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2600 Complex Investigations

APS IH / January 2010

APS specialists consult with APS supervisors and, as needed, the subject matter experts (SMEs) to ensure that all relevant evidence is collected and all safety concerns are identified during complex investigations.

Several factors may cause a case to be complex. For example, an alleged victim may have:

  •   serious physical or mental health problems;

  •   an inadequate social support system; and

  •   minimal financial resources to pay for medications, utilities, and adequate housing.

Texas Human Resources Code §48.1521

See also 3400 Service Delivery in Complex Cases.

2610 Community Involvement in Complex Investigations

APS IH / April 2015

Assessing risk of ongoing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an alleged victim is not done solely by APS. APS collaborates with various agencies in an effort to conduct forensic investigations using trained investigators, or to assess the level of risk of harm to an alleged victim. Some of these agencies include, but are not limited to:

  •  local code enforcement agencies;

  •  animal control agencies;

  •  Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS); and

  •  Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs).

APS supervisors and subject matter experts (SMEs) may provide guidance to the APS specialist in determining when involvement of other agencies is indicated.

2611 Procedure for Working With Local Code Enforcement

APS IH / June 2012

If the APS specialist discovers the structural condition of the alleged victim’s home or yard poses a serious threat to the alleged victim’s safety, the APS specialist contacts the local code enforcement office with jurisdiction and requests an assessment of the alleged victim’s environment. Conditions that indicate a need for involvement of code enforcement include:

  •   fire or health hazards;

  •   unsafe building conditions; or

  •   violations of local regulations, statutes, or ordinances.

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulates code enforcement. Additional information regarding code enforcement is available on the DSHS website. In small communities, DSHS may be responsible for code enforcement.

See Appendix III: APS Decision-Making Tree.

2612 Procedure for Working With Local Animal Control

APS IH / June 2012

The presence of unsanitary or dangerous animals indicates a potential threat to the alleged victim. Potential threats to safety include, but are not limited to:

  •   infectious diseases;

  •   health and safety issues;

  •   sanitation; and

  •   animal bites or attacks.

When a determination is made by APS that there is a thread to the safety of the alleged victim, the APS specialist contacts the local animal control office. In areas that lack a formal department for animal control, the sheriff’s department is authorized to perform these tasks.

See Appendix III: APS Decision-Making Tree.

2613 Procedure for Working With the Texas Department of Public Safety

APS-IH / November 2008

If an alleged victim is at risk of harm when driving a motor vehicle because of physical or mental impairment or medical conditions, the APS specialist considers a referral to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Anyone can report unsafe Texas drivers to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). All reports are confidential and so are not included in public records.

If operating a motor vehicle poses a risk to safety, the APS specialist can:

  •   recommend that the alleged victim’s family report the situation to DPS;

  •   contact the alleged victim’s physician and request the physician consider reporting the situation to DPS; or

  •   send a written report directly to DPS.

The report to DPS must be in writing, and include:

  •   any known or suspected medical conditions;

  •   the driver’s full name; and

  •   date of birth; or

  •   the Texas driver's license number.

The report is made at the local DPS office or sent to:

Texas Department of Public Safety Driver Improvement Bureau

P.O. Box 4087

Austin, TX 78773-0320

See Appendix III: APS Decision-Making Tree.

2614 Procedure for Working With Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs)

APS IH / April 2015

The primary focus of the CAC is sexual and physical abuse of children and persons with disabilities. Other victims and allegations may be appropriate for referral to the CAC depending on the local agreement.

The services of the CAC are intended to minimize the need for multiple interviews by local professionals involved in serving victims of abuse or neglect. These professionals can include members of law enforcement, district attorneys, APS, medical professionals, and others. When interviews are not coordinated, the victim may have to relive the original trauma unnecessarily.

Procedures are dictated by Memorandums of Understanding developed with each CAC. Based on these MOUs the APS specialist:

  •  contacts the local CAC before the initial face-to-face with the alleged victim or as soon as possible thereafter to discuss the need for referral;

  •  arranges for transportation of the alleged victim to the local center. Arrangements can include transportation by family members or others not involved in the alleged abuse or neglect. Under no circumstances should the alleged perpetrator be involved in transporting the alleged victim to the CAC. Purchased client services may be used if needed;

  •  verbally discloses limited case information to the CAC interviewer as needed to conduct the interview and arrange for services that address the abuse or neglect; 

  •  signs the CAC confidentiality agreement prior to the forensic interview;

  •  takes notes of the interview and documents the interview as a contact in IMPACT;

  •  cooperates with other members of the multi-disciplinary team;

  •  attends and participates in multi-disciplinary team meetings to plan for interviews and arrange for services, as needed; and

  •  discloses findings of the investigation to CAC staff, when requested.

Records Storage

At the conclusion of the forensic interview, the CAC provides a copy of the recording to the APS specialist. At that point DFPS becomes accountable for proper security and storage of the recording. The APS specialist stores the recording in the external case file according to DFPS record management policy.

See:

5212 External Case File

5223 Records Retention

Release of Records

Those persons entitled by law to confidential case records may have access to view a CAC recording but are not allowed a copy. Those who are allowed access to view a CAC recording must do so in a DFPS office location. If a viewing is requested, video or audio recording equipment are prohibited in the viewing area. This includes cell phones, tablets (other than DFPS’ equipment) or other video or audio recording devices.

See:

5100 Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Release of Case Information

Texas Family Code §264.408

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.203

2620 Special Task Units

APS-IH / November 2008

Texas Human Resource Code §48.1521 requires each county with a population of 250,000 or more to have a special task unit available to monitor that county’s complex APS cases as needed.

2621 Procedure for Special Task Units

APS IH / June 2012

APS considers the guidance provided by the Special Task Unit in the course of investigating and providing protective services.

