Child Protective Services

Handbook Revision, May 2016

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on May 2, 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.

DFPS Accounting Staff Responsibilities for Foster Care Maintenance Payments

Child Support Payments

Preparation for Adult Living

Alternative Response

DFPS Accounting Staff Responsibilities for Foster Care Maintenance Payments (PATS 8897)

This revision clarifies responsibilities of DFPS accounting staff that maintains foster care payments (primarily SSI/RSDI funds from SSA). See:

1550 DFPS Accounting Staff Information and Responsibilities

1551 1550 Foster Care Maintenance Payments

1551.1 Rates for DFPS Foster Care Maintenance Payments

1551.2 Participation in the Paid Foster Care Program

1551.3 1551 Effective Dates of Foster-Care Maintenance -Assistance Payments

1552 Billing and Payment for Foster Care Assistance

1553 Recoupment of Foster Care Maintenance Overpayment

1553.1 Manual Recoupment

1553.2 Manual Recoupment Process

1553.3 Notification to Providers of Recoupment That Exceeds 50% of Next Payment

1553.4 Extreme Hardship and Repayment Plans

1553.5 When Not to Initiate Recoupment Procedures

1560 Managing Management of Children’s Funds

1561 Accounting Procedures for Children’s Funds

1561.1 Organization of the Accounting Unit

1561.2 Separation of Duties

1561.3 Documentation

1561.4 Accounts Receivable (Income)

1561.5 Accounts Payable (Disbursements)

1562 Managing Children’s Income Accounts (CIAs)

1562.1 General Information

1562.1 Prior-Period Adjustment (PPA) Invoice Processing for Children With Income

1562.11 Electronic Access to Children’s Funds

1562.12 Receipt and Deposit of Children’s Income

1562.13 When Funds Are Received

1562.14 Cash Basis Accounting

1562.15 IMPACT Financial Account Pages

1562.16 Excess Funds

1562.2 Account Resource Limits for SSI Children

1562.3 Adoptive Placement and Children’s Income

1562.4 Handling Deceased Children’s Income

1563 Establishing, Transferring, and Closing Children’s Savings Accounts

1563.1 Transactions

1563.2 Establishing a Child’s Savings Account

1563.3 Closing Accounts Timely

1563.31 Children with a Legal Status of Resp Terminated

1563.32 Children Receiving SSA Benefits and No Longer in Conservatorship or the Extended Care Program

1563.33 SSI Coordinator

1564 Duties of Accounts Receivable (AR) Staff

1564.1 Manual Receipt of Funds by Accounts Receivable (AR) Staff

1564.11 Checks Payable to Person Versus DFPS

1564.2 Receivables Procedures for Accounts Receivable (AR) Staff

1564.3 Reconciliation Requirements for Accounts Receivable (AR) Staff

1564.4 Electronic Return of Benefits

1564.5 Lump Sum Distribution Instructions

1565 Duties of Accounts Payable (AP) Staff

1565.1 New Benefit Award

1565.2 Stop Payments

1565.3 1565.1 Handling Income When Child is in Paid Substitute Care

1565.4 1565.2 Handling Income When Child is Not in Paid Substitute Care

1565.5 Accounts Payable (AP) Staff Duties Regarding Lump Sum Distribution

1565.6 Reconciliation Requirements for Accounts Payable (AP) Staff

1566 Duties of Accounting Team Lead Supervisor

1566.1 Procedures for Reviewing Information and Reports

1566.2 Reconciliation Responsibilities of Accounting Team Lead Supervisor

1566.3 Annual Reconciliation for Each Client

1566.4 Reconciling Reconciliation of Child’s Income at Discharge

1566.5 Reconciling Reconciliation of Discrepancies

1566.6 Reconciliation of Child’s Income at Death

1567 Records Retention Requirements for Transactions Involving Children’s Funds

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Appendix 1562.1: Prior-Period Adjustment (PPA) Invoice Processing for Children With Income

Appendix 1565.6 1564.3: Outstanding Items Procedures

Child Support Payments (PATS 9023)

This new section addresses DFPS handling of child support payments for children in DFPS placements. See:

1568 Child Support Payments (new)

1568.1 Request and Court Order for Child Support (new)

1568.2 Enforcement of Child Support Court Orders (new)

1568.3 Distribution of Child Support Funds when the Child is in DFPS Conservatorship (new)

1568.4 Excess Funds for Title IV-E Cases (new)

1568.5 Distribution of Funds after the Child Leaves DFPS Conservatorship (new)

1568.6 Miscellaneous (new)

Preparation for Adult Living (PATS 9117)

Minor updates made to Appendix 10212: Preparation for Adult Living Life Skills Training Curriculum Outline. These updates were made to meet internal audit’s recommendations for improvement of the curriculum. See:

Appendix 10212: Preparation for Adult Living Life Skills Training Curriculum Outline

Alternative Response (PATS 9177)

The sections below are revised to provide clarification that a family plan and a safety plan must be completed if safety threats are active or immediate.

Clarification is also provided regarding situations in which a case:

  •  is not eligible for alternative response;

  •  must be progressed to investigations; and

  •  may be progressed to investigations.

See:

2600 Alternative Response

2610 Eligibility for Alternative Response

2611 Reports Intakes or Cases Ineligible for Alternative Response

2611.1 Intakes Ineligible for Alternative Response

2611.2 Criteria for Routing a Case to Traditional Investigation

2612 New Reports Intakes on an Open Alternative Response Case

2612.1 If the New Intake Meets Alternative Response Criteria

2612.2 If the New Intake Does Not Meet Alternative Response Criteria

2612.3 Completing Case Merges

2620 Contacts

2621 Initial Contacts

2621.1 Contact Time Frames

2621.2 Unable to Make Contact

2621.3 Unable to Locate

2621.4 Initial Face-to-Face Contact

2621.5 Family Member Not Present

2621.6 Family Refusal to Participate

2622 Initial Contact Tasks

2622.1 Initial Tasks

2622.2 Contact with Collaterals

2622.3 Family Refusal to Cooperate At Any Time

2623 Initial Safety and Family Needs Assessment

2624 Ongoing Contacts

2625 Alternative Response Family Plan

2625.1 Completing the Plan

2625.2 Documenting the Plan in IMPACT

2625.3 Addressing Active Safety Threats to a Child

2630 Stage Progressing an AR Case to Traditional Investigation

2631 When a Case Must be Progressed to Investigations

2632 When a Case May be Progressed to Investigations

2633 Legal Orders to Participate in Services

2634 Parent or Caregiver Request for Reassignment

2640 Extension

2641 Criteria for Extension

2642 When Not to Allow Extension

2643 Extension Approval Time Frame

2644 Closure Time Frames for Cases with Extension

2650 Case Closure

2651 Closure Time Frames

2652 Completing the Final Safety and Family Needs Assessment

2653 Notifications

2654 Required Actions

2655 Resulting Actions