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1500 Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Criminal History Check (formerly EBC)

SWI Policy and Procedures January 2015

A DPS criminal history check is used by CPS to facilitate placement of a child. SWI completes these checks for CPS, only when the requestor cannot access IMPACT and no other CPS staff are available. Only intake specialists who are assigned to the E-Unit (full time or back up) have the authorization to perform these checks.

1600 Maintaining Records of Calls

1610 IMPACT

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

Every call, fax, letter, and Internet report is documented in the Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas (IMPACT) computer system. IMPACT is a Web-based automated system, which allows staff across the state immediate access to all stored data.

The IMPACT system resides on a closed and protected intranet server. Only DFPS staff with duties that require them to use this system have access to it. Extensive security precautions have been taken to protect the sensitive information contained in the system.

1620 Contact Center Statistics

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

Every contact received by SWI is counted and catalogued. Statistics are reported to the state Legislature regarding the number and type of contacts, the amount of time spent by callers waiting to speak to an intake specialist, and the number of intakes generated for each DFPS program.

1700 SWI Program Organization

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI staff have a thorough knowledge of the intake process for all programs within DFPS. Staff also have to be familiar with services offered by other agencies in order to make appropriate referrals. Intake staff are dedicated to the mission of the agency to protect the unprotected.

1710 Intake Specialists

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2012

Intake specialists are highly trained in interviewing callers. The intake specialist assesses reported information to determine whether the situation meets the legal definition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and, if so, further determines priority, allegation type, and report processing.

Based on the circumstances described by the reporter, the intake specialist must exercise judgment to determine whether an intake is warranted and to assign a priority to the report that determines the time frame in which the investigation must be initiated in the field. This requires knowledge of family dynamics and the ability to assess risk with little information.

The intake specialist must be knowledgeable about all laws, policies, and procedures for all DFPS programs and the services they offer so that intakes are directed to the appropriate offices. Confidentiality of the reporter must be maintained.

The intake specialist must also be knowledgeable about community resources and services offered by other state agencies so reporters receive accurate referrals.

The intake specialist must ensure the report contains complete and accurate information. The report generated must be clear and sufficiently detailed to allow field staff to conduct an investigation.

Reports are subject to subpoena as a court document, and intake specialists must bear in mind that they may be required to testify as to the accuracy of each report.

The intake specialist must be able to think and act quickly, handle crisis situations, and cope with secondary trauma.

Intake specialists are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

1720 Intake Supervisors

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

Intake supervisors must be available to intake staff for consultation on difficult situations and to help in making decisions regarding priority levels.

Each intake supervisor reviews reports of intake specialist activity and provides feedback to staff regarding his or her performance. Each intake supervisor is required to read a percentage of reports generated by intake specialists and monitor calls for quality assurance purposes. Feedback to the specialist is provided for each case or call reviewed.

Intake supervisors conduct routine unit meetings during which they provide ongoing training and policy updates to intake specialists.

1730 Support Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI has support staff who complete many tasks to manage the workload.

Support staff answer the Information and Referral line. They manage the correspondence that is received at SWI. Support staff are responsible for completing law enforcement notifications. They route all CPS and CCL intakes to the local field offices through IMPACT. See 1610 IMPACT.

Support staff are primarily responsible for call outs to on-call field workers after hours and on holidays. See 3900 Assignment and Call Out. When information that involves other agencies is received at SWI, support staff fax the reports to the other agencies.

Automation support staff provide computer support and troubleshooting, allowing intake specialists to dedicate their time to taking calls and documenting reports.

1740 Floor Managers

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI floor managers monitor and manage contact workloads for intake specialist adherence and compliance. They use IEX forecasts, daily absenteeism reports, and other pertinent and critical information to forecast the number of staff needed to handle the call volume in 15-minute intervals. Floor managers schedule adequate phone coverage to meet changing demands, based on variations in call volume. They balance contact workloads based on information obtained to strive for and achieve standards set forth by the Legislature. Floor managers interpret data to report past actions taken and determine present and future actions to aid in effective workload management.

1750 Program Improvement Unit

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2015

The Program Improvement unit coordinates efforts to improve SWI’s effectiveness in providing intake services. The unit develops tools for the qualitative evaluation of intake specialists. QA completes random reviews of staff work and uses the results to define trends, determine training needs, ensure consistency, and identify areas for improvement. QA also enhances SWI’s performance through handbook development and revisions, policy and procedure clarifications, ongoing training, and complaint resolution.

1760 Employee Development Unit

SWI Policy and Procedures April 2013

The Employee Development Unit (EDU) delivers Basic Skills Development (BSD) training to all new intake specialists. After completion of BSD, graduates attend Advanced Skills Development (ASD) classes at three, six, and 12 month intervals. EDU oversees the certification program for SWI and also sponsors or facilitates additional training opportunities open to all SWI staff. EDU coordinates or directly provides a number of service programs to SWI as well. These programs aim to promote self-care, professional development and job satisfaction. EDU is composed of a supervisor, a classroom trainer, and training specialists.

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