Child Protective Services

Handbook Revision, February 15, 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on February 15, 2015. Summaries of new or revised items are provided below.

CPS Handbook Transformation, Sections 2000 and 3000

The recent Operational Review of Child Protective Services (CPS) reported that many staff saw the current policy manual as a lengthy, confusing mixture of policy, practice and reference information. This made it unwieldy and reduced its effectiveness as a helpful resource in doing their job. Policy was also difficult to navigate and understand for families and stakeholders. As part of Transformation, CPS addressed these concerns by collaborating with field staff, other internal and external stakeholders to streamline the investigations and family based safety services provisions in the CPS handbook.

CPS streamlined the investigations and family based safety services provisions by including only those critical actions that caseworkers and supervisors must complete to ensure safety, permanency and well-being. This includes any actions required by statute or the Texas Administrative Code. CPS also reframed the language, directing it primarily to caseworkers and supervisors who rely on the policy on a daily basis. This supports the principle that the policy handbook is a tool for direct delivery staff.

(Note: Sections 2850 through 2870, related to administrative reviews, have been moved to Sections 1260, 1280 and 1290. Sections 2200 through 2840 and 3000 through 3900 will be fully replaced by the new, streamlined provisions. All other sections of the CPS policy handbook remain unchanged.)

CPS is already working on streamlining policy for conservatorship caseworkers. We plan to publish the revised policy by the end of 2015.

CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy e-mail box for the general public: CPSPolicyQuestions@dfps.state.tx.us. Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.

For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.

Affected Sections

The following handbook sections have been replaced:

  •   sub-sections 2200 through 2845 of Section 2000 Investigations; and

  •   all of Section 3000 Family Based Safety Services.

Sub-section 2100 and all other handbook sections remain unchanged.

Sub-sections 2850 through 2877 have been moved to section 1000 and renumbered accordingly. See the reference below:

Policy Locations Before February 15, 2015

Policy Locations After February 15, 2015

2850 Administrative Review of Investigation Findings

1260 Administrative Review of Investigation Findings

2851 Determination and Notice of Eligibility

1261 Determination and Notice of Eligibility

2851.1 Initial Determination of Eligibility

1261.1 Initial Determination of Eligibility

2851.2 Notice of Initial Eligibility Determination

1261.2 Notice of Initial Eligibility Determination

2852 Conditions Allowing a Delay of the ARIF

1262 Conditions Allowing a Delay of the ARIF

2852.1 Notice of Delay of ARIF

1262.1 Notice of Delay of ARIF

2852.2 Eligibility Determination and Notice After an ARIF Has Been Delayed

1262.2 Eligibility Determination and Notice After an ARIF Has Been Delayed

2853 Conducting the ARIF

1263 Conducting the ARIF

2853.1 Notification of the Time, Place, and Conduct of the ARIF

1263.1 Notification of the Time, Place, and Conduct of the ARIF

2853.2 ARIF Proceedings

1263.2 ARIF Proceedings

2854 Final Written Decision of ARIF

1264 Final Written Decision of ARIF

2855 Documentation of the ARIF Decision and Change of Allegations in IMPACT

1265 Documentation of the ARIF Decision and Change of Allegations in IMPACT

2855.1 Documentation and Changing Allegations in the ARIF Stage

1265.1 Documentation and Changing Allegations in the ARIF Stage

2855.2 Documentation in a Closed-Stage Addendum Contact

1265.2 Documentation in a Closed-Stage Addendum Contact

2855.3 Changing Allegations Through Database Correction

1265.3 Changing Allegations Through Database Correction

2855.4 Changing the Type of Abuse or Neglect in a Confirmed Allegation

1265.4 Changing the Type of Abuse or Neglect in a Confirmed Allegation

2855.5 Changing the Severity of a Confirmed Allegation to or From "Fatal"

1265.5 Changing the Severity of a Confirmed Allegation to or From "Fatal"

2856 Notification of Results of the ARIF

1266 Notification of Results of the ARIF

2856.1 Notification of Written Decision to Requester

1266.1 Notification of Written Decision to Requester

2856.2 Notification of Written Decision to Parent/Guardian and Reporter

1266.2 Notification of Written Decision to Parent/Guardian and Reporter

2856.3 Accessing, Processing, and Filing Notification Letters

1266.3 Accessing, Processing, and Filing Notification Letters

2857 ARIF During the Release-Hearing Process

1267 ARIF During the Release-Hearing Process

2860 Reviews by the Office of Consumer Affairs

1280 Reviews by the Office of Consumer Affairs

2861 Overview of the Review Process

1281 Overview of the Review Process

2862 Regional Responsibilities

1282 Regional Responsibilities

2870 Release Hearings

1290 Release Hearings

2871 Definitions Related to Release Hearings

1291 Definitions Related to Release Hearings

2872 Release on a Non-Emergency or an Emergency Basis

1292 Release on a Non-Emergency or an Emergency Basis

2872.1 Non-Emergency Release

1292.1 Non-Emergency Release

2872.2 Emergency Release

1292.2 Emergency Release

2873 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS's Decision to Release the Findings

1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS's Decision to Release the Findings

2873.1 Notice Templates

1293.1 Notice Templates

2873.2 Certified Mail

1293.2 Certified Mail

2873.3 What the Notice Must Include

1293.3 What the Notice Must Include

2874 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Request a Release Hearing

1294 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Request a Release Hearing

2874.1 Notifications

1294.1 Notifications

2875 Preparing for and Scheduling Release Hearings

1295 Preparing for and Scheduling Release Hearings

2875.1 When DFPS May Schedule a Release Hearing

1295.1 When DFPS May Schedule a Release Hearing

2875.2 After a Designated Perpetrator Requests a Release Hearing

1295.2 After a Designated Perpetrator Requests a Release Hearing

2876 Release Hearing Conduct and Decisions

1296 Release Hearing Conduct and Decisions

2876.1 Decisions

1296.1 Decisions

2876.2 Timing of Sending Notice Letters and Updating IMPACT

1296.2 Timing of Sending Notice Letters and Updating IMPACT

2876.3 Appeal of the Decision

1296.3 Appeal of the Decision

2876.4 Notification of Court Decisions

1296.4 Notification of Court Decisions

2876.5 Regional Actions if Finding Is Sustained (Upheld)

1296.5 Regional Actions if Finding Is Sustained (Upheld)

2876.6 Regional Actions if Finding Is Reversed or Altered

1296.6 Regional Actions if Finding Is Reversed or Altered

2877 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Appear at the Release Hearing

1297 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Appear at the Release Hearing