Child Protective Services Handbook Revision October 2010

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on October 1, 2010. Summaries of new or revised items are provided below.

Standardizing Payments

Permanency Hearings and Placement Review Hearings

Transition Plan Review

IMPACT Consistency Check

Notification Time Frame for TYC Youth Court Hearings

Extended Foster Care (New Section 10400)

Extended Adoption Assistance Policy

Update of Service Levels, Common Applications, CPOS, and Transition Plans

Standardizing Payments (PATS 3432)

The item below is revised to clarify that all regions will pay out children’s income in the month following the receipt of funds. See:

1342 Managing Children’s Income Accounts (CIAs)

Permanency Hearings and Placement Review Hearings (PATS 3557)

The items below have been updated to include additions made by the 81st legislative session and to simplify the presentation of requirements.

5352 Permanency Hearings for Children Under Temporary DFPS Conservatorship

5352.1 The Purpose of a Permanency Hearing

5352.2 Meeting the Time Frames for Holding a Permanency Hearing

5352.3 Filing a Service Plan With the Court After DFPS Is Appointed Temporary Conservator

5352.4 Filing a Permanency Progress Report With the Court and Parties

5352.5 Meeting the Content Requirements for the Permanency Progress Report

5352.6 Obtaining Approval of a Permanency Progress Report

5353 Placement Review Hearings for Children Under Permanent DFPS Conservatorship

5353.1 The Purpose of a Placement Review Hearing

5353.2 Meeting the Time Frames for Holding a Placement Review Hearing

5353.3 Filing a Placement Review Report With the Court and Parties

5353.4 Meeting the Content Requirements for a Placement Review Report

5353.5 Obtaining Approval of a Placement Review Report

Transition Plan Review (PATS 3632)

The item below is revised to reflect the “additional transition plan review required” mandated by the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Staff were informed of this policy with the issuance of PSA 10-038 on 12/7/2009. See:

6423 The Transition Plan

IMPACT Consistency Check (PATS 3828)

The item below is revised to provide clarification regarding the consistency check that IMPACT performs between the first Emergency Assistance question and the risk finding or safety plan checkbox. See:

2281.62 Consistency Check Between the First EA Question and the Risk Finding or Safety Plan

Notification Time Frame for TYC Youth Court Hearings (PATS 4012)

The item below is revised to update the time frame for giving Texas Youth Commission staff notice of court hearings from 20 days to 30 days. This will allow Texas Youth Commission staff more time to gather the required information, particularly the health information, for their report for the court hearing. See:

6577.24 Meeting and Consulting With TYC Staff

Extended Foster Care (PATS 2998)

The items below are added to reflect Extended Foster Care issues, which have been updated for the additional circumstances allowed by the federal Fostering Connections Act and the Texas HB 1151 and SB 2080 (81st legislative session).

A new handbook section 10000 has been created to accommodate this and other policies that will be moved from the overcrowded 6000 section in the near future.


10400 Extending Foster Care for Youth Who Are 18 or Older

10410 Eligibility for Extended Foster Care Assistance

10411 Qualifying for Extended Foster Care Assistance

10411.1 Voluntary Agreement and Effect on Eligibility Determination

10411.2 Education and Work Related Criteria for Extended Foster Care

10412 Transitioning Between Education or Work Related Activities

10412.1 Enrollment in a Higher Education Program or a Post-Secondary Vocational or Technical School

10412.2 Youth Who Are Incapable of Performing Education and Vocational Activities

10420 Preparation for Youth Considering Extended Foster Care

10421 When a Youth Elects To Stay in Care

10430 Acceptable Documentation for Educational and Work Related Activities

10431 Educational Services - High School, General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Programs, Vocational and Technical Schools, Colleges and Universities

10432 Employment

10433 Programs or Activities to Promote or Remove Barriers to Employment

10434 Inability to Perform Either Educational or Work Related Activity Because of a Medical Condition

10440 Issues That Can Affect Eligibility

10441 Loss of Eligibility

10442 Temporary Absences From Extended Foster Care

10442 Youth Receiving Social Security Benefits

10443.1 DADS Guardianship

10443.2 Youth’s Refusal to Sign the VEFCA Financial Agreement

10450 Issues Related to a Youth’s Ability to Sign

10451 Physically Unable to Sign

10452 Mental Capacity Issues

10460 Casework Activity for Youth in Extended Foster Care

10461 Casework Activity That Respects Young Adult Status

10462 Casework Activity

10463 Extended Care Monthly Face-to-Face Visits

10464 Service Plan for Youth 18 and older

10470 Ongoing Review of Eligibility for Extended Foster Care

10471 Annual Review for Extended Foster Care Eligibility

10472 Federal Six Month Periodic Reviews for Youth 18 and Older

10473 Federal Annual Permanency Hearings for Youth 18 and Older

10480 When Older Youth are Ready for Discharge

10481 Other Discharge Policies for Older Youth

The content of the item below has been incorporated into the new section 10400, and has been replaced by a link to the new policy. See:

6565 Youths Who Are 18 or Older

The appendices below are deleted, replaced by Form 1003 College Tuition Waiver Letter on the DFPS Automated Forms System (Smiley). See:

Appendix 6579: College Tuition Waiver Letter

Appendix 6883: College Tuition Waiver Letter for Students Who Were Adopted and Received Adoption Assistance

A link in the item below is redirected from the appendices above to Form 1003. See;

6883 College Tuition Waiver for Youths Who Have Been Adopted

Extended Adoption Assistance Policy (PATS 3573)

The federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 was signed into law on October 7, 2008. Fostering Connections, as the bill is referenced, will improve the lives of children and youth in foster care and increase the likelihood that they will be able to leave the foster care system to live permanently with relative caregivers or adoptive families. The law accomplishes this by extending and providing services for relatives, children in foster care, and adoptive families.

