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4490 Reports Involving Schools

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

CPS investigates alleged child abuse or neglect by school personnel or volunteers that occurs in a school setting.

CPS does not investigate administrative issues or violations of school policies unless the issues or violations meet the statutory definition of abuse or neglect.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.401

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.404

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §§700.451-700.477

Texas Family Code §261.001(1) and (4)

See 2320 School Investigations in the Child Protective Services Handbook.

4491 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Involve Home Schooling

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

Reports involving the abuse or neglect of home-schooled children are assessed based on the same criteria and intake guidelines as any other CPS report.

Home schools are not subject to inspection, monitoring, or regulation by the Texas Education Agency or by local school districts.

4492 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Involve Boarding Schools

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

If a child lives at a boarding school and there are allegations of abuse or neglect by school personnel or volunteers, the intake specialist completes an intake for CPS. The intake specialist performs a thorough resource search to determine whether the facility is a boarding school or a facility licensed by DFPS Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL), such as a basic care facility or a residential treatment center.

4493 Reports Involving School Personnel

4493.1 Intake Criteria
4493.11 Abuse and Neglect Allegations

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

Allegations (reports) of abuse or neglect must:

  •  identify a specific victim who was under the age of 18 when the incident occurred;

  •  identify a specific perpetrator who meets the definition of school personnel or volunteers at the child’s school;

  •  involve a specific incident that occurred in a school setting;

  •  involve a specific incident that occurred during the current school year, or it must be likely that sufficient evidence can still be obtained to establish whether or not abuse or neglect occurred in a school setting;

  •  not have already been investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services; and

 •  meet the statutory definition of abuse or neglect.

Intake specialists make the initial determination of whether an allegation meets the statutory definition of abuse or neglect. If an intake specialist determines that the statutory definition appears to be met and the report contains all of the required information listed above, he or she completes an intake according to standard processing procedures.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.404

CPS only investigates allegations of in-school abuse when both the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim meet specific criteria.

Abuse or neglect does not include:

  •  the use of restraints or seclusion when such techniques do not meet the statutory definition of child abuse or neglect;

  •  actions that school personnel or volunteers reasonably believe to be immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child or other individuals if the actions:

  •  are limited only to those actions reasonably believed to be necessary under the existing circumstances; and

  •  do not include unnecessary force or the inappropriate use of restraints or seclusion, such as use of restraints or seclusion as a substitute for lack of staff;

  •  reasonable discipline that is appropriate to the child’s age, size, and developmental level and does not cause or pose a genuine threat of causing substantial physical harm.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.403(b)

Reports of abuse or neglect that do not meet the criteria for investigation are referred to law enforcement.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.404(b)

4493.12 Alleged Perpetrator

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

Alleged perpetrators must be school personnel or volunteers at the alleged victim’s school.

School personnel and volunteers are persons who have access to children in a school setting and are providing services to or caring for the children. School personnel include, but are not limited to:

  •  school employees;

  •  contractors;

  •  school volunteers;

  •  bus drivers employed by the school district and serving the school that the alleged victim attends;

  •  cafeteria staff working at the school that the alleged victim attends;

  •  school custodians; and

  •  police or security officers employed directly by the school (sometimes called resource officers).

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.402(10)

4493.13 Alleged Victim

SWI Policy and Procedures January 2017

The alleged victim must:

  •  be a child; or

  •  have been a child at the time that the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.404(a)(3)

If an alleged victim in a school report was a child at the time of the incident but is age 18 or older when the report is made, in IMPACT the intake specialist:

  •  documents the victim as the OV (oldest victim); and

  •  documents the victim’s current age.

Only the child about whom specific allegation information was obtained is listed on the Person List. The intake specialist does not enter Unknown on the Person List page to represent other students to whom an alleged perpetrator (AP) has access.

If the alleged victim was not a child at the time of the incident, the intake specialist must complete an I&R – Non FPS Criminal Matter Referred to Law and refer the report to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

If the alleged victim is an adult with a disability, the intake specialist must complete an APS intake.

4493.14 Location Where Abuse or Neglect Occurred

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

A “school setting” is:

  •  the physical location of the child’s school;

  •  the location of an event sponsored or approved by the child’s school; or

  •  any location where the child is in the care, custody, or control of school personnel in their official capacity.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.402(11)

Additionally, the same allegations must not already have been investigated by DFPS.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.404(a)(6)

4493.2 Documentation
4493.21 School Personnel as Alleged Perpetrators (APs)

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

The intake specialist completes a separate intake in IMPACT for each school employee or volunteer who is considered an alleged perpetrator.

