Child Protective Services

Handbook Revision, June 1, 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on June 1, 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: 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.

Required Contacts (PATS 8167)

CPS is clarifying the policy for changes to PCSP households or frequent visitors to those households. This is not a new requirement; it just makes explicit the expectation that has always existed.  It is vital that caseworkers ask and keep track of any changes to the household, and that the PCSP caregiver assume responsibility for informing the caseworker of any changes to the household or any frequent visitors, so that CPS can fully assess the situation on an ongoing basis. See:

3215 Required Contacts

When a Child or Youth is Missing From Care (PATS 8097)

Sections 6314.1 through 6314.3 of the CPS Policy Handbook are being updated. These updates include:

  •   adding to the list of individuals/groups requiring notification

  •   detailing the role of the Special Investigator in efforts to locate the child

  •   explaining the SI requirement to document efforts in IMPACT

  •   explaining actions to take when the child is located

  •   explaining actions to take when the child returns to care

In addition, this update removes section 6314.3 Documenting a Child as a Runaway.


6314 When a Child or Youth is Missing from Care

6314.1 Minor Child Missing from Foster Care Placement

6314.2 When a Missing Child Returns to Care

Section 15000 Education for Children (PATS 7427)

Section 15000 Education for Children has been revised in its entirety. It has been updated to include:

  •   specific responsibilities for Investigative, Family Based Services, and CVS staff to ensure education stability for students in substitute care;

  •   defined roles, rights and responsibilities of the caseworker, education decision-maker, surrogate parent, and school district foster care liaison in order to meet the students’ educational needs and goals;

  •   a requirement that all students ages 3. 4. and 5 attending a pre-kindergarten program at the local public school have Education Portfolios;

  •   an approval process for education exceptions, including home school exceptions, certain online instruction, and private schools, to be reviewed and approved by the regional education specialist; and

  •   guidelines to maintain the confidentiality for children and youth enrolled in school.


15000 Education for Children

15100 The Role of DFPS in Ensuring Education Stability and Success

15110 The Role of the Caseworker in Ensuring Education Stability

15111 The Role of the Investigations Worker in Maintaining Education Stability

15112 The Role of the Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) Worker in Maintaining Education Stability

15113 The Role of the Conservatorship Worker in Maintaining Education Stability

15114 McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act

15200 School Options for Children

15210 Early Childhood Education Programs for Children

15211 Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) From Birth to Age 3

15212 Enrollment for Children Ages 3, 4, and 5

15213 Pre-Kindergarten Programs Offered Through the Public Schools

15214 Head Start Programs

15215 Pre-School Programs for Children With Disabilities (PPCD)

15220 Standard Schooling Options for Children and Youth Ages 5 Through 21

15221 Choosing a Public School or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Program

15222 Exceptions to Standard Schooling

15223 Home Schooling

15224 Private School

15225 General Education Development (GED)

15226 Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) and Virtual Schools

15227 Education Services for Children in Nursing Homes or Hospitals, or Who Are Homebound

15228 Education Services for School-Age Children Who Are Placed Out-of-State

15228.1 Paying Out-of-State Tuition

15228.2 Requesting an Exception to Standard Schooling

15300 Enrollment, Records Transfer, and Withdrawal for Children Changing Schools

15310 Documents Required by School District for Enrollment

15320 Immunization Requirements

15330 Documents Required by DFPS for Enrollment

15331 Placement Authorization Forms (The 2085s)

15332 Court Order

15333 Education Decision-Maker Form

15340 Accessing and Maintaining School Records

15350 Requesting Transfer of School Records

15360 Withdrawing a Student From School

15370 Education Decision Making

15371 Designating an Education Decision-Maker

15372 Surrogate Parents for Children With Disabilities

15373 Rights and Responsibilities of the Caseworker

15374 Rights and Responsibilities of the Education Decision-Maker

15375 Rights and Responsibilities of the School

15380 Maintaining Confidentiality for Children and Youth While Enrolled in School

15390 Education Records

15391 Creating a Child’s Educational Record

15392 Education-Related Documents Required for the Child’s Case File

15400 The Education Portfolio

15410 Education-Related Documents Required for the Education Portfolio and Case File

15420 The Role of the Worker in Maintaining the Portfolio

15421 Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15421.1 The Role of the Worker in Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15421.2 The Role of the Caregiver in Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15422 Delivering and Transferring the Education Portfolio to the Child’s Caregiver

15423 Collecting the Documents Required for the Education Portfolio at Discharge

15500 Discipline of Children in DFPS Conservatorship in the Public Schools

15510 Corporal Punishment and Other Physical Discipline in Schools

15511 Requirement to Opt Out of Corporal Punishment

15512 Discipline for Children With Disabilities Who May Be Eligible for Special Education Services

15513 Discipline Strategies and Restrictions for Children With Disabilities Who Are Eligible for Special Education Services

15600 Education Resources

15610 Role and Responsibilities of the Regional Education Specialist

15620 School District Foster Care Liaisons

15630 Personal Graduation Plans (PGP)

15640 Credit Recovery Programs

15700 School Services for Children With Disabilities

15710 The Role of the School in Serving Children With Disabilities

15711 The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

15712 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

15720 Referring a Child for a Special Education Assessment and Evaluation

15721 Conditions That Make a Child Eligible For Special Education Services

15722 Obtaining Consent for Testing

15723 The Role of Surrogate Parents in the Education of Children With Disabilities

15724 Eligibility to Serve as a Surrogate Parent

15724.1 Denial of a Foster Parent as Surrogate Parent

15725 The Admissions, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee and the Individualized Education Program (IEP)

15726 Transition Plans for Youths Age 14 Who Are Receiving Special Education Services

15727 Denial of Services and Due Process Rights or Denial of Education-Related Services

15800 Tuition and Funding for Post-Secondary Education

15810 Exemptions From College Tuition

15820 The Education and Training Voucher Program