The APS specialist follows regional procedures for referring a case to the local Special Task Unit. These units are valuable resources for APS during the course of an investigation or providing services. When APS involves the Special Task Unit, the specialist assigned the case and the supervisor must participate in the unit meetings for purposes of monitoring the case.

2630 Investigations Involving Family Violence Reports

APS IH / January 2010

The APS specialist provides written information regarding services for family violence to victims of family or dating violence. The APS specialist is sensitive to the potential danger that providing written information may pose. The APS specialist consults with the alleged victim as to whether the alleged victim may be at further risk of harm if the alleged perpetrator or other household members discover information about family violence services.

If the alleged victim feels it is safe to leave written materials, the APS specialist:

  •   provides the alleged victim with the Notice to Victims of Family Violence form (located in DFPS Forms) in English or in Spanish, as appropriate; or

  •   literature obtained from the local family violence center.

Alleged victims who have limited English proficiency (LEP) are provided with literature in their preferred language. If this is unavailable, the APS specialist may request the services of an interpreter to translate the materials provided to the alleged victim.

Providing Family Violence Materials to Non-APS Alleged Victims

If during the course of an investigation the APS specialist becomes aware of a member of the family or household who is not an APS or a CPS alleged victim, but who is a victim of family violence, the APS specialist offers the person information about family violence. The APS specialist takes this step because the alleged victim could be at risk of family violence either directly or indirectly as a result of violence between other household members.

APS maintains working relationships with local family violence resources in order to:

  •   obtain written literature regarding family violence to distribute to APS alleged victims;

  •   establish referral procedures;

  •   gain an understanding of the shelters and nonresidential centers services and policies;

  •   determine if the shelter is equipped to accept APS alleged victims who are age 65 or older or have disabilities requiring special accommodations; and

  •   receive assistance in formulating a safety plan with the alleged victim.

See:

3410 Providing Services to APS Clients Who Are Victims of Family Violence

3411 Procedure for Providing Family Violence Literature to APS Clients

2631 Examples of Indicators of Family Violence

APS-IH / November 2008

Indicators of family violence include but are not limited to the following actions by a partner, family member, or spouse.

  •   Threats to place the alleged victim in a nursing home against his or her will

  •   Threats of physical or sexual abuse

  •   Use of weapons (knife, gun, hands) to intimidate or threaten

  •   Denying access to family, friends, neighbors, or professionals

  •   Taking or hiding necessary items such as a wheelchair, walker, eye glasses, or money

2632 Procedure for Family Violence Investigations

APS-IH / November 2008

The APS specialist:

  •   consults with the victim as to whether he or she will be at further risk of harm if the alleged perpetrator or other household members discover family violence material;

  •   makes appropriate notification to law enforcement if the alleged family or dating violence is suspected to constitute a criminal offense under any law;

  •   remains alert to indicators of undue influence that may prevent the alleged victim from discussing family violence; and

  •   provides information in a medium the victim can understand regarding available community family violence resources.

See:

2341 Interviewing Alleged Victims

2342.2 Procedure for Not Interviewing the Alleged Perpetrator

2633 Documentation for Family Violence Investigations

APS IH September 2014

The APS specialist indicates on the Investigation Conclusion page whether family violence material is provided to the alleged victim. If family violence literature was not given because of concerns for the alleged victim’s safety, this information must be documented in a Contact Detail page.

2634 Types of Criminal Offenses

APS-IH / November 2008

Examples of reportable criminal offenses often seen in APS cases include, but are not limited to:

  •   offenses against persons age 65 or older and adults with disabilities;

  •   sexual offenses;

  •   assaults;

  •   terroristic threats.

Offenses Against Persons Age 65 or Older and Adults With Disabilities

Section 22.04 of the Penal Code states that a person commits an offense if he or she or causes a person age 65 or older or an adult with disabilities:

  •   serious bodily injury;

  •   serious physical or mental deficiency or impairment; or

  •   bodily injury.

In order to be held responsible for injuring a person age 65 or older, the alleged perpetrator must have been required by legal authority to act or assumed the role of caretaker.

Sexual Offenses

Sexual offenses that must be reported to law enforcement include indecent exposure, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and intentionally exposing another to AIDS or HIV.

Indecent Exposure

According to Penal Code §21.08, a person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her anus or any part of the genital area with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person

Sexual Assault

Penal Code §22.011 states that a person, including a spouse, commits sexual assault if the alleged perpetrator causes, without the person’s consent:

  •   anal or vaginal penetration of another person by any means;

  •   oral penetration of another person by the alleged perpetrator’s sexual organ; or

  •   contact or penetration of the sexual organ of another person with the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the victim, another person, or the alleged perpetrator.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

The sexual offense is upgraded to aggravated sexual assault if the conditions of Penal Code §22.021 are met, including but not limited to:

  •   using or displaying a deadly weapon during the criminal act;

  •   causing bodily injury;

  •   placing the victim in fear of death or another person’s death;

  •   kidnapping or threatening kidnapping of the victim or another person during the sexual assault;

  •   facilitating the criminal activities listed above during the commission by another individual.

Assault

A person commits an offense under Penal Code §22.01 if the person:

  •   causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;

  •   threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or

  •   causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other, including the person’s spouse, will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

Terroristic Threats

Cases involving extreme danger, such as an alleged victim or other person threatening to harm or kill a person, must be reported to law enforcement. The APS specialist provides enough information for law enforcement to evaluate the potential for danger.

The APS specialist consults with the supervisor, district director or designee, and regional attorney before notifying an endangered person of a threat made by an alleged victim or other person.

Penal Code §22.07

2640 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

APS IH / April 2017

When an alleged victim dies during the investigation stage, the APS specialist consults with the supervisor, and the subject matter expert when appropriate, to determine whether the client's death was due to:

  •   natural causes; or

  •   abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator.

