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5000 Confidentiality and Integrity of Records and Review and Hearing Processes

5100 Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Release of Case Information

APS IH / April 2015

Adult Protective Services case information is confidential. APS discloses case information only when the disclosure is necessary to carry out the authority and responsibility of DFPS as specified in the Human Resources Code (HRC), Title 2, Chapter 48.

All records, reports, or working papers related to the case are confidential and are exempt from release to the public according to Texas Government Code Chapter 552.

APS follows specific guidelines when disclosing case-related information. When information about a client is shared, the recipient must be advised that the information is confidential. Per DFPS policy, APS may provide case-related information or findings using encrypted email, when possible.

Any questions about whether to disclose confidential information should be discussed with the regional attorney.

Situations Requiring Disclosure

Examples of situations that might require pertinent case information to be disclosed include:

  •  obtaining information necessary for the investigation;

  •  arranging for a forensic interview or services through a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC);

  •  arranging for services to address abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation;

  •  arranging for guardianship;

  •  notifying DADS regional staff immediately when APS receives allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a DADS ward by any person other than a DADS staff member. APS also provides DADS with the finding and sufficient information to allow DADS to make a determination regarding the ward’s safety;

  •  notifying DADS management in state office immediately when APS receives allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation by a DADS staff member acting in his or her role as a guardian. APS also provides the state office at DADS with the finding and sufficient information to allow DADS to make a determination regarding the ward’s safety;

  •  facilitating involuntary mental health commitment; and

  •  responding to a court order for disclosure.

See:

Human Resources Code §48.101

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

5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record

5122 Disclosure of Case Information to the Reporter and Others

5123 Disclosure of Information to Other Agencies to Assist Clients to Obtain Services

5110 Providing the Case Record

5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record

APS IH / April 2016

The APS specialist does not determine who may be entitled to a copy of the case record. The following is provided for informational purposes only. The APS specialist refers requests for records to the DFPS Records Management Group (RMG), unless otherwise noted in policy.

Upon receiving a written request, RMG sends certain individuals or entities a copy of the APS case record. The copy provided excludes the name and other identifying information about the reporter.

The persons and agencies entitled to a copy include:

  •  the client;

  •  the client’s guardian;

  •  a court-appointed executor or administrator of a deceased client’s estate;

  •  the attorney representing the client (attorney ad litem);

  •  a guardian ad litem;

  •  the attorney representing the proposed guardian in a guardianship proceeding;

  •  a court investigator or court visitor appointed by the court in a guardianship proceeding;

  •  Disability Rights Texas, Inc., when it represents a client;

  •  protective services agencies from other states; and

  •  law enforcement.

Requests by Alleged Perpetrators

Upon receiving a written request, RMG sends the alleged perpetrator or his or her attorney a copy of the portion of the APS case record that pertains directly to the alleged perpetrator. The copy provided excludes the name and other identifying information about the reporter.

Requests by Reporters and Collaterals

Upon receiving a written request, RMG sends the reporter, collateral, or his or her attorney a copy of the portion of the APS case record that pertains directly to his or her interview. The copy provided excludes the name and other identifying information about the reporter.

Requests by Attorney Ad Litems

Upon receiving a written request (including email) that includes a copy of the court order identifying the requestor as the attorney ad litem for the client, RMG releases a copy of the APS case record to the attorney ad litem. The name and other identifying information about the reporter are excluded. DFPS staff may inform the attorney ad litem that the most efficient way to obtain APS records is to submit the request with a subpoena.

Texas Administrative Code §705.7107

See:

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

5112 Release of APS Case Records to Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecuting Attorneys

5112.1 Procedure for Release of APS Case Records to Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecuting Attorneys

5120 Providing Case Information

5122 Disclosure of Case Information to Reporters and Others

5111.1 Procedure for Obtaining APS Case Records

APS IH / February 2013

Except in rare circumstances, all individuals and entities requesting records, including those listed in 5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record, must be referred to the regional de-identifier for information on obtaining case records.

APS specialists provide the requestor with:

  •  the contact information for the Records Management Group; and

  •  direction on how to obtain Form 4885-G Request for Case Records.

The APS specialist may also provide Form 4885-G Request for Case Records and email the completed form to the Records Management Group for processing.

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

APS IH / April 2016

In some cases, an APS In-Home specialist may inadvertently conduct an investigation that, because of the perpetrator and location of the incident, falls under the jurisdiction of APS Provider Investigations.

Since the investigation of such cases falls under the jurisdiction of Human Resources Code §48.252, the provider is entitled to receive a de-identified copy of the investigative report.

To ensure that only information about the investigation is provided and the identity of the reporter is concealed, the APS specialist uses the Case File Print function in IMPACT to print the:

  •  de-identified Intake Report;

  •  Person List;

  •  Contact Log;

  •  Investigation Conclusion;

  •  External Documentation Report; and

  •  copies of external documentation.