  •  In the In Re and Case Name fields, the specialist enters the name of the alleged perpetrator (AP). If the name is not known, these fields are left blank.

  •  For the AP’s address and county code, the specialist enters the school’s address and county.

  •  If the home address of the AP is known, the intake specialist enters it as a secondary address in the Person Detail section.

  •  The only persons listed as principal person type on the Person List page are the AP and any victims.

  •  The address entered for the victim is the victim’s home address.

  •  The parents of the victim are identified as Collaterals on the Person List.

If there are multiple perpetrators in the school setting, there must be a separate report for each alleged perpetrator, even if the perpetrators are involved in the same situation. 

4493.22 Parents as Alleged Perpetrators (APs)

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2016

A parent is never identified as an alleged perpetrator in a CPS school report, only as a Collateral. If allegations are made against a parent that rise to the level of abuse or neglect, those allegations are documented and assessed in a separate CPS report.

4494 DADS Unable to Locate Parent or Guardian of a Child in an ICF/ID or Nursing Facility

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2013

SWI receives referrals from the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) when an intermediate care facility for people with an intellectual disability (ICF/ID) or nursing facility is unable to locate a resident child’s parent or guardian, despite making attempts to locate the parent or guardian for a full year. These referrals are sent directly to the SWI QAUNIT mailbox (“DFPS QAUNIT”) by DADS Consumer Rights and Services Division staff.

SWI generates a Priority 2 (P2) intake with an allegation of abandonment (ABAN) on these referrals. The DADS staff submitting the referral is listed as the reporter and the narrative documents that the referral is in accordance with Government Code §531.165.

The intake is saved and assigned to the parent or guardian’s last known county of residence. If DADS is unable to provide a last known county of residence for the parent or guardian, the intake is assigned to the county where the child’s long term care facility is located. SWI emails the routing coordinator (RC) and forwards the attachments completed and sent by DADS (DFPS Diligent Search Form 2277 and DADS checklist for Parent/Guardian Search) to the CPS routing coordinator of the region to which the CRSR was sent.

4495 Reports Involving Post-Adoption Issues but No Allegation of Abuse or Neglect

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2014

In some circumstances, a family who has adopted a child who was previously in DFPS conservatorship may be unable to continue to care for the child because of the child’s therapeutic needs. These needs may involve emotional or behavioral issues related to trauma experienced before the adoptive placement, or as a result of genetic issues not known before consummation.

If No Abuse or Neglect Is Alleged

If the child was adopted directly from DFPS custody and the family resides in the state of Texas, DFPS may be able to provide the adoptive family with an out-of-home placement of the adoptive child if:

  •  the child’s therapeutic or behavioral needs cannot be met in a family setting; or

  •  the child’s behaviors are too dangerous to others in the home for the child to remain in the home.

The adoptive family:

  •  must have exhausted all community resources, their insurance benefits, and available post-adoption services; and

  •  must be willing to continue involvement with the child during the out-of-home placement.

If the child is unable to remain in the home, and the adoptive family has met the above two conditions, then a CPS intake is generated using the following IMPACT procedures below.

IMPACT Procedures

When an adoptive family contacts DFPS to request placement for their adopted child for therapeutic or behavioral reasons, the intake specialist:

  •  processes a CPS intake alleging refusal to accept parental responsibility (RAPR);

  •  leaves the alleged perpetrator as “Unknown”;

  •  does not document the adoptive parents as perpetrators of abuse or neglect; and

  •  assesses the priority based on how quickly the child requires out-of-home placement.

In the Child Protective Services Handbook, see 6961 Postadoption Substitute-Care Services

If Abuse or Neglect Is Alleged

If abuse or neglect is alleged towards the adoptive child, the intake specialist completes an intake recommending an investigation of the allegations instead of initiating the process described above.

This process is used only when abuse or neglect is not present and the presenting problems are the result of emotional or behavioral issues the child was experiencing before the adoptive placement.

When Criteria Is Not Met

If the criteria outlined above (child adopted from DFPS custody, family resides in Texas, family has exhausted community resources, and so on) are not met, and there are no allegations of abuse or neglect, then an I&R is completed.

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