If it is suspected that abuse or neglect by a perpetrator contributed to the alleged victim's death, this is investigated by the APS specialist and reported immediately to law enforcement. See Appendix XV: Client Death Decision-Making Trees.

Within 24 hours of being notified of the alleged victim's death, if it is suspected to be the result of abuse or neglect by a perpetrator, the APS specialist:

  •   completes Form 2206 OIG Death Notification Form;

  •   enters the 2206 on the External Documentation page in IMPACT; and

  •   emails the form to the district director or designee.

The district director or designee reviews the form and sends to appropriate personnel as instructed on the form.

In some cases, the available evidence may indicate both caretaker neglect and self-neglect are present. In these situations, the APS specialist uses the evidence, including information provided by any medical professionals, to determine if actions or omissions by an alleged perpetrator contributed to the alleged victim's death.

The following chart provides examples with the appropriate policy to follow in different situations.

Allegations at Intake

Alleged Victim’s Death

Policy to Follow

Self-neglect by the alleged victim because he or she is unable to pay water bill. 

Alleged victim died of a heart attack

2642 Procedure When Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

2642.3 Procedure for Rapid Closure When Alleged Victim's Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

HCSSA caretaker physically abused alleged victim causing internal injuries and broken bones.

Alleged victim died as a result of the injuries sustained

2645 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator's Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim's Death

Alleged victim’s son, who is also her caretaker, was not getting alleged victim’s prescriptions refilled.

Alleged victim died in a car accident

2643 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

2643.2 Rapid Closure When the Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to the Alleged Victim’s Death

Alleged victim is being exploited by her granddaughter who is her paid HCSSA caretaker.

Alleged victim died from emphysema (not related to the financial exploitation allegation)

2644 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator Is EMR-Eligible

2643 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator's Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim's Death

Alleged victim is diabetic and refuses to take proper doses of insulin when needed. Son is alleged victim’s caretaker and he fails to get alleged victim out of bed for days. 

Alleged victim develops sepsis and dies.

2645 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator's Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim's Death

See:

3570 Client Dies During Service Delivery

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Trees—Client Death During the Investigation Stage

2641 Procedure When Alleged Victim Dies Before the Initial Face-to-Face Is Completed

APS IH / April 2017

The APS specialist is not required to complete an Initial Face-to-Face Contact Detail page, Safety Assessment, or Risk of Recidivism Assessment when:

  •   a case is in the investigation stage, and an alleged victim dies before an initial face to face contact can be completed; or

  •   the case is in Intensive Case Services and a new intake is received after an alleged victim's death.

The APS specialist conducts and documents the case initiation and all other contacts necessary to complete the investigation.

See also:

2241 Procedure for Initial Face-to-Face Contact With the Alleged Victim

2640 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

2642 Procedure When Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

APS IH / April 2017

If an alleged victim dies during the investigation and the death is related to natural causes, accident, or self-neglect, the APS specialist:

  •   consults the APS supervisor; and

  •   assesses whether or not it will be possible, with the available evidence, to reach a disposition.

If there is not sufficient information available at the time of death to reach a disposition, the APS specialist closes the case using rapid closure procedures as outlined in 2642.3 Rapid Closure When the Alleged Victim's Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect.

If sufficient information is available at the time of death to reach a disposition, the APS specialist:

  •   determines the validity of the allegations based on a preponderance of the available evidence; and

  •   documents the client's death in IMPACT as outlined below.

See also:

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Trees— Client Death During the Investigation Stage

2640 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

2642.1 Documentation of Death Due to Natural Causes or Accident

APS IH September 2014

If the alleged victim’s death was a result of natural causes, the APS specialist:

  •   documents the investigation and all consults as required by policy;

  •   records the date of alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects APS – Not Related to A/N as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page; and

  •   selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See:

2333 Documentation of Investigation Contacts

2921 Investigation Closure Reason Codes

2642.2 Documentation of Death Due to Self-Neglect

APS IH September 2014

If the alleged victim’s death was a result of self-neglect, the APS specialist:

  •   documents the investigation and all consults as required by policy;

  •   records the date of alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects APS – UTD/INC as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page; and

  •   selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See 2921 Investigation Closure Reason Codes.

2642.3 Procedure for Rapid Closure When Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist consults the supervisor before using rapid closure procedures. The APS specialist uses rapid closure procedures following an alleged victim’s death if:

  •   the alleged victim’s death was related to natural causes or self-neglect; and

  •   there is insufficient information at the time of the alleged victim’s death to reach a finding of valid, invalid, or unable to determine.

See:

2642 Procedure When Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Tree - Investigation Stage

2642.31 Documentation of Rapid Closure When Death is Due to Natural Causes, Accident or Self-Neglect

APS IH September 2014

When using rapid closure procedures, the APS specialist:

  •   completes Section 1 of the Safety Assessment, including the Case Initiation contact information;

  •   consults and documents discussion with the supervisor regarding the appropriateness of using rapid closure procedures;

  •   enters OTH as the disposition for each allegation;

  •   records the date of the alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects APS – UTD or INC as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page; and

  •   selects Client Died as the overall closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete Sections 2-5 of the Safety Assessment or the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See:

2921 Investigation Closure Reason Codes

2642.1 Documentation of Death Due to Natural Causes or Accident

2642.2 Documentation of Death Due to Self-Neglect

2643 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH September 2014

If, after consulting with the APS supervisor, the APS specialist does not suspect the alleged perpetrator’s actions or inactions contributed to the alleged victim’s death, then the APS specialist assesses whether it will be possible to complete the investigation and reach a disposition with the available evidence.

If there is not sufficient information available at the time of death to reach a disposition regarding the allegations, the APS specialist closes the case using rapid closure procedures outlined in 2643.2 Rapid Closure When the Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to the Alleged Victim’s Death.

