<<Previous Page

Next Page>>

2500 Sensitive Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

For a variety of reasons, DFPS staff may choose to restrict access to certain reports (intake, I&R, or CRSR) found in IMPACT. DFPS accomplishes this by designating the information as “sensitive.”

Identifying Sensitive Reports in IMPACT

Sensitive reports (intake, I&R, or CRSR) are identified by an exclamation point (!) before the caller name on the Call Log Search List section of the Call Log for I&Rs and before the case number for intakes and CRSRs on the Case List page. The exclamation point is automatically generated when the sensitive box is checked on the Intake Actions page.

Required Staffing for Sensitive or Potentially Sensitive Reports

Intake specialists must staff all sensitive reports (intake, CRSR, or I&R) with a supervisor or worker V. Acting supervisors are not authorized to staff sensitive reports. If the intake specialist has concerns about whether a report may or may not be sensitive, he or she should staff with a supervisor.

If a previous intake or I&R that was designated as sensitive is found, the intake specialist must staff with a supervisor or Worker V.

Designating the Report as Sensitive in IMPACT

A report is given a sensitive designation by marking the Sensitive Case check box, in the Special Handling section of the Intake Actions page and entering the pertinent details in the associated Comments field.

If the current report does not need to be made sensitive, the intake specialist documents this staffing decision in the narrative under his or her signature.

See 2510 Reasons SWI May Designate a Report as Sensitive.

Assessing and Prioritizing a Sensitive Report

Sensitive reports are assessed and prioritized according to established procedures.

If the reporter indicates that details of the investigation are needed for a judicial bypass proceeding when a minor seeks an abortion without notice to a parent, conservator, or guardian, a priority 1 is assigned.

Law Enforcement Notification for Sensitive Reports

SWI does not send law enforcement notifications when the report is sensitive; the local DFPS office is responsible for the notification.

Processing a Sensitive Report

After staffing with a supervisor or worker V, the intake specialist processes the report according to the Manual Assignment Chart.

The supervisor or worker V reviews the report, ensures the documentation of the sensitive reason is accurate, and documents further details as needed. He or she then follows the handling procedures found in Sensitive Report Instructions.

2510 Reasons SWI May Designate a Report as Sensitive

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

Below is a list of possible, but not exhaustive, reasons for which a report will be designated as sensitive by SWI:

  •  A DFPS employee is a principal in an intake or is the subject of a concern in an I&R.

  •  A DFPS employee is a spouse, significant other, relative, or household member of the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake or of a subject of a complaint/concern in an I&R.

  •  External staff with IMPACT access is a principal in an intake or is the subject of a concern in an I&R.

  •  External staff with IMPACT access is a spouse, significant other, relative, or household member of the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake or of a subject of a complaint/concern in an I&R.

  •  The subject(s) of a new report have an open sensitive case in IMPACT.

  •  A high profile individual (e.g. judge, police chief, child welfare board member, CASA worker, attorney ad litem, celebrity, etc.) is an alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake or is a subject of a complaint/concern in an I&R.

  •  The situation is likely to have or has had significant media interest or coverage.

  •  A minor in a CPS intake wants or has had an abortion without telling the persons in her family whom DFPS will need to involve in the investigation.

  •  A person involved in the intake is a participant in the Texas Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) administered by the OAG.

  •  DADS guardianship staff is an alleged perpetrator of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a DADS guardianship ward in an intake, or is a subject of a complaint or concern in an I&R.

  •  Information is received through an e-report regarding a complaint about or report of misconduct by a DFPS employee, because this information cannot be redacted from the narrative.

Identifying DFPS Employees and External Staff in IMPACT

DFPS employees and external staff are identified by a blue diamond symbol immediately to the left of their names when the results of a person search are displayed. No new person identification numbers (PIDs) are related to any PIDs of DFPS employees or external staff who are identified by a blue diamond next to their name in the Person Search Results list.

Intake specialists must staff any reports in which a match is found for a person within the report and that person has a blue diamond next to his or her name.

See Sensitive Report Instructions.

2520 Specific Information Required for Reports That are Designated as Sensitive

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

For sensitive reports, the intake specialist or staffing supervisor must obtain and document specific information that is related to the reason that the report is designated as “sensitive.” Such information may include:

  •  the DFPS employee’s name, program, office location, and city of employment;

  •  information about the high profile individual and his or her position. For example, if the person is a judge, {type of judge (district, county, federal), and what city, county, and court};

  •  the reporter’s basis of knowledge regarding the situation of significant media interest, such as television news, social media, website, etc.;

  •  information specified in section 2550 Parental Notification When A Minor Wants Or Has Had An Abortion;

  •  Information specified in section 2560 Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)

If such information is known to the intake specialist through the information provided by the reporter, he or she will document the information in the Comments field associated with the Sensitive Case check box.

If the information is only known to the staffing supervisor with whom the report was staffed, the intake specialist is instructed to document the following in the Comments field: “staffing supervisor will add the reason for sensitivity.”