The APS specialist:

  •  consults the Provider Investigations supervisor; and

  •  provides the de-identified APS In-Home report to the APS Provider Investigations supervisor so he or she can release the case record to the appropriate entities. 

If the case was appropriately classified and investigated as an APS In-Home investigation, the facility or provider is not entitled to a copy of the case record. See 5150 Release of Case Information to Entities Responsible for Protecting Clients.

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

5112 Release of APS Case Records to Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecuting Attorneys

APS IH / April 2016

After receiving notification from APS that a crime may have been committed, law enforcement or prosecuting attorneys may request APS case records.

Upon receiving a verbal or written request, DFPS must release a copy of the entire case record, including the name of the reporter and information from other agencies, to a law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney requesting a case that is under current criminal investigation, prosecution, or litigation against DFPS.

See also 5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record.

5112.1 Procedure for Release of APS Case Records to Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecuting Attorneys

APS IH / October 2013

Law enforcement officials, including prosecuting attorneys, have access to APS investigation case records for purposes of investigating crimes related to ANE. 

If a law enforcement official requests a copy of a closed APS investigation and it is for purposes of investigation of a crime, the APS specialist:

  •  directs the requestor to Form 4885-L Request From Law Enforcement for Case Records; or

  •  completes and submits the form to the Records Management Group on behalf of the requestor.

If the record being requested involves an open investigation and it is for purposes of investigation of a crime, the APS specialist:

  •  attaches Form 2270, Confidential Release to Prosecutor/Law Enforcement Official, to the front of a copy of the entire case record, including name of the reporter and information from other agencies; and

  •  provides this to the law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney making the request.

For all other requests from law enforcement officials for open APS investigations, the APS specialist must consult with the regional attorney.

See 2270 Referring Cases to Law Enforcement.

5120 Providing Case Information

5121 Confidentiality of the Reporter

APS IH / February 2013

DFPS keeps the names of persons who report abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation confidential. The information is not disclosed to APS clients, family members of APS clients, the public, or other agencies.

The names of reporters may be released verbally or in writing to:

  •  the court, when ordered by the judge;

  •  the district or county attorney;

  •  law enforcement agencies; and

  •  DFPS staff.

See Human Resources Code §48.101.

5122 Disclosure of Case Information to the Reporter and Others

APS IH / February 2013

Neither the reporter nor a collateral is entitled to information regarding the case.

Unless the reporter or collateral is legally entitled to the case record or case information, the reporter is told only whether APS accepted the case for investigation.

The APS specialist may, however, provide collaterals, including the reporter, with pertinent case information, as needed, in order to:

  •  obtain information necessary for the investigation; or

  •  arrange for services to address abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

The APS specialist contacts his or her supervisor and the regional attorney, if directed by the supervisor, when uncertain about what information may be released.

DFPS staff refer the reporter or collateral to the DFPS Records Management Group (RMG) for a request for records.

See:

5100 Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Release of Case Information

5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record

5123 Disclosure of Information to Other Agencies to Assist Clients to Obtain Services

5123 Disclosure of Case Information to Other Entities to Help Clients Obtain Services

APS IH / April 2015

Verbal Disclosure

The APS specialist may verbally disclose limited case information to authorized personnel from other entities when necessary to complete an investigation and arrange for services that address abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Written Disclosure

The APS specialist may provide written information, records, and working papers to authorized personnel from other entities only if the client or the client’s legal guardian has authorized the release by signing the Form 4885-G Request for Case Records (see Form 4885 instructions).

The specialist places the signed Form 4885 in the external documentation file.

See:

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

5410 Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR)

5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases

5112 Release of APS Case Records to Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecuting Attorneys

5130 Disclosure of Case Information in Connection With a Court Action

5131 Subpoenas

5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship

5124 Disclosure of Case Information to Prospective Guardians

APS IH September 2014

DADS Guardianship Services

APS and DADS Guardianship Services work together on cases that involve guardianship referrals to ensure positive outcomes for their mutual clients.

APS and DADS Guardianship Services share information to:

  •   assess the client for acceptance into the DADS Guardianship Services program;

  •   explore whether there are more appropriate, least-restrictive alternatives to DADS guardianship;

  •   locate alternate guardians;

  •   develop safety plans; and

  •   ensure the client’s safety.

When referring clients to the DADS Guardianship Services program for assessment, the APS specialist:

  •   does not disclose whether the client is HIV-positive or has AIDS, unless specifically ordered to do so by the court;

  •   verbally provides DADS Guardianship Services with necessary case information;

  •   provides the necessary written information, including but not limited to, the:

  •   Safety Assessment,

  •   Risk of Recidivism Assessment,

  •   Strengths and Needs Assessment, if applicable,

  •   contact narratives,

  •   medical or psychological records,

  •   names and addresses of relatives, friends, or other interested parties, and

  •   financial records or documents.

