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1330 Perpetrators of Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation

APS IH / September 2012

The following terms are used to define perpetrators of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation in APS cases.

Alleged perpetrator: A person who is reported to be responsible for the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an alleged victim.

Alleged victim/perpetrator: An adult with a disability or aged 65 or older who has been reported to APS to be in a state of or at risk of self-neglect.

Designated perpetrator: An alleged perpetrator who has been determined in a validated finding to have abused, neglected, or financially exploited a designated victim.

Designated victim/perpetrator: An alleged victim/perpetrator with a validated self-neglect finding.

Sustained perpetrator: A designated perpetrator whose validated finding of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a designated victim has been sustained by an administrative law judge in a due process hearing, including a release hearing or Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR) hearing, or the designated perpetrator has waived the right to a hearing.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001, 711.1402(9)

1331 Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

APS IH / April 2016

Chapter 48, Title 2, of the Texas Human Resources Code (HRC) and Chapter 705, of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) authorizes APS to investigate abuse and financial exploitation of a person age 65 or older or an adult with a disability when the person responsible for the maltreatment is a:

  •  caretaker;

  •  paid caretaker;

  •  family member; or

  •  person who has an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim.

The Texas Administrative Code provides the following definitions:

Caretaker: A guardian, representative payee, or other person who by act, words, or course of conduct has acted so as to cause a reasonable person to conclude that he has accepted the responsibility for protection, food, shelter, or care for an alleged victim. This excludes paid caretakers as defined by this chapter.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001(8)

Paid Caretaker:

(a)  An employee of a home and community support services agency (HCSSA) providing non-Medicaid services to an alleged victim; or

(b)  An individual or family member privately hired and receiving monetary compensation to provide personal care services, as defined in §142.001(22-a) of the Health and Safety Code, to an alleged victim.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001(18)

For more information on personal care services, also see 2672 Investigations in Boarding Home Facilities.

Ongoing Relationship: A personal relationship that includes:

  •  frequent and regular interaction;

  •  a reasonable assumption that the interaction will continue; and

  •  an establishment of trust beyond a commercial or contractual agreement.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001(17)

See 1332 Perpetrators of Neglect.

1331.1 Procedure for Establishing Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

APS IH / September 2012

The APS specialist examines the role and perceptions of both the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator to determine whether an ongoing relationship exists.

The APS specialist also interviews the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator, and collaterals as necessary, to establish that the person responsible for maltreatment is related to the alleged victim as a:

  •   caretaker;

  •   paid caretaker;

  •   family member; or

  •   person who has an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim.

1331.2 Examples of Ongoing Relationship

APS IH / September 2012

Persons considered to have an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim include a:

  •   personal friend;

  •   paramour; or

  •   roommate.

Examples of persons who have an ongoing relationship with each other are as follows:

  •   Ms. Smith rents a garage apartment from Mr. Adams who is 82 years old. She visits Mr. Adams frequently and often shops for him. At times, she takes him to medical appointments. Occasionally, she cooks a meal and they dine together.

  •   Mr. Jones is 75 years old and lives next door to Mr. Garza. Mr. Garza takes Mr. Jones to the store at least once a month and speaks to Mr. Jones several times per week. Mr. Jones tells Mr. Garza when he is going out of town to visit family and asks Mr. Garza to gather his mail while he’s gone.

  •   Susan and John are both in their 70s and have been dating for six months.

1331.3 Examples of What Is Not an Ongoing Relationship

APS IH / April 2016

APS does not investigate allegations against persons in these roles when there is no ongoing relationship with the alleged victim:

  •  Mail carrier

  •  Employer

  •  Door-to-door sales person or telemarketer

  •  Landlord

  •  Neighbor

  •  Online-only relationship

If there is no ongoing relationship, APS may investigate an allegation of self-neglect. However, if there is an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim, APS may investigate an allegation of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Examples of persons who do not have an ongoing relationship with each other are as follows:

  •  Mrs. Garcia lives across the street from the Taylors – two brothers who are in their 80s. Mrs. Garcia says hello to the Taylors in passing when she sees them in their yard but has no other contact with them. While there is an assumption that their interaction will continue, there is not a personal relationship with frequent and regular contact.

  •  Ms. Grace and Ms. James both participate in activities at the local senior center each week. While they are familiar with each other, they do not fraternize at the center or otherwise. While they both attend the same program each week, they do not have a personal relationship.

  •  Mr. Foster is a handyman who has done various home repairs for Mr. Jensen. Mr. Foster and Mr. Jensen have no contact outside of their interactions related to the home repairs. There is not frequent and regular contact or an establishment of trust, beyond their contractual agreement.