The sections below are revised to reflect this legislation. CPS staff were informed of these changes with the release of PSA 10-116 on June 21, 2010.


1560 Adoption Assistance Program

1561 Adoption Assistance Eligibility Requirements for Children Adopted From DFPS Conservatorship

1561.1 General Eligibility Requirements

1561.2 Determining Whether a Child Has Special Needs

1561.3 Eligibility Requirements for Reimbursement of Nonrecurring Adoption Expenses

1561.4 Additional Eligibility Requirements for Monthly Payments and Medicaid Coverage

1561.5 Eligibility Requirements for State-Paid Adoption Assistance

1561.6 Determining Who Is an Applicable Child

1561.7 Eligibility Requirements for Extended Adoption Assistance

1561.8 When Adoption Assistance Is Not Available (Transferring Permanent Managing Conservatorship)

1562 Adoption Assistance Eligibility Requirements for Children Adopted From the Conservatorship of an LCPA

1562.1 Eligibility Requirements

1562.2 International Adoptions

1563 Jurisdiction and Responsibility for Determining Eligibility and Activating Benefits

1563.1 Determining Which Children Are Within DFPS Jurisdiction

1563.2 Determining Region With Responsibility for a Case

1564 Program Notification, Application Process, and Responsibility for Cases

1564.1 Informing Families of the Adoption Assistance Program

1564.2 Application Process for Adoption Assistance

1564.3 Determination of Eligibility

1564.4 Responsibilities of the Eligibility Specialist in Entering Into the Initial Adoption Assistance Agreement

1564.5 Commencement of Benefits

1564.6 Ongoing Responsibilities of Eligibility Units for the Adoption Assistance Program

1564.7 Reimbursement of Nonrecurring Expenses of Adoption

1565 Negotiating Adoption Assistance Agreements and Deferred Adoption Assistance Agreements

1565.1 Responsibilities of Negotiators for Initial Adoption Assistance Agreement

1565.2 Ongoing Responsibilities of Negotiators

1565.3 Considerations During Negotiations

1565.4 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Payments and Adoption Assistance Payments

1565.5 Determining the Adoption Assistance Payment Ceiling

1565.6 Education Requirements

1566 Deferred Adoption Assistance Agreements

1567 Changes in Circumstances and Periodic Certification of Continued Eligibility

1567.1 Recertification of Eligibility

1567.2 Adoptive Parents Die or Their Parental Rights Are Terminated

1568 Benefits: Termination and Resumption

1568.1 Termination of Benefits

1569 Fair Hearings Regarding Adoption Assistance Decisions

1569.1 Appealing Decisions

1569.2 An Agreement for Adoption Assistance Was Not Signed Before an Adoption’s Consummation

1569.3 Responsibilities of the Adoption Assistance Eligibility Specialist and Negotiator

1570 Medicaid Coverage, The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance, and Adoption Assistance

1571 The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance and its Impact on Adoption Assistance

1572 Procedures of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance

1573 Procedures Regarding Children Eligible for Adoption Assistance Who Are Placed or Moved Out-of-State

Cross-references were updated in the items below:

1224 Title XIX, Medicaid

6221.25 Selecting the Permanency Goal

6852 Consummating the Adoption

Update of Service Levels, Common Applications, CPOS, and Transition Plans (PATS 2572)

The items below are revised to include updated policy regarding:

  •   the service level system;

  •   documentation required for level of service authorizations;

  •   the use of the common application; and

  •   the sharing child plans of service and common applications with residential child care contractors.

CPS staff were informed of these updates with the issuance of the following Protective Services Alerts (PSAs):

08-020 Initial Service Levels (Issued 10/5/2007)

08-048 Sharing Child’s Plans, Common Applications & Transition Plans with Res. Child Care Contractor (Issued 1/20/2008)

08-073 Use of the Common Application (Issued 3/6/2008)

08-085 Documentation Required for YFT Service Level Authorizations & Reviews (Issued 3/27/2008)


6340 Texas Service Levels System

6341 Definitions

6342 Service Level Determinations and Reauthorizations

6343 Responsibility for Timely Determinations

6343.1 Authorized and Billing Service Levels

6344 Common Application

6345 Procedures

6345.1 Obtaining an Initial Service Level Authorization (ASL)

6345.11 Process for obtaining an Initial Service Level Authorization

6345.2 Scheduled or Non-Scheduled Review of Service Level

6345.21 Process for Obtaining a Scheduled or Non-Scheduled Review of Service Level

6345.22 Guidelines for Expired Service Level Authorization

6345.23 Retroactive Service Level Authorization

6345.3 Modifying Placement for ASLs and Billing Service Levels (BSLs)

6345.31 Placing a Child One or More Billing Service Levels Lower Than the Authorized Service Level

6345.32 Requesting a BSL That Is Higher Than the ASL

6345.33 End Dates for an ASL at the Basic Service Level

6345.4 State Office Eligibility Program Specialist Role and Responsibilities

6345.5 How to Appeal Disagreements With ASLs