Child Protective Services

Handbook Revision, August 1, 2017

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on August 1, 2017.

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.

Consent in Investigation Interviews (4th Amendment) (PATS 9537)

The items below are revised to clarify the rules for obtaining consent to enter a home, based on the latest interpretations of 4th Amendment requirements. See:

2240 Interviewing, Examining, and Transporting a Child

2240 Interviews

2241 General Requirements for Consent

2241 Interviews With Children

2241.1 Time Frames for Interviewing Children

2241.11 Determining Whether a Child Has the Capacity to Give Consent

2241.2 Authority to Give Consent

2241.2 Interviewing Other Children in the Home

2241.3 Voluntary Consent

2241.3 Requirements for Contacting Children

2241.31 Consent to Interview a Child at Home

2241.32 Parental Refusal to Allow a Child to be Interviewed

2241.33 Child Privacy

2241.34 Audio and Visual Documentation of a Child's Interview

2241.4 Withdrawing Consent

2241.4 Parental Notification that a Child Has Been Interviewed

2241.5 Documenting Consent and Actions Taken Based on Exigent Circumstances

2241.5 Interviews with Children at Specialized Facilities

2241.6 Accepting Child Interviews Conducted by Others

2241.7 Transporting a Child

2242 Entering the Home

2242 Interviewing Parents and Alleged Perpetrators

2242.1 Consent to Enter the Home

2242.1 Obtaining Permission to Enter the Home

2242.11 Who Has the Authority to Give Consent to Enter the Home

2242.12 Consent Provided by an Adult Resident of the Home

2242.2 Exigent Circumstances

2242.2 Notification that the Interview is Being Recorded

2242.3 Court Order

2242.3 Obtaining Demographic Information from Principals

2242.4 Required Documents to Provide to Parents

2242.5 Complaints or Requests for Clarification

2243 Interviews With Children

2243.1 Time Frames for Interviewing Children

2243.2 Interviewing Other Children in the Home

2243.3 Consent to Interview a Child

2243.31 Consent to Interview a Child at Home

2243.32 Consent to Interview a Child at School

2243.4 Conducting the Interview

2243.5 Notifying a Parent that a Child Has Been Interviewed

2243.6 Interviews with Children at Specialized Facilities

2243.7 Accepting Child Interviews Conducted by Others

2244 Visual Examinations

2244.1 Consent for Visual Examination of a Child at Home or in the Presence of a Parent or Other Person Responsible

2244.2 Consent for Visual Examination of a Child at School

2244.21 Visual Examination of a Child at a School Under TEA Jurisdiction

2244.22 Visual Examinations of a Child at a School Not Under TEA Jurisdiction

2244.3 Conducting a Visual Examination

2244.4 Audio and Visual Documentation of a Child's Interview and Injuries to the Child

2244.5 Examinations by External Entities

2244.51 Sexual Abuse Examinations

2244.52 Medical, Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments

2245 Transporting a Child

2245.1 Authority to Transport a Child From School

2245.11 Parental Consent

2245.12 Court Order

2245.13 Reasonable Belief

2245.2 Transporting a Child in Other Circumstances

2245.3 Notifying the Parents Before Transporting a Child

2246 Interviews and Contact with Parents, Alleged Perpetrators, Other Adults, and Principals

2246.1 Interviewing Parents and Alleged Perpetrators

2246.2 Recording Interviews With an Adult

2246.3 Obtaining Demographic Information from Principals

2246.4 Required Documents to Provide to Parents

2246.5 Complaints or Requests for Clarification from Alleged Perpetrators or Principal Adults

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2320 School Investigations

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Appendix 2000-1 Summary of Consent Requirements

Collective Minor Updates to CVS Policies (PATS 10142)

The items below are revised to reflect corrections and clarifications to the January 30, 2017 publication of the streamlined conservatorship policy contained in section 6000. See:

6133.22 Documenting Monthly Contacts and Visits

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6242.11 Initial Family Plan of Service

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6252.1 Reviewing a Youth's Transition Plan

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6314.11 Courtesy Caseworker Responsibilities

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6352 Military Families

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6366 When Service Planning Has Been Discontinued or Resumed

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6416.1 Sibling Visitation Issues Must Be Addressed in the Child's Plan of Service

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6431 Initial Assessment Services