If sufficient information is available at the time of death to reach a disposition, the APS specialist:

  •   determines the validity of the allegations based on a preponderance of the available evidence; and

  •   documents the alleged victim’s death, as outlined below.

See Appendix XV: Death Policy Decision Making Tree – Investigation Stage

2643.1 Documentation of Death When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH September 2014

If abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death, the APS specialist:

  •   documents the investigation and all consults as required by policy;

  •   records the date of alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects the appropriate reason for death as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page by selecting:

  •   APS – Not Related to A/N [Not related to abuse or neglect] – used if a preponderance of the evidence shows an alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death, including when the death is due to natural causes or an accident, or

  •   APS – UTD or INC [Undetermined or Inconclusive] – used when the alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death (self-neglect), or when the available evidence does not indicate whether or not the death was related to abuse or neglect; and

  •   selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See:

2333 Documentation of Investigation Contacts

2642.1 Documentation of Death Due to Natural Causes or Accident

2642.2 Documentation of Death Due to Self-Neglect

2643.2 Procedure for Rapid Closure When the Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist consults the supervisor before using rapid closure procedures. The APS specialist may use rapid closure procedures in cases involving an alleged perpetrator following a client’s death if:

  •   there is insufficient information available at the time of death to reach a disposition regarding the allegations;

  •   the alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death;

  •   the alleged perpetrator is not a paid caretaker employed by a Home and Community Support Service Agency (HCSSA) and, therefore, not eligible for the Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR); and

  •  the APS specialist has no reason to believe the alleged perpetrator is an ongoing threat to other elders or adults with disabilities.

See:

2643 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Tree - Investigation Stage

2643.21 Documentation of Rapid Closure When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH September 2014

When using rapid closure procedures, the APS specialist:

  •   completes Section 1 of the Safety Assessment, including the Case Initiation contact information;

  •   enters OTH as the disposition for each allegation;

  •   records the date of the alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects APS – UTD or INC as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page;

  •   documents the supervisory consultation; and

  •   selects Client Died as the overall closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete Sections 2-5 of the Safety Assessment or the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See:

2921 Investigation Closure Reason Codes

2642.1 Documentation of Death Due to Natural Causes or Accident

2642.2 Documentation of Death Due to Self-Neglect

2643.1 Documentation of Death When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

2644 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator Is EMR-Eligible

APS IH / May 2011

If an alleged perpetrator is eligible for placement on the Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR), the APS specialist cannot use rapid closure procedures. Even when the alleged victim dies, it is important to ensure that a paid caretaker subject to the EMR is referred if allegations are valid and rise to the level of reportable conduct. The APS specialist continues with the investigation or, based on the available evidence, completes the investigation and reaches a disposition of Valid, Invalid, or Unable to Determine. See the chart in 2640 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation.

See:

5410 Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR)

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Tree - Investigation Stage

2645 Procedure When Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH September 2014

If the alleged victim dies and the APS specialist or APS supervisor suspects an alleged perpetrator’s act of abuse or neglect contributed to the alleged victim’s death, the APS specialist:

  •   immediately notifies law enforcement by phone;

  •   sends the LE Form Suspected located in IMPACT;

  •   shares case-related information with law enforcement and provides assistance as requested.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Safety Assessment or Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

Law Enforcement Requests APS Discontinue Investigation

If law enforcement requests that APS discontinue the investigation, the APS specialist:

  •   documents law enforcement’s request in IMPACT;

  •   sends the LE Form Conclusion; and

  •   consults with the supervisor to determine:

  •   if law enforcement is willing to share information that will allow APS to reach a disposition, or

  •   if the case can be closed as Unable to Determine.

Law Enforcement Does Not Request APS Discontinue Investigation

If law enforcement does not request the APS investigation be discontinued, the APS specialist:

  •   continues the investigation by interviewing persons not already interviewed or who need to be re-interviewed, including the reporter, other collaterals, and the alleged perpetrator;

  •   consults the subject matter expert, as appropriate;

  •   determines the validity of the allegations based on a preponderance of the available evidence or enters an allegation disposition of Unable to Determine if the available evidence is insufficient;

  •   sends the LE Form Conclusion; and

  •   uses any available resources, such as medical professionals and coroners, to determine cause of death and whether or not the alleged perpetrator’s actions or omissions contributed to the alleged victim’s death.

The APS specialist determines the Reason for Death in IMPACT based on the disposition of the allegation and any expert testimony obtained regarding the alleged victim’s cause of death. It may be possible to validate an allegation, but still find that the alleged perpetrator’s actions did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death.

In the absence of expert testimony, the APS specialist uses his or her judgment in consultation with the supervisor and, as appropriate, the subject matter expert to reach a determination regarding the Reason for Death.

Regardless of the finding or reason for death, the supervisor adds the program administrator or SME as a secondary approver when reviewing an investigation for stage closure in which the APS specialist or supervisor suspected the alleged perpetrator may have contributed to the alleged victim’s death.