The staffing supervisor completes the sensitive reason or reviews any information documented by the intake specialist to ensure it is correct.

2530 SWI Employees Who Need to Make a Sensitive Report

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

A SWI employee needing to report abuse/neglect/exploitation that involves him or herself, a significant other, or a family or household member should contact a program administrator (PA). If a PA is not on duty, the employee should contact a supervisor. The preferred method is for an employee to submit an e-report and immediately give the confirmation number to the PA (or supervisor) to process the sensitive report.

2540 Sensitive Reports Involving a SWI Employee

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

Reports regarding a SWI employee should be kept to the smallest circle of people needed to take and process the report.

At the Beginning of the Phone Call

If near the beginning of a phone call an intake specialist learns it involves a SWI employee, his or her significant other, family member, or other household member, the specialist obtains the reporter’s telephone number when possible, and stops the interview. The specialist notifies the reporter that consultation with management is necessary and asks the reporter to hold.

The specialist staffs with a program administrator who may request the call be transferred or may arrange to call the reporter back. If a program administrator is not on duty, the specialist staffs with a supervisor who may request the call be transferred or may arrange to call the reporter back.

The specialist saves and closes the report as an I&R Other business call and leaves the narrative and In Re blank.

Late into the Phone Call

If late into the call an intake specialist becomes aware that the report involves a SWI employee, his or her significant other, family member, or other household member, it is acceptable for the specialist to finish taking the report. When finished, the specialist:

1.  Staffs the situation with a program administrator. If a program administrator is not on duty, the specialist staffs with a supervisor.

2.   Documents the staffing.

3.  Clicks the Sensitive Case check box.

4.  Documents the sensitive reason in the Comments field.

5.  Saves and submits the report to the sensitive workload for processing by the program administrator.

E-Report or Correspondence

If an intake specialist is entering an e-report or correspondence and becomes aware that the report involves a SWI employee, his or her significant other, family member, or other household member, the specialist immediately staffs with a program administrator. If a program administrator is not on duty, the specialist staffs with a supervisor. The specialist may be instructed to complete the report or have it completed by management and is provided processing instructions accordingly.

See 3430 Processing Sensitive Reports.

2550 Parental Notification When A Minor Wants or Has Had an Abortion

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

This CPS policy applies only to the relatively narrow circumstance in which a minor:

  •  is reported to be a victim of abuse or neglect; and

  •  wants or has had an abortion without telling the persons in her family whom DFPS will need to involve in the investigation.

Texas Family Code, Chapter 33 NOTICE OF AND CONSENT TO ABORTION

It is not an automatic intake when a child is pregnant and wants an abortion, or was pregnant and had an abortion. There must be allegations of abuse or neglect that meet CPS criteria for an intake.

If the intake specialist completes an intake and has obtained information that a child wants or has had an abortion without informing the persons in her family who would have contact with CPS, the intake is designated as sensitive.

The following statement is entered into the Comments field, “Abortion Related Information.”

See also the CPS Handbook 2341 Abortion.

Additional Information to Obtain

If the reporter indicates that the minor wants or has had an abortion, the intake specialist must try to determine whether the minor:

  •  has told, or does not want to tell, her family about the abortion-related information; or

  •  is considering obtaining, or has obtained, a court order to get the abortion without telling her family (judicial bypass).

Judicial Bypass Proceeding

If the reporter indicates that details of the investigation are needed for a judicial bypass proceeding when a minor seeks an abortion without notice to a parent, conservator, or guardian, the intake specialist designates the report as priority 1.

When There Are No Allegations of Abuse or Neglect

If there is information that a child wants or has had an abortion without informing her parents, but there are no allegations of abuse or neglect for this child, the information is taken as an I&R.

  •  If there is an open CPS case involving this family and child, the I&R is designated as sensitive.

  •  If there is no open CPS case, the I&R is not designated as sensitive.

See 3411 Documenting Abortion-Related Information.

2560 Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2016

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) administers an Address Confidentiality Program for victims of family violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If a reporter states that a person involved in the report is an ACP participant, the intake specialist must insure that the participant’s address remains confidential by following specific procedures.

The intake specialist asks for the participant’s ACP number. If the reporter is not able to provide the participant’s number, the intake specialist still follows the procedures for completing a report involving an ACP participant.

The ACP address is:

P.O. Box 12108 MC068

Austin, TX 78711-2108 (Travis County)

This is the only address used by the ACP program. The address is the same for all participants regardless of where in the state they may reside. A participant’s actual residential address or location is not listed on the Person Detail page.

The intake specialist documents in the associated sensitive case Comments field any current physical addresses for the residence, school, work, and any other locating information on the client or family. This is the only section of the report where the client’s or family’s actual locating information is documented.

The intake specialist assesses the information following normal procedures.

For documenting ACP intakes, see 3412 Documenting Address Confidentiality Program Information.

<<Previous Page

Next Page>>