Child Protective Services

Handbook Revision, April 2016

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on April 1, 2016.

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.

Streamlining of CPS Handbook section 15000 Education

Hearing Notice Requirements

Criminal Activity

Aggravated Circumstances

Administrative Closure

Adoption and Fostering by DFPS Employees

Permanency Progress Report

Streamlining of CPS Handbook section 15000 Education (PATS 8907)

Section 15000 Education for Children is being streamlined to remove non-essential content. All content has been reviewed and revised for clarity. See:

15100 The Role of DFPS and the Caseworker in Ensuring Education Stability and Success

15110 The Role of the Caseworker in Ensuring Education Stability

15111 When a Child is in Parental Child Safety Placement (PCSP) or an Emergency Shelter

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

15211.1 Referrals to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)

15212 Enrollment for Children Ages 3, 4, and 5

15212.1 15213 Pre-Kindergarten Programs Offered Through the Public Schools

15212.2 15214 Head Start Programs

15212.3 15215 Pre-School Programs for Children With Disabilities (PPCD)

15220 15223 Education in a Home Setting Schooling

15230 15220 Exceptions to Standard Schooling Options for Children and Youth Ages 5 Through 21

15231 15221 Choosing a Public School or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Program

15232 15224 Private School or Boarding School

15233 15225 General Education Development (GED)

15234 15226 Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) and Virtual Schools

15235 15227 Education Services for Children in Nursing Homes or Hospitals, or Who Are Homebound

15236 15228 Education Services for School-Age Children Who Are Placed Out-of-State

15236.1 15228.1 Paying Out-of-State Tuition

15237 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

15310 Time Frame for Completing the Child’s Enrollment

15320 A Child’s Temporary Absence From School

15330 15320 Immunization Requirements

15340 15330 Documents Required for Enrollment

15331 Placement Authorization Forms (The 2085s)

15341 15332 Court Order

15342 15333 Education Decision-Maker Form

15340 Accessing and Maintaining School Records 

15350 15350 Requesting Transfer of School Records

15360 15360 Withdrawing a Student from School

15370 15370 Education Decision Making

15371 15371 Designating an Education Decision-Maker

15371.1 Designating an Education Decision Maker at Initial Placement

15371.2 Designating Changes to the Education Decision Maker

15372 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

15373 Required Notification of School-Related Information

15373.1 15380 Maintaining Confidentiality for Children and Youth While Enrolled in School

15380 15390 Education Records

15381 15391 Creating a Child’s Educational Record

15382 15392 Education-Related Documents Required for the Child’s Case File

15400 The Education Portfolio

15410 Education-Related Documents Required for the Education Portfolio

15420 The Role of the Caseworker Worker in Creating, Delivering, and Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15421 Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15421 15421.1 The Role of the Caseworker Worker in Creating Maintaining the Education Portfolio

15421.2 The Role of the Caregiver in Maintaining the Education Portfolio 

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

15423 Delivering Collecting the Documents Required for the Education Portfolio at Discharge from Conservatorship

15500 Discipline of Children in DFPS Conservatorship in the Public Schools

15510 Corporal Punishment and Other Physical Discipline in Schools

15510 15511 Requirement to Opt Out of Corporal Punishment

15520 15512 Discipline Strategies and Restrictions for Children With Disabilities Who Are, or 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

15721 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

15722 15727 Denial of Services and Due Process

15800 Tuition and Funding for Post-Secondary Education

15810 Exemptions From College Tuition

15820 The Education and Training Voucher Program

Hearing Notice Requirements (PATS 8612)

This item is revised to reflect changes in hearing notice requirements resulting from the 84th Legislative Session in 2015. See:

5512 Notice Requirements for the Status Hearing

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5534 Notice Requirements for Permanency Hearings All Hearings Prior to Final Order

Criminal Activity (PATS 8617)

This item is revised to reflect changes resulting from the 84th Legislative Session in 2015. See:

5564.14 Criminal Activity and Imprisonment

Aggravated Circumstances (PATS 8622)

This item is revised to reflect changes resulting from the 84th Legislative Session in 2015. See:

Appendix 5440: Aggravated Circumstances

Administrative Closure (PATS 9022)

This item is revised to clarify conditions under which staff should and should not use Administrative Closure. See:

2310 Administrative Closure

Adoption and Fostering by DFPS Employees (PATS 8912)

The items below are revised to conform to new DFPS-wide operating policy DFPS-8103 Fostering or Adopting of Children in DFPS Conservatorship by DFPS Employees. Only policies and procedures specific to the CPS program are being kept in this handbook. See:

7811 General Guidelines for Program Administrators and Designees

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7813 When CPS Employees Who Seek to Become Foster Parents of a Child in DFPS Conservatorship

7813.1 The Eligibility of CPS Employees to Become Foster Parents

7813.2 The Eligibility of CPS Job Applicants to Remain Foster Parents

7814 When CPS Employees Who Seek to Adopt a Child in DFPS Conservatorship

7814.1 The Eligibility of CPS Employees to Adopt a Child Who Is a Relative or Fictive Kin

7814.2 The Eligibility of CPS Employees to Adopt a Specific Child That Is Not Related to Them the Employee and Is Not a Fictive Kin

7814.21 Adopting a Child Other Than a Specific Child

7814.22 Adopting a Specific Child

7814.3 The Process for CPS Employees to Adopt

7814.31 When a CPS Employee Seeks to Adopt a Child Related to the Employee

7814.3 7814.32 When The Eligibility of a CPS Employee Seeks to Adopt a Non-Specific Child Not Related to the Employee

Permanency Progress Report (PATS 8607)

These items are revised to reflect changes to permanency progress report requirements resulting from the 84th Legislative Session in 2015. See:

5583 Filing a Placement Review Permanency Progress Report With the Court and Parties for Children Under Permanent DFPS Conservatorship

5584 Notice Requirements for Placement Review Permanency Hearings for Children Under Permanent DFPS Conservatorship

5585 Meeting the Content Requirements for a Placement Review Permanency Progress Report

5586 Obtaining Approval of a Placement Review Permanency Progress Report

Appendix 5585: Legal Requirements Relevant to the Placement Review Permanency Progress Report PMC