6431.1 Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment and Family Strengths and Needs Assessment (FSNA)

6431.11 Timeline for CANS and FSNA

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6461.1 Notification Requirements When a Child Runs Away or is Missing

6461.2 Other Initial Actions Efforts to Locate

6461.3 Ongoing Efforts to Locate

6461.31 6461.3 Documentation and Review

6461.4 When a Child is Located

6461.5 Caseworker Actions When a Missing Child Returns to Care

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6471.1 In-State Travel Approval

6471.2 Out-of-State Travel Approval

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6510 Initiating the Reunification Process

6511 Reunification Staffing

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6623.2 The Written Home Assessment

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6625 Requirements for a Kinship Safety Evaluation (KSE)

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6642 Services and Contact with the Kinship Caregiver

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6652.31 Eligibility Criteria

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6661.1 When There Is No Kinship Development Caseworker

6661.1 6661.2 When There Is a Kinship Development Caseworker

6661.2 6661.3 Explaining Eligibility for Services

6661.3 6661.4 Documenting in IMPACT a Caregiver's Disinterest

6661.4 6661.5 Addressing Finances

6661.5 6661.6 Addressing Child Care

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6662.5 Closing the Kinship Stage in IMPACT

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6710 Services to Children and Families Who Are Not U.S. Citizens

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6715 Working With the Foreign Consulate

6715.1 Giving Notice to a Foreign Consulate

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6732 Procedure for International Placement

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6926 Preparing the Child's Records for Presentation to Prospective Adoptive Parents

Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL) (PATS 10232)

The items below are revised to:

  •   clarify timeframes and actions for diligent searches; and

  •   organize policy based on staff responsibilities.

See:

3100 When a Child Who is With His or Her Family Cannot be Located

3110 Conducting a Diligent Search and Placing the Family on the Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL)Search for a Child

3111 The Caseworker's Responsibilities

3111.1 Time Frames for the Diligent Search

3111.2 Required Diligent Search Actions

3111.3 Actions at the End of the Caseworker's Diligent Search

3111.4 Required Casework If Family Is Not Located

3111.5 Immediate Face-to-Face Contact When a Family is Located

3111.51 A Special Investigator (SI) Locates the Family

3111.52 Law Enforcement Locates the Family

3111.6 Family is Not Located – Closing the Case

3112 The Special Investigator's Responsibilities

3112.1 Diligent Search

3112.2 Actions At the End of the Diligent Search in a Priority 2 INV, AR, or FPR Stage

3112.3 After the Child and Family Are Placed on the CSCAL

3112.4 Special Investigator Locates a Child on CSCAL

3112.5 Family is Not Located – Closing the Case

3113 The Special Investigator Program Director's (SIPD) Responsibilities

3113.1 Assigning the Special Investigator (SI) to Conduct a Diligent Search

3113.2 Arranging for the Child and Family to be Placed on the CSCAL

3113.3 Arranging for Child and Family to be Taken Off the CSCAL

3114 Exceptions to the Requirement to Place the Family on the CSCAL

3114.1 Uncooperative Family Whose Location is Known

3114.2 Family Cannot be Located When Case Closure is Begun

3114.3 Other Exceptions

3114.4 Length of Time the Case on the CSCAL if the Child is Not Located

3115 3114 Child in DFPS Conservatorship Goes Missing Abducted by Family

3110 Conducting a Search for a Child

3111 Preliminary Search

3112 Priority 1 Investigation Cases

3113 Priority 2 INV, AR, and FPR Cases - The Twenty Day Search

3114 Child in DFPS Conservatorship Abducted by Family

3120 After a Family is Placed on CSCAL

3121 CPS Locates a Child on CSCAL

3122 Law Enforcement Locates a Child or Family on CSCAL

3123 Child or Family on CSCAL is Not Located

3130 When a Child is Safe, but a Principal Cannot Be Located

Requiring Caseworker to Document Staffings with Supervisor (PATS 10297)

This revision updates policy regarding the documentation of needed actions, follow up, or critical next steps.

See:

2272 Supervisor Review of Case Actions and Safety Decisions

Alternative Response Face to Face Contact (PATS 10252)

This revision clarifies that "family" includes all children in the household and that all children in the home must be seen within five days of stage progression to Alternative Response (AR).

See:

2622.4 Initial Face-to-Face Contact