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Appendix 2361.31: Standards for Investigators of Child Abuse

CPS February 2009

To encourage professionalism and consistency, DFPS adopts the following standards for workers who investigate reports of child abuse.

Texas Family Code §261.310, §261.401

Providing Annual Training

Workers who investigate reports of child abuse or conduct interviews during investigations of child abuse must receive at least 20 hours of professional training every year.

Texas Family Code §261.310, DFPS Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies

The Training Curriculum

The professional training curriculum for workers who conduct investigations or investigation interviews must include information about the following:

Facility Investigators

CPS investigators

Abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as defined in TFC §261.401, for facility investigators, including the distinction between:

  ·  physical injuries resulting from abuse, and

  ·  ordinary childhood injuries

Physical abuse and neglect, as defined in Texas Family Code (TFC) §261.001, for CPS investigators, including the distinction between:

  ·  physical injuries resulting from abuse, and

  ·  ordinary childhood injuries

Abuse involving mental or emotional injury, as defined in TFC §261.401, for facility investigators

Abuse involving mental or emotional injury, as defined in TFC §261.001, for CPS investigators

The types of abuse and neglect reported to DFPS, including information about:

  ·  the incidence of each type of abuse and neglect reported, and

  ·  the receipt of false reports

The types of abuse and neglect reported to DFPS, including information about:

  ·  the incidence of each type of abuse and neglect reported, and

  ·  the receipt of false reports

Law-enforcement style training, including information related to:

  ·  forensic interviewing and investigatory techniques, and

  ·  the collection of physical evidence

Law-enforcement style training, including information related to:

  ·  forensic interviewing and investigatory techniques, and

  ·  the collection of physical evidence

Federal child welfare laws

Federal child welfare laws

Available treatment resources

Available treatment resources

Taping Interviews

All investigation interviews must be taped without interruption. Workers who videotape interviews with suspected victims of child abuse must ensure that the interviews meet the requirements specified in TFC §104.002.

Investigating Sexual Assault

Workers who investigate reports of child abuse must:

  ·  use special facilities to obtain interviews and examinations of sexual assault victims, whenever possible;

  ·  follow protocols to minimize the number of interviews with a child, while still interviewing the child thoroughly; and 

  ·  exercise professional judgment and expertise in determining the nature, extent, and number of interviews and examinations conducted with suspected child abuse victims.

Documenting an Investigation

Workers must keep for at least one year all documents generated during an investigation, including:

  ·  original tape recordings of telephone intakes;

  ·  videotapes and audiotapes; and

  ·  the worker’s case notes on the investigation.

Locating and Notifying Each Parent

Investigators must make reasonable efforts to:

  ·  locate each parent of a suspected victim of child abuse; and

  ·  notify the parent about the report of abuse or neglect relating to the child victim.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.519

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