See:

2134.1 Procedure for Sensitive and High Profile Cases

2921 Investigation Closure Reason Codes

Appendix XV: Client Death Decision Making Tree – Investigation Stage

2645.1 Documentation When the Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS IH September 2014

The APS specialist:

  •   documents in Contact Detail narratives the alleged victim’s death as well as any evidence collected to establish a preponderance for the findings;

  •   enters the appropriate disposition for each allegation;

  •   checks the box on the Allegation Detail page "This allegation contributed to the alleged victim's death" for any allegation with a finding of Valid that contributed to the alleged victim’s death. This box appears once the APS specialist selects Valid as the allegation disposition;

  •   enters any external documentation, including photos, on the External Documentation page in the IMPACT system;

  •   records the date of the alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT;

  •   selects the appropriate reason for the alleged victim’s death in the Reason for Death dropdown box on the Person Detail page by selecting:

  •   APS – Related to A/N [Related to abuse or neglect by a perpetrator],

  •   APS – Not related to A/N [Not related to abuse or neglect] – used if a preponderance of the evidence shows an alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the alleged victim’s death, including when the death is due to natural causes or an accident, or

  •   APS – UTD or INC [Undetermined or Inconclusive] – used when an alleged victim dies of self-neglect, or the available evidence does not indicate whether or not the death was related to abuse or neglect;

  •   documents all investigation contacts as required by policy; and

  •   selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Investigation Conclusion page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

See:

2271 Procedure for Referrals to Law Enforcement

2642 Alleged victim’s Death Is Related to Natural Causes or Self-Neglect

2821 Investigation Closure Reason Codes

5300 Desk Review for Designated Perpetrators

5410 Due Process for Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR) Cases

5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases

2646 Adult Fatality Review Team

APS-IH / May 2011

Health and Safety Code §672.002 grants counties the authority to develop adult fatality review teams, but does not mandate their formation.

The purpose of the team is to investigate certain types of adult deaths generally identified as unexpected. The team attempts to promote cooperation, communication, and coordination among agencies involved in responding to unexpected deaths.

Composition of the Team

The team is composed of multi-disciplinary and multi-agency representatives (for example, law enforcement, criminal prosecutor, medical examiner, and so on) and has certain investigative powers by statute. APS is sometimes involved in the review process as a team member or as an expert witness or consultant.

Request of Information

A review team requests information and records regarding adult deaths resulting from suicide, family violence, or abuse as necessary to carry out its purpose and duties. The team is authorized by law to request and receive case records from APS. APS cases are released to the adult fatality review team without any de-identification.

Health and Safety Code §672.005

Confidentiality of Information

Information and records acquired by the review team in the exercise of its purpose and duties are confidential and exempt from disclosure under the open records law, Chapter 552, Government Code. A review team member commits an offense if he or she discloses information restricted to the team to another source.

A team member may make a public statement about the general purpose or nature of the adult unexplained death review process as long as it is not specific to a case.

Health and Safety Code §672.009

2646.1 Procedure for Referring a Case to the Adult Fatality Review Team

APS IH / June 2012

In the event that a victim dies under unusual circumstances, the APS specialist:

  •   determines whether an adult fatality review team exists in the county of the victim’s death; and

  •   follows regional procedures for:

  •   determining whether a referral is appropriate; and

  •   submitting the case to the adult fatality review team.

See:

2640 Alleged Victim Dies During Investigation

3470 Client Dies During Service Delivery

2650 Investigations Involving Guardianship Wards

APS-IH / June 2009

A guardian is a person or entity appointed by the court to have responsibility and authority for the care and management of an incapacitated person in order to protect his or her well-being. A guardian is responsible for protecting the health, well-being, personal needs, and/or estate of the ward as authorized by the order.

Courts may appoint private individuals or professional guardianship services such as state, county, regional, or non-profit guardianship agencies or programs to serve as guardian. If a professional guardianship program is awarded legal guardianship of a ward, the guardianship program appoints an agent for the guardian, such as an employee or volunteer, to ensure the ward’s needs are met.

APS attempts to work cooperatively with court-appointed guardians when investigating allegations that involve wards.

See:

5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship

2651 Financial Exploitation Allegations Involving a Guardian of the Estate

APS IH / December 2010

A guardian of the estate cannot financially exploit an alleged victim because the alleged victim’s legal ability to give consent has been removed by the court’s finding of incapacity. By law, the probate court assumes the responsibility to approve or disapprove all expenditures by a guardian of the estate on at least an annual basis.

When an intake alleges financial exploitation by a guardian of the estate, the APS specialist contacts the court clerk to determine whether:

  •   the alleged perpetrator is the guardian of the estate; and

  •   the alleged financial exploitation occurred in a time frame for which an annual accounting has already been approved by court order.

APS continues to fully investigate financial exploitation allegations against all other alleged perpetrators, including guardians of the person.

Expenditure Already Approved

If a court order has already approved the expenditure, only the judge of the court can determine whether the expenditure was inappropriate. If the expenditure is on an approved annual accounting, the APS specialist:

  •   directs the reporter to make a complaint to the court; and

  •   closes the investigation using the closure reason code Does Not Meet Definition.

If the report was made anonymously, the APS specialist informs the appropriate court.

Expenditure Not Yet Approved

If the expenditure in question is for a time frame not yet reported to the court on an annual accounting, the specialist contacts the court to explain the financial exploitation allegation and why APS cannot conduct a standard investigation.

If the probate court does not have a court investigator for guardianship and requests assistance from APS with investigating the allegation, the APS specialist conducts an investigation of the alleged financial exploitation, but does not make a finding. The APS specialist provides the information gathered to the court along with the APS Court Report for Guardianship as outlined in 5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship and closes the investigation using the closure reason code Does Not Meet Definition.

Allegation of Financial Exploitation Indicates Possible Neglect

In some instances, allegations of financial mismanagement by the guardian of the estate may indicate possible neglect given the effect the mismanagement may be having on the ward. In these cases, the APS specialist

  •   adds an allegation of neglect;

  •   may contact the court directly to discuss any specific concerns noted during the course of the investigation;

  •   enters a disposition of Other for the allegation of financial exploitation;

  •   enters the appropriate disposition for all other allegations; and

  •   closes the investigation stage using the appropriate Closure Reason code.

Regardless of how the investigation is closed, the APS specialist notifies the court with jurisdiction of the guardianship that APS received allegations concerning a ward of the court as outlined in 5118.2 Notification of Investigation Involving a Guardianship to Probate Court.

See 1332 Perpetrators of Neglect.

