Handbook Revision, September 1, 2017

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on September 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.

Home and Community Based Services (PATS 10172)

Expanding policy on Home and Community Based Services and adding to 4000 Placing Children in DFPS Conservatorship. Clarifying caseworker tasks.

Renumbering surrounding sections. See:

4115 Prohibited Considerations Based on Race, Color, or National Origin

4116 Additional Requirements Based on Specific Placement Type

4117 4114.7 Specific Placement Considerations for Children Who Have Primary Medical Needs


The following two headings are not new content, but were previously unnumbered subheadings:

4117.1 Placement Considerations for Primary Medical Needs Children

4117.2 Required Meetings


4118 4114.8 Additional Actions for Placing Children with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities


The following heading is not new content, but was previously an unnumbered subheading:

4118.1 Assessing the Need for Facility Placement


4118.2 Home and Community-Based Services (HCS)


The following four headings are not new content, but were previously unnumbered subheadings:

4118.3 Obtaining CPS Associate Commissioner Approval to Place a Child in a Facility

4118.4 Emergency Placement Approval Process

4118.5 Requirement to Continue Seeking Less Restrictive Setting

4118.6 Additional Requirements for Specific Facilities


4119 4117 Get Approvals Within the Required Time Frame

Transfer of Alternative Response to Investigations (PATS 10177)

Adding the following policy to the CPS Handbook:

  •   2210 General Provisions—action to take when discovering that an alleged victim in an investigation in Texas is in the legal custody of another state.

  •   2600 Alternative Response—same as 2210.

  •   2622.4 Initial Face-to-Face Contact—adding that, when transferring AR to INV, caseworker must complete FTF contact with all alleged victims no later than 5 days from date of stage progression.

  •   2635 Stage Progress to Investigation Within 24 Hours—adding that, upon deciding to transfer AR to INV, caseworker must immediately begin INV activities and stage progress to INV within 24 hours.


2210 General Provisions


2600 Alternative Response


2622.2 Unable to Make Contact


2622.4 Initial Face-to-Face Contact


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

2635 Stage Progress to Investigation Within 24 Hours

Referral to Kinship Development Worker (PATS 10237)

This revision changes the timeframe for making a referral to the kinship development worker. The caseworker must make the referral within two business days, rather than seven calendar days. This brings policy in alignment with requirements stated in 6642 Services and Contact with the Kinship Caregiver. See:

4141 Make a Referral to the Kinship Development Worker

Addition of Intense Plus Service Level (PATS 10352)

This revision adds a new service level called Intense Plus to the Texas service levels system. This is a result of new items in the General Appropriations Act of the 85th Texas Legislature.

4411.2 Moderate, Specialized, Intense, or Intense Plus Service Levels


4420 Caseworker Responsibility for Timely Determinations


4432 Requesting a BSL That Is Higher Than the ASL


Appendix 4320: DFPS Guidelines for Service Authorizations

Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility (PATS 10242)

The items below are revised to update the foster care eligibility-related policy to be in line with current practice and to provide clarifications regarding Title IV-E eligibility.


1510 Foster Care Assistance Maintenance Resources

1511 Foster Care Assistance and Review Policies

1511 1511.1 Applying for Foster Care Assistance

1512 1511.2 Determining Eligibility

1511.3 Review of Eligibility

1512.1 1511.4 Consistency with Income and Resources Information

1512.2 1511.5 Unknown Family Income on the Foster Care Assistance Application

1512.3 1511.6 Zero Family Income on the Foster Care Assistance Application

1513 Data Broker

1514 Annual Review of Eligibility

1515 1514 Notifications to SSA and Use of the Wire Third Party Query System

1516 1515 Foster Care Financial Eligibility Case Record


1532.1 Judicial Determinations


Appendix 1515: Foster Care Financial Eligibility Case Record

Appendix 1530 F: Categorical Requirements for AFDC

Appendix 1530-H: Data Broker Verification Procedures