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2340 Death of a Person Age 65 or Older or Adult With a Disability

SWI Policy and Procedures November 2011

See:

6300 Allegations that APS In-Home Investigates; or

7580 Reports Regarding a Client’s Death

2350 Reports Made by DFPS Staff

2351 When DFPS Staff Make a Report for Their Own DFPS Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2014

This item and its subitems apply when DFPS staff make initial reports in a professional capacity for the same DFPS program in which they are employed; for example, when a CPS field staff member reports an incident of child abuse.

For various reasons the intake specialist may determine that this report is a re-entry rather than an initial report. For information on re-entry requests, see 3170 Re-Entering a Report in IMPACT (Re-Entry).

2351.1 Reports Made Verbally by DFPS Staff for Their Own DFPS Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2014

If a DFPS staff member calls to request that a report be entered, and the report relates to the DFPS program for which the caller works, the intake specialist obtains and documents complete information about the incidents, allegations, and risk factors following standard assessment procedure. See 2300 Determining if Information Is an Intake, Special Request, or Information and Referral.

Determining the Proper Date and Time

The intake specialist must always ask if the report needs to be entered with a date and time that differs from the date and time of the call; for example, if a field staff member has already contacted the family or collateral sources (teachers, friends, neighbors, and so on), then that is the valid date and time that work on the case began. Therefore, the intake specialist enters the date that the field staff member made contact. This is referred to as backdating the report. See 3112 Entry Section.

If SWI Agrees With DFPS Staff Regarding the Report Assessment

If a DFPS staff member and an intake specialist agree that a situation meets the criteria for an intake, the intake specialist completes the intake following normal processing procedures. See 3100 Entering Information Into IMPACT.

If SWI Disagrees With DFPS Staff Regarding the Report Assessment

If field staff requests that an I&R or CRSR be entered, but the intake specialist assesses that the information given meets guidelines for an intake, the intake specialist enters an intake. The intake specialist informs the field staff that since the information meets guidelines for an intake, SWI will enter an intake. The intake specialist documents in the conclusion section that field staff requested an I&R or CRSR, but SWI assessed that an intake was warranted.

If a DFPS staff member who is lower in authority than a program director requests that an intake be entered, but the intake specialist assesses that the information provided does not meet the legal guidelines for an intake, the intake specialist consults (staffs) with an intake supervisor to discuss the situation.

If the intake supervisor agrees with the intake specialist’s assessment, the intake specialist informs the reporting staff member that a staff person at the program director (PD) level or higher for CPS, or at the program administrator (PA) level or higher for all other DFPS programs, must approve the intake.

It is the responsibility of the reporting staff to obtain that approval from a PD or PA.

The PD or PA need not contact SWI directly to request that a report be entered. A staff member who is lower in authority than a PD or PA may contact SWI to make the request, if he or she:

  •   obtains approval from the PD or PA; and

  •   provides the intake specialist with the name of the PD or PA who has approved the request.

The intake specialist then:

  •   documents in the Conclusion section of the Narrative page that the intake was entered as requested by field staff; and

  •   documents the name of the PD or PA.

Requests Made by PD or PA Staff

For all DFPS programs, if a field PD/PA (or higher level staff) requests an intake and the intake specialist assesses that the information is an I&R, the intake specialist:

  •   enters an intake with the priority requested by field staff; and 

  •   documents in the Conclusion section that the intake and priority was entered as requested by field staff; and

  •   documents the name of PD or PA.

Borderline Cases

If the intake specialist assesses the situation as borderline (meaning that it is not clearly an intake or an information and referral (I&R) and is open for interpretation), the intake specialist:

  •   completes the intake with the priority requested by the field; and

  •   documents in the Conclusion section of the Narrative page, that the priority was entered as requested by field staff

Determining Priority

If the DFPS worker requests a certain priority, but the intake specialist disagrees with the priority assessment, the intake specialist:

  •   completes the intake with the priority requested by the field; and

  •   documents in the Conclusion section of the Narrative page, that the priority was entered as requested by field staff.

When a Request Goes Against DFPS Policy

If what is being requested is clearly against DFPS policy (such as entering two intakes for the same situation), the intake supervisor consults with a SWI program administrator (PA).

2351.2 E-Reports Made by DFPS Staff for Their Own DFPS Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2014

When staff obtain information that needs to be reported to SWI, they have the option of making the report by using the Texas Abuse Hotline Website. See 3310 Internet Reports (E-Reports).

Intake specialists assess the reports received following standard assessment procedures. See 2300 Determining if Information Is an Intake, Special Request, or Information and Referral.

