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3300 Correspondence

3310 Internet Reports (E-Reports)

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

Both professional and public reporters may send Internet Reports (E-Reports) to SWI via the Texas Abuse Hotline Website. The information from the Internet report prefills in the IMPACT format, becoming an E-Report. Intake specialists review and correct as needed, the information that has been entered, before making an assessment of the submitted information and processing the report.

Assessment and Processing

E-Reports are assessed and processed following the same guidelines and procedures as any other report received at SWI.

3311 Requesting and Processing E-Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

3311.1 Requesting Procedures

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

To begin processing an E-Report, the intake specialist must first request it. The intake specialist:

  •   logs into IMPACT;

  •   clicks on the Intake tab; and

  •   clicks on the E-Report tab.

From the E-Report Request page, the intake specialist will be presented with two options on how to obtain an E-Report to process. The intake specialist may either request the next E-Report waiting in the queue to be entered, or search for a specific E-Report not yet entered into IMPACT.

To Request the Next E-Report Waiting to Be Entered

The Request E-Report button transfers the Internet report into IMPACT. The intake specialists click this button only once, as each click pulls a new report. Once an E-Report has been requested, there is no way to send it back to the E-Report queue. Therefore, intake specialists should not request a report unless it can be completed.Only one E-Report is requested at a time. 

To Search for a Specific E-Report That Has Been Submitted But Not Yet Been Entered Into IMPACT

The E-Report Search section is used to search for specific Internet reports by using the E-Report ID. The E-Report ID is the confirmation number received by the reporter after submitting an Internet report online. This is not the same as a Call ID.

Example of an appropriate search: A reporter submitted an Internet report and then calls with additional information before the Internet report has been entered into IMPACT. To find the specific Internet report, the intake specialist enters the reporter’s eight-digit confirmation number in the E-Report ID box and clicks on Search.

If the report has not been processed, the intake specialist is asked if he or she would like to do so now. The intake specialist clicks on the Yes button to pull the specific report into his or her workload.

3311.2 Processing Procedures

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

After the intake specialist requests an E-Report, a Result page appears and displays a Call ID hyperlink. The intake specialist clicks on this hyperlink to begin processing the E-Report. The Intake Action page of the report displays. The time of the intake starts at this point.

Call Information Page

An intake specialist should not make any changes to the time and date unless requested to do so by the local office, or when processing an E-Report submitted by SWI staff during IMPACT down time.

Although the information automatically prefills, the intake specialist ensures that all sections of the Call Information page are filled out correctly, including In RE. The intake specialist must:

  •   delete false reporter names (such as “Anon y Mous, XXX”);

  •   remove suffixes or prefixes from the last and first name fields; 

  •   validate the address of the reporter; and

  •   correct or delete facility information.

Person List

This information also automatically prefills. The intake specialist must:

  •   delete incorrect names (such as “Baby Girl,” “Unknown,” and so on). This may require deleting and re-entering the person on the Person List;

  •   delete DFPS staff reporters (these do not automatically drop off as they would in other intakes);

  •   manually validate addresses on all persons (the addresses do not automatically validate);

  •   identify the person type, roles and the relationship-interest (Rel/Int); and

  •   launch and perform person searches.

Person Notes automatically prefill with school and grade information or employment information about the individuals as entered by the reporter.

If it is determined that the information does not meet the requirements for investigation, the E-Report must be changed into an I&R format.

Narratives

The Narrative page prefills. The intake specialist does not change or de-identify the General section of the Narrative, so the Narrative remains as written by the reporter.

The intake specialist document his or her name and title, any staffing information, and call-out information (if applicable) at the bottom of the Narrative.

The intake specialist must complete the Conclusion section as required for intakes. The intake specialist must also paste IMPACT history, per normal procedures.

Intake Actions Page

The Intake Actions page is completed following the same procedures as for any other intake.

3311.3 Information and Referral (I&Rs)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2015

As with other I&Rs, the narratives of E-Reports may require additional documentation. For example, if the E-Report is determined to be an I&R: Clearly not Reportable – Re: Children, then it is necessary to transfer the names and locating information from the person list to the narrative. The intake specialist can copy and paste the information. If the reporter did not provide this information, this omission is documented in the narrative. Intake specialists must also copy the reporter’s person notes from the Call Person Detail page and paste this information into the Person Notes field on the Call Information page.

3311.4 Saving or Closing

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2015

All E-Reports (whether intakes for investigation or I&Rs) are Saved and Assigned, Saved and Submitted, or Saved and Closed in the same manner as other reports in IMPACT.

Procedures for PN Reports

See:

4435 Procedures for Intakes Not Assigned a Priority (PNs)

4940 Assignment and Call-Out

Manual Assignment Chart.