2652 Alleged Perpetrator Role for Allegations of Neglect Involving Wards

APS IH / April 2016

Allegations of neglect that involve wards are not listed as self-neglect because alleged victims who have an appointed guardian have been determined by the court to lack the ability to provide for their own care.

The only exceptions would be if:

  •  the guardian is only a guardian of the estate and the alleged neglect is not related to the ward’s finances;

  •  there is a limited guardianship in place in which the ward retained capacity to make some decisions on his or her own behalf –- such as his or her place of residence – and the alleged neglect is related to those decisions; or

  •  the guardian had died and the court has not appointed another guardian.

In these instances, self-neglect is indicated on the part of the alleged victim.

The following persons meet the APS definition of caretaker and are considered when determining the perpetrator role:

  •  Direct care provider

  •  Court-appointed guardian, if the allegation falls within the responsibilities of the guardianship.

  •  Agent of the guardian such as an employee or volunteer of a professional guardianship program

See:

1332 Perpetrators of Neglect

2710 Allegation Disposition

2652.1 Procedure for Determining Perpetrator Role for Allegations of Neglect Involving Wards

APS IH / December 2010

For each person who meets the definition of the caretaker role, the APS specialist considers each person’s responsibilities, oversight, and actions or lack of actions.

2653 Gaining Access to the Ward During an Investigation

APS IH / December 2010

APS is authorized to interview alleged victims who have a court-appointed guardian even if the guardian does not give permission before the interview.

2653.1 Procedure for Gaining Access to the Ward During an Investigation

APS IH / September 2011

The APS specialist:

  •   interviews the alleged victim (ward) if he or she has access;

  •   attempts to obtain the guardian’s cooperation if the APS specialist lacks access;

  •   notifies the professional guardianship program’s management chain of command if an agent of the guardian refuses access to the alleged victim (ward); and

  •   consults the APS supervisor, APS district director or designee, and the regional attorney before seeking an injunction against interference or a court-authorized entry.

See:

2341.1 Procedures for Interviewing Alleged Victims

2341.11 Denial or Revocation of Permission to Enter

2341.12 Transporting an Alleged Victim for an Interview

4200 Court-Authorized Entry

4400 Interference With Investigation or Protective Services

2660 Investigations Involving Other DFPS Programs

APS-IH / November 2008

APS cooperates with other DFPS programs when investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation in facilities and with persons that fall under those investigatory jurisdictions.

2661 Procedure for Investigations in Residential Child Care Facilities

APS-IH / November 2008

The APS specialist notifies DFPS Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL):

  •   immediately on determining the allegations concern an adult with a disability in a facility licensed by RCCL; and

  •   upon completion of the investigation.

Case information and the case record are released to RCCL without a release hearing.

Before releasing information concerning the investigation to the administrator of the residential childcare facility, the APS specialist must follow due process procedures.

See 1421 Procedure for Assessing Residential Child Care Facility Allegations.

2662 Procedure for Investigations Involving Persons Served by Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities Programs

2662.1 Circumstances That Require an APS Provider Investigation

APS IH / April 2016

The DFPS APS Provider Investigations program investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and  exploitation of adults and children who receive services from certain providers as defined in Human Resources Code §48.251(9).

See 1430 Assessing Allegations in Settings Investigated by APS Provider Investigations.

2662.2 Circumstances That Require an APS In-Home Investigation

APS IH / April 2016

The following chart describes the type of investigation conducted when an alleged victim is receiving services from certain providers for mental health or intellectual disabilities:

If the alleged incident occurred …

and the alleged perpetrator is …

then …

anywhere outside of the facility when the facility or community center was not responsible for supervision,

a family member or a person with an ongoing relationship who is not a staff member, …

an APS In-Home investigation is conducted.

anywhere inside the facility when the facility or community center was responsible for supervision…

a family member or a person with an ongoing relationship who is not a staff member, …

an APS In-Home and APS Provider investigation is conducted.

Upon receipt of a report pertaining to an alleged victim who is receiving services for mental health or intellectual disabilities, the APS In-Home specialist:

  •  completes a thorough investigation;

  •  if appropriate, contacts the administrator of the facility or provider agency to gain access to employees who may have witnessed an incident that took place on the grounds of the facility; and

  •  consults with the supervisor and, if necessary, regional attorney to determine if a release of information to the facility or provider agency is needed.

If a release of case information, including findings, to the facility or provider is necessary, the APS specialist follows policy outlined in section 5430 Due Process for Client Protection.

For allegations that do not meet criteria for an APS In-Home investigation, but fall in the jurisdiction of APS Provider Investigations, see:

5111.2 Release of APS In-Home Case Records to Facilities or Providers Under APS Provider Investigations Jurisdiction

5150 Release of Case Information to Entities Responsible for Protecting Clients

2663 Procedure for Providing Emergency Protective Services During an APS Provider Investigation in an HCS Program

APS IH / April 2016

During an investigation, an Provider investigator may encounter a situation in which an adult receiving services from an HCS provider, either through a waiver or through another payment method, is unsafe and requires immediate intervention. In this situation, the APS Provider investigator contacts Statewide Intake (SWI) to make a referral for the assistance of an APS In-Home specialist.

Some individuals who require emergency protective services participate in the HCS waiver service program and will automatically meet criteria for substantial impairment. Others may not be enrolled in the HCS waiver program and will need to be assessed for substantial impairment.

APS In-Home provides emergency protective services to the individual and APS Provider Investigations continues the investigation involving the HCS provider.

When the APS In-Home specialist receives the intake alleging abuse or neglect of an individual in an HCS home, the APS In-Home specialist immediately:

  •  contacts the APS Provider investigator to:

  •  make the case initiation contact, as required by policy, and

  •  determine the nature and extent of the emergency and what emergency protective services are necessary;

  •  responds to the emergency and attempts to make a face-to-face contact within the time frame for the priority, including completing the Safety Assessment and marking the appropriate danger factor.

