SWI Policy and Procedures January 2011
DFPS programs include CPS, APS In-Home, APS Facility Investigations, and Child Care Licensing (CCL), which includes Child Day Care (DCL), and Residential Care (RCCL).
Each program is authorized by state law to investigate situations involving abuse, neglect, or exploitation of individuals under certain circumstances. If the information is determined to meet statutory definitions under which the program is authorized to investigate abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the information is taken as an intake.
For assessment guidelines, see:
4300 CPS Assessment of Priority
6300 Allegations that APS In-Home Investigates
7400 APS Provider Assessment of Priority
SWI Policy and Procedures June 2016
Special Handling reports may require field staff to follow different procedures during the investigation.
A report is classified as Special Handling for the following reasons:
• Active military – any principal is active military or resides on a military base.
• Law enforcement – any principal is employed by the law enforcement agency that is responsible for conducting a criminal investigation.
• Retired military – any principal is retired from the military.
• Native Amer/Reserva. – any principal resides in a Native American Nation or the abuse or neglect occurred in a Native American Nation.
• OAG-ACP – a person involved in the report is a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP). See 3412 Documenting Address Confidentiality Program Information for information on how to handle the report when a person involved is an ACP participant with the Office of Attorney General and has a confidential address.
For procedures, see 3143 Special Handling Section.
SWI Policy and Procedures June 2016
A thorough interview includes questions about the safety of the victims as well as questions directly relating to the safety and well-being of field staff.
Examples of safety issues that may affect field staff include whether:
• the family or client has a gun;
• there are dangerous dogs in the yard;
• there is a methamphetamine (meth) lab in the home;
• the family or client has a gang affiliation; or
• there is a risk to the worker of contracting a contagious infectious disease.
The intake specialist asks the reporter if the family or client is known to have any gang association or gang affiliation, or if there is known or suspected manufacturing of methamphetamines in the home.
If there is a gang association or affiliation, the intake specialist asks for relevant details, such as the name of the gang and a description of the family’s involvement. If there is a methamphetamine lab, the intake specialist asks for the location of the lab.
Details regarding ALL safety issues are obtained and documented in the Special Handling section located on the Intake Actions page as well as in the Narrative.
See 3143 Special Handling Section, which includes instructions for documentation of worker safety issues.
SWI Policy and Procedures November 2015
For CPS and Child Care Licensing (CCL) intakes, the intake specialist must ask a reporter where an incident occurred.
The law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to investigate an incident of abuse or neglect is the law enforcement agency responsible for the location where the incident occurred. This is sometimes a different location than where the victim resides.
It is very important that staff obtain the correct spelling for the name of the town and the county since there are many towns in Texas that may sound similar but have different spellings.
In IMPACT, law enforcement is designated as LA.
Gathering Information on Location of Incident
On all CPS and CCL intakes and on all I&Rs designated as Non-FPS Criminal Matter Ref’d to Law, it is mandatory that intake specialists gather enough information to determine which law enforcement agency should receive the information. See 2761 Reports of Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, or Death Investigated by Law Enforcement.
Intake specialists ask the reporter where the incident of abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred and document that information in the narrative. Intake specialists ask questions to determine whether a city police department or a county sheriff’s department has jurisdiction. For example, an intake specialist might ask one of the following questions:
• Which law enforcement agency responds to the area where the incident occurred (or, if appropriate, where the family lives), the Austin Police Department or the Travis County Sheriff’s Office?
• If you (the caller) were calling law enforcement from the victim’s house, would you call the police department or the sheriff’s department?
Geographic Law Enforcement Responsibilities
If the incident occurs inside the city limits of a town, the law enforcement jurisdiction usually is the police department. If there is not a police department listed for the town or the incident occurs outside the city limits, the law enforcement jurisdiction usually is the sheriff’s department for the county where the incident occurred.
If the incident occurred on a military installation, the military police department has law enforcement jurisdiction.
When the Location of the Incident Is Unclear
When it is unclear where the incident occurred, the intake specialist must clarify law enforcement jurisdiction with the reporter. For documentation, see 3144.1 Determining Law Enforcement Jurisdiction.
When the Location of the Incident Is Unknown
If the reporter does not know where an incident occurred, the law enforcement agency where the child resides is considered the agency with jurisdiction. If the address is a post office box or rural route and the reporter does not know whether the family resides inside or outside the city limits, the county sheriff’s department is considered the agency with legal jurisdiction.
Risk-Based CPS Intakes
If the report is a CPS intake based on risk and there is no specific incident of abuse or neglect, the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the location where the child resides is considered the agency with jurisdiction.
If incidents occurred in more than one law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction, the law enforcement jurisdiction where the most recent incident occurred is considered the agency with jurisdiction.
SWI Policy and Procedures November 2015
When a reporter has limited locating information, it is imperative for the intake specialist to ask the reporter if he or she has any of the following information:
• Directions to the home or facility
• A post office box or rural route address (even if directions are not known)
• The name, address, or other locating information for the child’s school or day care facility
• The name, address, or other locating information for the work places of the household members
• A physical description of the client, child, or household members
• The current location of the client, child, or household members, if the location is different than the residence or if the residence is unknown (The intake specialist must obtain specific dates and times when the client, child, or household member is at this location.)
• A Texas license plate number that is registered to a valid address
• The names and contact information for any principal and collateral sources, including the alleged perpetrator, who may know the address or location of the client, child, or family
If Any Information Is Obtained
SWI has sufficient locating information to generate an intake if:
• the intake specialist is able to obtain any of the above information from the reporter;
• the intake specialist is able to find any of the information through IMPACT, TIERS, Accurint, or an Internet search; or
• there is a reasonable likelihood that sufficient locating information is present at the time of intake to enable an investigation to be initiated.
If any of the above information is known, even if an exact address is not known, the intake specialist documents the information thoroughly, then prioritizes and processes the intake following normal procedures based on allegations and safety threats.
No Locating Information Is Obtained
Reports regarding adults: If there is absolutely no locating information for reports under the jurisdiction of APS In-Home or APS Provider Investigations, the report is completed as an I&R CNR (Clearly Not Reportable). See I&R Types, Definitions, and Requirements.
Reports regarding children: A CPS PN is not completed based on No Locating. For information on reports regarding children when there is no locating information, see 2322.1 Assessing a CRSR When There is Not Enough Locating Information for a CPS, RCCL, or DCL Intake.