2313 Limited Locating Information

4340 Reviewing Allegations and Dispositions on a Previous CPS Case

4350 Assessing CPS Reports of Abuse or Neglect When the Alleged Perpetrator Is Deceased

3320 Correspondence Mailed or Faxed to SWI

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

In addition to hotline calls and Internet reports, SWI regularly receives faxes and mailed correspondence. These may include:

  •  letters from the public;

  •  reports from other Texas state agencies;

  •  reports from other states;

  •  reports from law enforcement;

  •  reports from the elder fraud abuse units of financial institutions;

  •  protective orders;

  •  protective service alerts;

  •  additional information regarding an open case; and

  •  reports involving a sexually active minor (including WIC reports).

3321 Processing Correspondence Using Electronic Documents and Email

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2015

Whenever possible, correspondence sent to SWI is processed by converting the faxed or mailed correspondence into electronic documents, then assigning and distributing the documents.

The following procedures are followed:

IEX Staff:

  •  selects an intake specialist to process one or more pieces of correspondence;

  •  contacts the selected intake specialist by instant message (IM) and obtains acknowledgement that he or she will process a specified amount of correspondence; and

  •  sends an email to the DFPS SWI Support Staff mailbox containing the intake specialist’s name and how much correspondence to assign.

Support Staff:

  •  reviews the email in the SWI Support Staff mailbox;

  •  opens a new email; and

  •  attaches the Correspondence Cover Sheet (.pdf file) and the associated piece of correspondence (.tif file); and

  •  sends the email with the attachments to the designated intake specialist.

Intake Specialist:

  •  reviews and follows the instructions contained within the email received from support staff;

  •  performs a records search and enters the report into IMPACT according to procedures in 3324 Entering Correspondence in IMPACT and its sub-items;

  •  completes the appropriate portion of the Correspondence Cover Sheet according to procedures in 3323 Completing the Correspondence Cover Sheet and Documenting a Records Search; and

  •  attaches the completed Correspondence Cover Sheet (.pdf document) to the email and forwards it back to the SWI Support mailbox.

Support Staff

  •  completes the bottom portion of the Correspondence Cover Sheet; and

  •  files or forwards the electronic correspondence document to the appropriate local office.

3322 Processing Correspondence When Electronic Documents and/or Email are Unavailable

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2015

When it is not possible to create and distribute electronic copies of correspondence, paper copies are processed instead.

IEX Staff:

  •  selects an intake specialist to process one or more pieces of correspondence;

  •  contacts the selected intake specialist by instant message (IM) and obtains acknowledgement that he or she will process a specified amount of correspondence; and

  •  sends an email to the DFPS SWI Support Staff mailbox containing the intake specialist’s name and how much correspondence to assign.

Support Staff:

  •  identifies the staff member in charge of correspondence by placing the correspondence flag on his or her desk;

  •  attaches the Correspondence Cover Sheet to all distributed paper copies of correspondence; and

  •  distributes the documents to the intake specialist.

Intake Specialist:

  •  reports to the support staff member assigned to correspondence duty;

  •  signs out one or more pieces of correspondence (the Correspondence Cover Sheet will already have been attached by support staff);

  •  performs a records search and enters the report into IMPACT according to procedures in 3324 Entering Correspondence in IMPACT and its sub-items;

  •  completes the appropriate portion of the Correspondence Cover Sheet according to procedures in 3323 Completing the Correspondence Cover Sheet and Documenting a Records Search; and

  •  returns the correspondence and completed Correspondence Cover Sheet to the designated support staff.

Support Staff:

  •  completes the bottom portion of the Correspondence Cover sheet; and

  •  files or forwards the hard copy correspondence document to the appropriate local office.

3323 Completing the Correspondence Cover Sheet and Documenting a Records Search

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

The sections of the cover sheet that the intake specialist must complete depend on whether there is an exact match to an existing report in IMPACT. A records check is completed for each piece of correspondence to determine whether an exact match to the report (intake or I&R) has already been entered.

Examples of an Exact Match to an Existing Report in IMPACT

An exact match is found when:

  •  an identical police report is faxed or mailed to SWI;

  •  the officer on the scene or the dispatcher called in the report to SWI and then followed up by faxing or mailing a written report; or

  •  the complainant made a report to SWI and also made a report to law enforcement, after which law enforcement faxed SWI the complainant’s police report; or

  •  the same reporter has previously reported the information contained in the correspondence.

When an Exact Match Is Found

If there is an exact match, the intake specialist completes the Correspondence Cover Sheet by:

  •  marking the Exact Match check box in the Search Results section located in the Data Entry section of the Correspondence Cover Sheet;

  •  filling out all the information in the Data Entry and Intake Specialist sections of the Correspondence Cover Sheet; and

  •  documenting the county as that of the reporter.

When an Exact Match Is Not Found

If there is not an exact match, the intake specialist completes the Correspondence Cover Sheet by:

  •  checking the appropriate box in the Search Results section (either IMPACT History Found or No Record Found); and

  •  completing the Data Entry and Intake Specialist sections of the Correspondence Cover Sheet.