  •  Mr. Johnson and Ms. Smith met through an online dating website. Mr. Johnson sends Ms. Smith $200 each week because she tells him she needs it to be able to plan a trip to visit him. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Smith communicate weekly on-line, but there is not a personal relationship.

See:

1332.2 Examples of Caretaker and Paid Caretaker Relationships

1332.3 Examples of What Is Not a Caretaker or Paid Caretaker Relationship

1332 Perpetrators of Neglect

APS IH / September 2012

Chapter 48, Title 2, of the Texas Human Resources Code (HRC) and Chapter 705, of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) authorizes APS to investigate neglect of a person age 65 or older or an adult with a disability when the person responsible for the maltreatment is:

  •   the person age 65 or older or the adult with a disability (self-neglect);

  •   a caretaker; or

  •   a paid caretaker.

Caretaker: A guardian, representative payee, or other person who by act, words, or course of conduct has acted so as to cause a reasonable person to conclude that he has accepted the responsibility for protection, food, shelter, or care for an alleged victim. This excludes paid caretakers as defined by the TAC.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001(8)

Relatives and household members of the alleged victim do not automatically meet the definition of the caretaker role.

Paid Caretaker: An employee of a home and community support services agency (HCSSA) licensed under Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code, to provide personal care services to an alleged victim, or an individual or family member privately hired and receiving monetary compensation to provide personal care services to an alleged victim.

For a definition of personal care, see §142.001(22-a) of the Health and Safety Code.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §705.1001(18)

For more information on personal care services, also see 2672 Investigations in Boarding Home Facilities.

1332.1 Procedure for Establishing Perpetrators of Neglect

APS IH / April 2016

The APS specialist interviews the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator, and collaterals as necessary to establish the caretaker or paid caretaker role for neglect allegations.

The APS specialist verifies that the alleged perpetrator:

  •  has accepted responsibility for the alleged victim’s protection, food, shelter, or care;

  •  is an employee of a home and community support services agency (HCSSA) providing non-Medicaid services; or

  •  is providing personal care services to the alleged victim as a paid caretaker.

See:

2680 Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers

2681 Procedure for Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers

1332.2 Examples of Caretaker and Paid Caretaker Relationships

APS IH / April 2016

The following examples describe, but are not an exhaustive list of, the conduct that establishes that an alleged perpetrator has accepted the responsibility for an alleged victim’s protection, food, shelter, or care, either as a caretaker or paid caretaker:

  •  A 20-year-old man is unable to ambulate or perform his activities of daily living without assistance. He lives with his father. Every day, the father bathes the alleged victim, helps him to the bathroom, and cooks for him. The father’s actions establish that he accepts the responsibility of caring for his son.

  •  An 82-year-old woman has dementia. She is unable to manage her money without assistance. The alleged victim’s daughter, who lives out of state, manages the alleged victim’s money. The daughter pays her mother’s rent, utilities, and other bills. The daughter’s ongoing actions establish that she accepts responsibility for managing her mother’s money.

  •  An 86-year-old man uses a wheelchair and needs assistance with his activities of daily living. He pays a HCSSA for assisting him with personal care. The HCSSA employee accepts responsibility for the man’s care by accepting the assignment to assist the man.

1332.3 Examples of What Is Not a Caretaker or Paid Caretaker Relationship

APS IH / September 2012

The following examples describe conduct that establishes that an alleged perpetrator has not accepted the responsibility for a client’s protection, food, shelter, or care:

  •   A 92-year-old man with dementia gives his estranged son’s name and number to the social worker for Meals on Wheels. The social worker calls the man’s son to come care for his father. The son does not maintain contact with his father. He refuses to go to his father’s home. The son’s actions establish that he has not accepted responsibility for his father’s care.

  •   A 37-year-old woman with mobility impairment lives with a roommate. The roommate pays his half of the bills, but never assists the woman with personal care. The woman fires her home health provider. She has no one to assist her with her activities of daily living. The roommate has never indicated that he accepts that responsibility.

1333 Children as Perpetrators

APS IH / October 2013

Occasionally, children are alleged to be perpetrators of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against persons age 65 or older and adults with disabilities. Children are established as perpetrators based on age.

The APS specialist establishes a child as an alleged perpetrator according to the following table:

If the child is...

and the allegation is...

then the APS specialist establishes the role of perpetrator...

age 9 and under

abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation

never, regardless of the circumstances.

age 10 – 17

neglect

as with an adult, if the role of caretaker is established.

age 10 – 17

abuse, financial exploitation

as with an adult.

See:

1332 Perpetrators of Neglect

2710 Allegation Disposition, subsection Valid No Fault

2711 Procedure for Determining the Validity of the Allegation

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