and JPD Casework

CPS March 2018

During this period, juvenile probation department (JPD) staff and CPS staff both have casework responsibilities regarding the youth. CPS staff makes efforts with JPD staff to coordinate planning and the provision of services. This includes attending and participating together in meetings and conference calls concerning the youth and may include joint visits with the youth and with the youth’s family, as appropriate.

The caseworker consults with the CPS regional juvenile justice liaison as needed on these issues.

6822.43 Juvenile Record Requests with JPDs

CPS March 2018

CPS caseworkers can request information from a Texas juvenile probation department about a CPS youth who is or has been in the custody or control of the juvenile probation department.

Similarly, the Texas juvenile probation department can request information from DFPS regarding an open or closed case situation, as noted in 1455.7 Sharing Information with Local Juvenile Probation Departments. Requests regarding open cases will be referred to the assigned caseworker.

See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide under Record Sharing Procedures.

6822.5 Court Hearings
6822.51 Permanency Hearings

CPS March 2018

A youth in juvenile probation custody or on probation must attend review hearings held to discuss permanency and placement issues, unless the youth is specifically excused by the court.

The youth may attend the hearings in person, or if allowed by the court, by telephone or videoconference.

Texas Family Code §263.302

6822.6 Addressing Other Juvenile Probation-Related Issues

CPS March 2018

When CPS youth are in juvenile probation department placements, they remain eligible for CPS services such as service and transition planning, Circles of Support, PAL information, etc. How these are provided will depend on the setting.

If there are other problems or issues related to a youth’s placement in juvenile probation department (JPD) custody or on probation, the youth’s caseworker contacts the CPS regional juvenile justice liaison for assistance.

For additional information on available services, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

Extended Foster Care, Extended Court Oversight, and Return to Care

A youth in DFPS conservatorship who turns 18 years of age in JPD custody or while on probation is eligible to:

  •  request Extended Foster Care (before aging-out of care);

  •  have a trial independence period from DFPS care with extended DFPS court oversight; or

  •  return for Extended Foster Care (after aging-out of care).

See 10000 Services to Older Youth in Care.

6823 When a Youth Is in TJJD Custody in a Secure Facility or on TJJD Parole

CPS March 2018

When a youth in CPS managing conservatorship is placed in Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) custody or on TJJD parole, the caseworker must continue to perform case management responsibilities, outlined in 6400 Services to Children in Substitute Care.

Documenting in IMPACT

When a youth is adjudicated and committed to TJJD, the caseworker must record the hearing and outcome and TJJD Involvement under Legal Action in IMPACT.

6823.1 General Procedures When Youth Are Committed to the TJJD Secure Facility Program

CPS March 2018

When a court commits a youth in CPS conservatorship to the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) for violating a Texas law punishable by a prison or jail sentence, the following occurs:

  •  The CPS caseworker must contact the CPS regional Juvenile Justice liaison to discuss appropriate procedures.

  •  The CPS case remains open. The court may not dismiss the case if in permanent status, unless:

  •  the youth turns 18, doesn’t sign Form 2540 Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, and the trial independence period has ended;

  •  the youth becomes adopted; or

  •  an individual is granted permanent managing conservatorship of the youth.

  •  CPS retains conservatorship and all of the standard responsibilities of conservatorship, including:

  •  holding monthly face-to-face visits and making other contact with the youth;

  •  ensuring that the youth receives appropriate services; and

  •  developing a transition plan for the youth.

As the youth’s conservator, CPS is granted the parental rights identified in the TJJD Parents’ Bill of Rights.

6823.2 Providing Medical Care to Youth in TJJD Custody or on TJJD Parole

CPS March 2018

Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) Custody

If a youth in DFPS conservatorship is placed in TJJD custody, TJJD is responsible for making provisions for the youth to receive medical and dental care. The caseworker works with the assigned TJJD worker to ensure that the child’s medical needs are being met. If there are medical needs that TJJD will not cover, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

If the youth is placed in a secure TJJD institution or halfway house that is not entitled to receive IV-E, the youth’s eligibility specialist ensures that the youth’s foster care assistance and Medicaid are suspended.