During the course of the investigation the APS In-Home specialist works jointly and maintains regular contact with the APS Provider investigator.

Unless the alleged victim is an adult who has a guardian, the APS In-Home specialist:

  •  validates the investigation as self-neglect, given that the alleged victim is in a state of neglect and is unable to provide for his or her own care; and

  •  completes the Risk of Recidivism Assessment.

If the alleged victim is an adult who has a guardian:

  •  the APS In-Home specialist investigates the guardian; and

  •  the APS Provider investigator investigates the HCS provider.

If the HCS provider is also the adult’s guardian, both the In-Home and Provider programs investigate.

The APS In-Home specialist authorizes emergency services only until the HCS administrator, DADS, or other resource provides the required services.

Once the required services are in place through another source or the situation has been stabilized, the APS In-Home case may be closed.

See also:

1430 Assessing Allegations in Settings Investigated by APS Provider Investigations

3627.1 Providing Emergency Protective Services in Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Programs

2670 Investigations Involving Certain Types of Facilities

2671 Investigations Involving Schools

APS IH / October 2013

APS cooperates with school officials when investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of adults with disabilities by school personnel.

2671.1 Procedure for Investigations Involving Schools

APS IH / October 2013

Notifications at Initiation of Investigation

The APS specialist notifies the school principal(or the school principal’s supervisor if the school's superintendent is an alleged perpetrator) that a report has been assigned for investigation. The APS specialist also notifies the alleged victim’s caretaker. These notifications help ensure the immediate safety of the alleged victim.

Interviewing Procedures

The APS specialist requests that the school principal (or the school’s superintedent) not alert the alleged perpetrator or possible collaterals regarding the report until the APS specialist has interviewed them.

If the integrity of the investigation will not be compromised, the APS specialist has the discretion to allow school personnel or others who ordinarily support the alleged victim, but are not a principal or collateral in the current investigation, to be present during the interview or examination of the alleged victim.

See:

1550 Allegations Involving Schools

5440 Cases Involving School Personnel

5444 Notification of Final Findings for School Personnel

2672 Investigations in Boarding Home Facilities

APS-IH / November 2016

A boarding home facility is defined in Chapter 260, Health and Safety Code, as an establishment that:

  •  furnishes housing in one or more buildings to three or more persons with disabilities or persons age 65 or older and who are unrelated to the owner by blood or marriage;

  •  provides community meals, light housework, meal preparation, transportation, grocery shopping, money management, laundry services; and

  •  provides assistance with self-administration of medication; but

  •  does not provide personal care services.

The relationship between a resident and owner of a boarding home facility is often only that of a tenant and landlord. APS does not investigate allegations when the only relationship between the alleged victim and perpetrator is tenant and landlord. Unless there is an ongoing relationship or the landlord is the tenant’s representative payee, some allegations concerning boarding home staff may be subject to law enforcement investigation only.

Boarding home staff do not automatically qualify as alleged perpetrators. Boarding home staff are employed to work in the home and may not have an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim. Only if the boarding home staff member has an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim outside of the duties performed in the boarding home can the staff member be considered an alleged perpetrator.

See:

1331 Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

1332 Perpetrators of Neglect

Assistance With Self-Administration of Medication

Assistance with self-administration of medication may be provided to adults who are able to identify their medication and know when it needs to be taken.

Assistance with self-administration of medication in boarding home facilities is provided by a person who is not licensed to administer medication or assist with supervision of medication.

Self-administration means assisting a resident in one or more of the following ways:

  •  Reminding the resident to take the medication.

  •  Opening and removing medications from a container.

  •  Placing medication in a resident’s hand or on a clean surface such as in a pill cup or a medication reminder box.

  •  Reminding the resident when a prescription needs to be refilled.

Personal Care Services

Personal care services are not provided in boarding home facilities. Personal care services include:

  •  assistance with feeding, dressing, moving, bathing, or other personal needs or maintenance; or

  •  general supervision or oversight of the physical and mental well-being of a person who needs assistance to maintain a private and independent residence or manage the person’s personal life, regardless of whether a guardian has been appointed.

If a home is providing personal care services to four or more persons, refer to 1541.2 Procedure for Determining Whether an Assisted Living Facility Is Licensed or Should Be Licensed by DADS Regulatory Services to determine investigative jurisdiction.

See:

1541 Allegations in Facilities Requiring Licensure by DADS Regulatory Services

Appendix II: Facilities and Jurisdictions

1541.21 Procedure for When a Facility’s Licensure Status Is Unknown

2672.1 Procedure for Investigations Involving Boarding Home Facilities

APS IH / October 2013

The APS specialist:

  •   determines whether the alleged act meets the APS definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation;

  •   determines whether the alleged perpetrator is subject to APS investigation;

  •   determines whether the home meets the definition of a boarding home facility, and either:

  •   investigates the allegations when the criteria are met; or

  •   refers allegations in homes that do not meet the definition of a boarding home facility to the appropriate agency.

See:

1331 Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

1332 Perpetrators of Neglect

1541.2 Procedure for Determining Whether an Assisted Living Facility Is Licensed or Subject to Licensure by DADS Regulatory Services

1541.21 Procedure for When a Facility’s Licensure Status Is Unknown

Appendix II: Facilities and Jurisdictions

2673 Investigations Involving Nursing Home Residents

APS IH / December 2011

APS investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation involving residents of nursing homes as outlined by policy.

See 1542 Allegations in Nursing Homes.

2673.1 Procedure for Investigations Involving Allegations of Financial Exploitation Against a Resident of a Nursing Home

APS IH / December 2011

The APS specialist determines whether the allegations meet the criteria for APS investigation.