If the reporting staff member documents that the report has been approved for entry as an intake by a staff person at the program director (PD) level or higher, the intake specialist:

  •   documents in the Conclusion section of the Narrative page that the intake was entered as requested by field staff; and

  •   documents the name of the PD, for a CPS case, or the program administrator (PA), for all other cases, who approved the entry.

If what is being requested is clearly against DFPS policy:

  •   the intake specialist consults with an intake supervisor; and

  •   the intake supervisor consults with an intake program administrator.

If the reporting staff member requests in the e-report that an intake be entered, but the intake specialist assesses the information to be either an information and referral (I&R) or a casework related special request (CRSR) and there is no documentation that it was approved by a staff person at the PD level for entry as an intake, the intake specialist consults with an intake supervisor.

If the intake supervisor and intake specialist assess that an intake is not warranted, the intake specialist completes an I&R.

The reporting staff member then receives an email that is automatically generated by the DFPS online reporting system. The email states that the information was entered into the database and no further action is planned.

2352 When Program Staff in One DFPS Program Report for a Different DFPS Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2014

When a staff person in one DFPS program reports for a different DFPS program (for example, an APS staff person reporting potential child abuse), the intake specialist assesses the situation following normal procedures. See 2300 Determining if Information Is an Intake, Special Request, or Information and Referral.

Entering the Current Date and Time

The intake specialist always uses the current date and time when entering a report made by field staff in one program about a different program. The report is never backdated. For example, if a CPS worker talks with a child who is placed in a foster home and determines that an intake for Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL) needs to be reported, the date and time that the CPS worker made the report is the date and time that the intake specialist enters into IMPACT.

2360 Reporter’s Sole Basis of Knowledge Was Obtained From Media

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2017

When a reporter’s sole basis of knowledge was obtained from a media source, for instance, the reporter learned about the situation from the news or social media, the intake specialist:

  •   conducts a complete interview based on the information available;

  •   assesses the information using standard guidelines;

  •   obtains the source of knowledge;

  •   documents the source of knowledge in the reporter’s Person Notes; and

  •   searches for an open case.

The intake specialist processes an I&R Call Regarding Existing Case if an open case already exists.

The intake specialist processes a new case if the information provided meets defined criteria and there is not already an existing case.

These intakes and all subsequent I&Rs may require sensitive handling due to media interest.

See:

2500 Sensitive Reports, under the heading Required Staffing for Sensitive or Potentially Sensitive Reports

2110 Methods of Making a Report of Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation to SWI, under the heading Supporting Materials and Documentation

3271 Social Media Search

 

2400 Law Enforcement “Welfare Checks”

SWI Policy and Procedures April 2010

It is appropriate for an intake specialist to suggest that a reporter contact the local law enforcement agency to conduct a “welfare check” on a family or client when there is an immediate need for assistance or if there is a belief that the life and safety of an individual is in danger.

The examples below do not represent all possible situations, but serve as guides for the intake specialist.

When to Recommend a Law Enforcement Welfare Check

A law enforcement welfare check is recommended in the following situations:

  •  If a situation is occurring at the time of the call to SWI and immediate assistance is required.

  •  Example: When it is reported that very young children (under the age of 6) are home alone, without any supervision from a responsible teen or adult.

  •  Example: When there is concern about an elderly person who has not been seen or contacted recently, and there are no other family members, caretakers, or others to “check on” the person.

  •  If there is reason to believe that an on-going situation has placed the life or safety of an individual in danger (the degree of danger does not necessarily have to rise to the level of being life threatening).

  •  Example: When it is reported that predictable and recurring abuse or neglect takes place and the day, hour, or scenario is drawing near for the abuse or neglect to happen again. A possible scenario would include: every semester after grades are released a child is beaten if he or she earns a “C” average, and this semester the child once again earned a “C” average.

  •  Example: When it is reported that someone who is not eligible as a DFPS client is sensitive to the heat, does not have air conditioning or fans, and the outside temperatures continue to increase.

When Not to Recommend a Law Enforcement Welfare Check

A law enforcement welfare check is NOT recommended in the following situations:

  •  When it is more appropriate for the intake specialist to explain to a reporter why an intake is not being generated. An intake specialist does not refer a reporter to law enforcement as a means to “satisfy” the reporter and therefore end the call.

  •  Example: When parents or family members are involved in custody disputes or other disagreements and would like for someone to “check on” the child.

  •  Example: If a patient who is not eligible as a client has left a hospital setting AMA (against medical advice), or for some other reason, and a health care professional is requesting that the patient be returned to the hospital.

  •  When an intake is generated, but the situation does not rise to the level of a priority one (P1) investigation.

  •  Example: An intake has been completed and the reporter insists that someone go out to the home immediately, even though the intake information does not support the need for immediate field contact.

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