If TJJD subsequently places the youth in a TJJD-contracted placement (that is, in a facility not designed to prevent youth from leaving), TJJD contracts with the facility to provide for the youth’s medical needs by applying for Medicaid (standard Medicaid, not Medicaid provided through Star Health).

TJJD Parole

When a youth is placed on TJJD parole and CPS has retained conservatorship throughout the period of parole, CPS resumes responsibility for placing the youth in a suitable living arrangement.

Serving as Medical Consenter

When a youth in DFPS conservatorship is placed in TJJD custody, the youth’s caseworker must continue to follow the DFPS medical consent policy. See 11100 Medical Consent.

When the court has designated DFPS as the medical consenter, DFPS maintains the designation of medical consenter; the designation does not transfer to TJJD. Similar to when a youth in DFPS conservatorship is placed in a residential treatment center (RTC), a CPS caseworker must be available to participate in medical activities when necessary. When the CPS caseworker is the medical consenter and a new CPS caseworker is assigned, the new CPS caseworker must complete a new 2085 B and follow the policy noted in 11117 Changing Medical Consenter and Backup Consenter.

6823.3 Coordinated Service Planning
6823.31 Contact Information

CPS March 2018

In the local or county Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) system, a different case manager is assigned when a youth is moved from one TJJD facility to another or is placed on probation. The youth’s CPS caseworker must maintain up-to-date contact information on the assigned TJJD case manager or probation officer and likewise provide the TJJD case manager/probation officer with up-to-date contact information for the CPS caseworker and supervisor.

6823.32 CPS and TJJD Casework

CPS March 2018

During the time a youth is moved from one Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) facility to another or is placed on probation, TJJD staff and CPS staff both have casework responsibilities regarding the youth. CPS staff makes efforts with TJJD staff to coordinate planning and the provision of services. This includes attending and participating together in meetings and conference calls concerning the youth and may include joint visits with the youth and with the youth’s family, as appropriate.

The caseworker consults with the CPS regional juvenile justice liaison as needed on these issues.

For specific procedures that have been developed with TJJD, see TJJD CPS Procedures.

6823.33 Juvenile Record Requests with TJJD

CPS March 2018

CPS caseworkers can request information from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department about a CPS youth who is or has been in the custody or control of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Similarly, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department can request information from DFPS regarding an open or closed case situation, as noted in 1455.7 Sharing Information with Texas State and Local Juvenile Justice Agencies. Requests regarding open cases will be referred to the assigned caseworker.

See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide under Record Sharing Procedures.

6823.4 Permanency Hearings

CPS March 2018

Thirty days before a youth’s permanency hearing before final order or permanency hearing after final order, the CPS caseworker must send Form 2904 TJJD Court Review Hearing Notification to the following:

  •  the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) caseworker;

  •  the appropriate TJJD administrator:

  •  the superintendent in the case of a TJJD institution or halfway house;

  •  a quality assurance administrator in the case of a TJJD contracted placement; or

  •  a parole supervisor or administrator in the case of TJJD Parole;

  •  the TJJD state office liaison; and

  •  the CPS regional Juvenile Justice liaison.

The CPS caseworker must confirm by e-mail or phone that the TJJD caseworker has received the notice. If the caseworker is unable to confirm receipt with the TJJD caseworker, the caseworker must confirm with the TJJD superintendent, QA administrator, or TJJD parole supervisor. The TJJD should send the CPS caseworker information to use in preparing the Permanency Court Report. See the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

Upon receipt of the TJJD report and other information obtained, the youth’s CPS caseworker must complete the Permanency Court Report and send a copy to the required parties and the court no later than the 10th day before the date of the permanency hearing.

Texas Family Code §§263.303(a); 263.502(a)

6823.41 Attendance at Permanency Hearings

CPS March 2018

A youth in Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) custody in a secure facility or on TJJD parole must attend review hearings held to discuss permanency and placement issues, unless the youth is specifically excused.

The youth may attend the hearings in person, or if allowed by the court, by telephone or videoconference.

Texas Family Code §263.302

6823.5 Addressing Other TJJD-Related Issues

CPS March 2018

When CPS youth are in TJJD placements, they remain eligible for CPS services such as service and transition planning, Circles of Support, PAL information, etc. How these are provided will depend on the setting.