Financial exploitation is not validated if the alleged victim’s resources are not used or attempted to be used for the alleged perpetrator’s monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain.

The APS specialist validates caretaker neglect if the alleged victim’s funds were mismanaged by the caretaker, but not exploited. For example, the caretaker chooses to pay the alleged victim’s rent and utilities in lieu of the nursing home bill because the alleged victim may return home eventually.

APS is not responsible for an alleged victim’s unpaid nursing home bill resulting from financial exploitation or neglect. Instead, the APS specialist attempts to intervene to prevent further financial exploitation or neglect.

See:

1346.1 Procedure for Assessing Financial Exploitation (EXPL) Allegations.

1542 Allegations in Nursing Homes

2711 Procedure for Determining the Validity of the Allegation

2680 Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers

APS IH / April 2016

APS investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation against paid caretakers.

Allegations Involving HCSSA Employees

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) licenses HCSSAs that provide home health, hospice, or personal care assistance services in a person’s home, an independent-living environment, or another appropriate location.

APS investigates the actions of HCSSA employees when an allegation:

  •  involves the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of persons age 65 or older or adults with disabilities; and

  •  occurs:

  •  outside of a facility that is regulated by other agencies, and

  •  while the employee was in the role of paid caretaker.

If a HCSSA employee is aware of issues that affect an alleged victim’s health or safety and the employee fails to report the issues to the HCSSA staff person in charge of overseeing the alleged victim’s plan of care, APS investigates the situation as caretaker neglect.

Clinical issues are complaints involving HCSSA employees, including direct care aides and licensed professionals (such as licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses), that are directly related to the quality of care provided as part of the employee’s professional responsibilities. Clinical issues do not meet the criteria for APS investigation.

The APS specialist refers these and any other allegations involving HCSSA employees that do not meet specific criteria for APS involvement to the DADS Complaint Intake mailbox (see DADS Consumer Rights.

Regardless of the findings, results of an APS investigation involving a licensed HCSSA employee (such as a nurse, social worker, and so on) may be referred to the applicable licensing board upon completion of the investigation. The APS specialist contacts the regional attorney to determine if releasing the findings to a licensing board is appropriate.

See:

1331 Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

1332.1 Procedure for Establishing Perpetrators of Neglect

1342 Neglect Allegations

1346.1 Procedure for Assessing Financial Exploitation (EXPL) Allegations

1430 Assessing Allegations in Settings Investigated by APS Provider Investigations

1530 Procedure for Complaints That Do Not Allege Abuse, Neglect, or Financial Exploitation

5424.4 Release of APS Findings to Professional Licensing Boards, Commissions, and Other Agencies

2681 Procedure for Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers

APS IH / April 2016

The APS specialist:

  •  determines whether a caretaker who is employed by a home and community support services agency (HCSSA) or is privately paid meets the APS definition of a paid caretaker;

  •  determines whether the alleged act meets the APS definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation;

  •  determines whether the alleged act occurred in a facility regulated by another state agency; and

  •  investigates allegations of the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of persons age 65 or older or adults with disabilities by paid caretakers in situations specified by policy.

APS refers allegations involving HCSSA employees that do not meet the specific criteria for APS involvement to the following, as appropriate:

  •  the APS Provider Investigations program by requesting Statewide Intake reclassify the intake, or

  •  the DADS Complaint Intake mailbox (see DADS Consumer Rights and Services).

See:

1131 Perpetrators of Abuse and Financial Exploitation

1332.1 Procedure for Establishing Perpetrators of Neglect

1348.1 Procedure for Assessing Financial Exploitation (EXPL) Allegations

Appendix II: Facilities and Jurisdictions

2680 Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers

2681.1 Alleged Victim Makes a Loan to a Paid Caretaker

APS IH / September 2012

If an alleged victim agrees to loan a paid caretaker (HCSSA employee or privately hired caretaker), who is not a family member, money, goods or resources, this is only financial exploitation when:

  •   the alleged victim has capacity;

  •   the loan is made with the expectation of repayment;

  •   the loan is not repaid; and

  •   the situation meets all other elements of financial exploitation, as defined in 1346 Financial Exploitation (EXPL) Allegations.

The alleged victim must have capacity to give informed consent when agreeing to a loan.

For Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR) purposes, if the financial exploitation by an HCSSA employee rises to the level of reportable conduct, the APS specialist requests that the physician provide a written statement regarding the alleged victim’s lack of capacity to consent to a loan.

If the APS specialist cannot obtain a physician’s statement regarding the alleged victim’s capacity to give informed consent to a loan, then the alleged victim is presumed to have capacity. The APS specialist uses the criteria in the list above to determine whether financial exploitation has occurred, based on the remaining elements.

However, if the APS specialist obtains a physician’s statement that the alleged victim lacked capacity at the time of the loan agreement, then the paid caretaker may have committed financial exploitation by accepting the loan because of the lack of informed consent.

The APS specialist must then establish that the alleged perpetrator knew or should have known that the alleged victim lacked capacity to give informed consent. If the alleged perpetrator had actual knowledge that the alleged victim lacked capacity to give informed consent, then the alleged perpetrator financially exploited the alleged victim by asking for the loan.

Repayment of the Loan

The APS specialist uses his or her judgment to determine what arrangement for repayment that the alleged victim and paid caretaker made. Depending on the evidence established during the investigation, financial exploitation may be validated if:

  •   the alleged victim is not paid back within the time frame anticipated; or

  •   a repayment plan is not made until after the paid caretaker becomes aware of APS involvement.

A loan is not considered financial exploitation if the caretaker pays back the loan before APS becomes involved.

DADS work rules for HCSSA employees are not a part of the definition of financial exploitation and are not a factor in determining the validity of an allegation of financial exploitation.

See 1346.11 Assessing Financial Exploitation (EXPL) Allegations Involving Loans.

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