3324 Entering Correspondence in IMPACT

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

The intake specialist assesses the information provided in the correspondence according to standard policy and procedures to determine which type of report is appropriate: an intake, I&R, or CRSR.

3324.1 Correspondence: IMPACT Documentation for an Exact Match to an Existing Report in IMPACT

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

If the records search shows that the correspondence refers to an exact match to an existing report in IMPACT (see 3323 Completing the Correspondence Cover Sheet and Documenting a Records Search for examples of exact matches), the intake specialist:

  •  completes the Call Information page using the date and time the correspondence is processed;

  •  documents in the narrative that:

  •  the information was received by fax or mail;

  •  that an exact match was found; and

  •  the original Call ID number of the matching report. It is not necessary to document the details of the situation in the narrative of the I&R.

  •  selects the appropriate I&R Type; and

  •  saves and closes the report.

3324.2 Correspondence: IMPACT Documentation for a New Report

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

If the records search shows that the information received by correspondence is a new report, then a new intake, I&R, or CRSR is entered according to established policy and procedures.

  •  If the information received by correspondence meets the statutory definition of abuse or neglect, the intake specialist enters an intake and processes it following standard policy and procedures.

  •  If the information received by correspondence does not meet statutory definitions, the intake specialist enters the report as an information and referral (I&R).

  •  If the information received by correspondence does not meet the statutory definition of abuse or neglect but describes an action that is considered criminal, the intake specialist enters an I&R - Non-FPS Criminal Matter Referred to Law.

If the reporter is a member of law enforcement…

If the reporter is not law enforcement…

the intake specialist saves and closes the I&R, since law enforcement is already aware of the information.

the intake specialist saves and assigns the I&R to support staff to be faxed to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Report Date and Time

The incoming date and time are the date and time the intake specialist begins processing the report, not when the correspondence was sent to SWI.

3324.3 Determining the Reporter and Documenting Related Information in Correspondence

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2014

Law Enforcement Reports

When a report is made by law enforcement, the responding officer is the reporter.

The intake specialist documents the law enforcement badge numbers in the Person Notes so that local office staff can more easily identify officers.

Law enforcement reporters are identified as collaterals (COL) on the Person List.

The person who called law enforcement is not a reporter to SWI and is not identified as a reporter on the Person List.

Protective Orders

The reporter is the attorney who signed the request for the protective order.

Correspondence Received Through RightFax or on DFPS Letterhead

Other divisions of DFPS use both RightFax software and faxes on DFPS letterhead to forward information to SWI that they receive concerning abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation. Other agencies and business operations (typically banks) also fax information to SWI concerning abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. When reviewing the submitted material, the intake specialist must differentiate between a sender and a reporter.

Differentiating between a Sender and a Reporter

The RightFax and DFPS letterhead coversheets include the name and email address of the sender (the person who is forwarding the information to SWI). The intake specialist enters the sender’s information into the Person Notes section on the Call Information page and includes the email address that was provided on the fax. A statement indicating who faxed the report to SWI is also noted (for example, OCA staff faxed report to SWI) in the Person Notes. No other information about the sender is documented.

The pages accompanying the cover sheet are an email (or possibly an email chain) that contains the information to be reviewed by the intake specialist for possible abuse or neglect. Within the email is also information about the person who is providing the information about abuse or neglect. This person is the reporter. The intake specialist enters this person’s name into the Call Information page, so that he or she is identified as the reporter. If an email address was provided for this person, the intake specialist enters it into the Person Notes section on the Call Person Detail page.

If no reporter name is provided, but there is an email address, then the intake specialist leaves the name fields blank and documents the email address in the Person Notes box on the Call Person Detail page.

3324.4 Narrative Documentation Specific to Correspondence

SWI Policy and Procedures June 2016

In the appropriate narrative format, the intake specialist documents the source of the report and summarizes in detail the information in the correspondence.

Documenting the Source of the Report

At the top of the Narrative, describe the source of the report. For example:

  •  Information taken from a faxed report

  •  Information taken from police report (include the incident number)

  •  Information taken from a protective order (include the date of the protective order)

  •  Information taken from a protective service alert (include the city, county, or state that sent the alert)

  •  Information taken from correspondence mailed to SWI

  •  Information taken from an elder financial abuse report (include the agent ID/tracking number, case number, or fraud number)

      Note: Financial institutions submit elder financial abuse reports. The intake specialist must document all noted tracking and case numbers associated with the report at the top of the Narrative, beneath the source of the report.

      These numbers may be referred to as an “Agent ID/Tracking Number” or “Case # FRD: xxxxx.

      Financial institutions typically include these numbers in the body of the fax, in the comments section on the fax cover sheet, or within the report itself. To protect confidentiality, the financial institution’s elder fraud unit staff communicates details of the client’s financial affairs to the APS investigator only if the investigator can provide these numbers.

Once documented in IMPACT, the report is processed according to standard policy and procedures.

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