If there are other problems or issues related to a youth’s placement in TJJD custody or on TJJD parole, the youth’s caseworker contacts the CPS regional Juvenile Justice liaison for assistance.

For additional information on available services, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

Extended Foster Care, Extended Court Oversight, and Return to Care

A youth in DFPS conservatorship who turns 18 years of age in Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) custody or while on TJJD parole is eligible to:

  •  request Extended Foster Care (before aging-out of care);

  •  have a trial independence period from DFPS care with extended DFPS court oversight; or

  •  return for Extended Foster Care (after aging-out of care).

See 10000 Services to Older Youth in Care.

6824 CPS Youth and Young Adults and the Adult Criminal Justice System

CPS March 2018

At 17, youth committing offenses are treated as adults in the criminal justice system. In addition, youth ages 14 through 16 can be transferred to a district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings.

At times, CPS youth and young adults become involved with the adult criminal justice system. The authorities generally do not acknowledge the department’s conservatorship role and do not attempt to contact the department. In these situations, CPS does not relinquish its conservatorship role, and all the regular casework activity continues, to the extent possible. A referral for a Local Permanency specialist may be needed.

When a 17 year old youth in CPS conservatorship has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, or when a younger youth in CPS conservatorship has been transferred to the adult system, the caseworker must contact the Regional Attorney and the child’s attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem and CASA worker to:

  •  ensure that the parties know of the charge; and

  •  ensure there will be action, including potentially filing a petition for the court to determine indigency, so that the youth can be appointed a criminal defense attorney if necessary.

The caseworker encourages the youth or young adult to work with their appointed defense counsel. Caseworkers never counsel the youth to accept any type of plea. The criminal defense attorney counsels the youth as to whether to accept or decline any offer made by the prosecutor’s office.

6825 Sealing Juvenile Records for Minor Offenses

CPS March 2018

It is important for juvenile records to be sealed whenever possible. Having a juvenile history, even a minor history, can limit a young adult’s employment opportunities and housing choices.

Automatic Sealing

Juvenile courts can seal juvenile records for a minor offense if certain criteria are met once a young adult turns 18 (Conduct in Need of Supervision) or 19 (Delinquent Conduct). The young adult will not have to file a motion or have a hearing in order to have the qualifying juvenile records sealed. The court will receive notice through the juvenile probation office that such records are eligible for sealing and the court issues an order sealing the records.

Texas Family Code §§58.253 58.255

For eligible situations, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

Application for Sealing Records

In other situations, the young adult can request the court that the records be sealed. For this to occur an application must be filed with the juvenile court and the court may or may not hold a hearing before issuing a ruling.

Texas Family Code §58.256

For eligible situations, see the Juvenile Justice Resource Guide.

Caseworker Actions if the History May Be Sealed Automatically

For CPS youth turning 18 with juvenile history that is eligible to be automatically sealed when they turn 18 or 19, caseworkers should inform the youth concerning the record sealing process and encourage the youth to monitor his or her case when he or she is a young adult to make sure the sealing occurs. For young adults who remain in DFPS care the caseworker assists the young adult with monitoring his or her case. While the automatic sealing process for Delinquent Conduct and Conduct in Need of Supervision differs, in each type of case the juvenile probation department is responsible for giving notice to the court that the case is eligible for sealing and therefore the first inquiry should be with juvenile probation department.

Caseworker Actions if the Sealing the History Must Be Requested

For CPS youth turning 18 with juvenile history that cannot be automatically sealed, but may be eligible for sealing under an application to the court, caseworkers should inform the youth about the record sealing process. It is their decision whether or not to pursue the process. If the young adult with such juvenile history is in Extended Foster Care, the caseworker will coordinate with the young adult, any attorney ad litem, and/or any CASA worker, and assist as needed.

If the caseworker has questions, he or she should contact the regional juvenile justice liaison or the regional attorney.

6826 Sealed Juvenile Records

CPS March 2018

DFPS receives juvenile or criminal history information from DPS through background checks and uses this information for assessments. However, once DFPS is notified that juvenile justice information has been sealed, DFPS cannot share or release the information, or use the information as the basis for denying a young adult approval for placement in Extended Foster Care.

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