Other Proposed Guardians

The APS specialist shares verbally with as much information as necessary to inform proposed guardians, other than DADS Guardianship Services, of the client’s situation or condition.

The APS specialist:

  •   advises proposed guardians that all APS case information is confidential;

  •   does not disclose the name or other identifying information about reporters of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation;

  •   does not disclose whether the client is HIV-positive or has AIDS, unless specifically ordered by a court; and

  •   does not provide copies of APS case records, unless the proposed guardians are awarded guardianship and submit Form 4885-G Request for Case Records.

If an alternate proposed guardian is identified after DADS has obtained a Certified Medical Examination (CME), DADS provides the alternate proposed guardian with a copy of the CME report.

APS does not provide proposed guardians with medical statements related to CMEs obtained by APS. The court, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem must request the statement from APS.

See 5111 Individuals and Entities Entitled to the Case Record.

5125 Confidentiality of Persons Who Are HIV-Positive or Have AIDS

APS IH / April 2017

Information about whether a client is HIV-positive or has AIDS is highly confidential under both federal and state law. Only the client who has HIV or AIDS or the client's legal guardian has the legal authority, under most circumstances, to reveal the status to anyone. If a service provider or other entity needs to be informed about the status, only the client or guardian may inform the service provider or other entity.

If the APS specialist knows that a client is HIV-positive or has AIDS, the specialist may reveal the status when:

  •   the client or legal guardian has given written permission to the APS specialist to reveal the HIV-positive or AIDS status to specific entities or individuals;

  •   a court orders DFPS to release the information; or

  •   physicians, nurses, or other health professionals provide medical care to the client, and so are entitled to the information with or without the authorization of the client or the guardian.

The APS specialist cannot inform law enforcement, emergency medical personnel such as paramedics or emergency medical technicians, and other persons who are at risk without the client's written permission; however, the APS specialist may remind them to take universal precautions.

The APS specialist must ensure any information regarding the client's HIV or AIDS status is redacted when providing case records to entities outside of DFPS.

5126 Disclosure of Criminal History Information

APS-IH / November 2016

DFPS is authorized to disclose criminal history information received from law enforcement only to certain parties.

Texas Government Code §411.114

The parties include, but are not limited to:

  •  the person who is the subject of the criminal history record (such as the alleged perpetrator); or

  •  a person or business entity who uses or intends to use the services of the volunteer or employs or is considering employing the person who is the subject of the criminal history record; or

  •  a person who is age 65 or older or has a disability (such as the alleged victim) and lives with the alleged perpetrator who is the subject of the criminal history record, if DFPS determines that releasing the information is necessary to ensure the safety or welfare of the person who is age 65 or older or has a disability; and

  •  an adult who lives with an alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator who is the subject of the criminal history record, if DFPS determines that the release of information is necessary to ensure the safety or welfare of the alleged victim or the adult.

DFPS may not disclose criminal history information received from law enforcement to any person other than those identified by statute and above, except:

  •  by court order;

  •  with the consent of the person who is the subject of the criminal history information; or

  •  for the purposes of an administrative hearing held by DFPS concerning the person who is the subject of the criminal history information.

DFPS does not disclose criminal history information to DADS or any other entity, except as outlined above.

See:

2381 Criminal History Records Checks

4732 Background Checks and Guardianship

5126.1 Procedure for Disclosure of Criminal History Information

APS IH / February 2013

The APS specialist may disclose the results of a record check to the persons or entities described in 5126 Disclosure of Criminal History Information by:

  •  allowing a copy of the records check to be viewed in the APS specialist’s presence; or

  •  verbally disclosing the contents of the records check.

DFPS may not provide these parties with a copy of the criminal history information, unless ordered to do so by the court.

Before releasing the criminal history, the APS specialist must:

  •  obtain supervisory approval; and

  •  document the supervisory approval in the IMPACT case management system.

A release hearing is not required to release criminal history information to authorized individuals or entities; however, no other information, including case-related information, may be released except as authorized in 5100 Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Release of Case Information and its sub-items.

See also 4732.1 Criminal History Checks.

5126.11 Penalty for Unauthorized Disclosure of Criminal History Information

APS IH / February 2013

An offense is committed if a person who is not a DFPS employee knowingly or intentionally:

  •  obtains a client’s criminal history in an unauthorized manner, uses the information for an unauthorized purpose, or discloses the information to a person who is not entitled to it; or

  •  provides a person, even if entitled to the information, with a copy of the person’s criminal history.

See:

2381 Criminal History Records Checks

5126 Disclosure of Criminal History Information

Texas Government Code, §411.085(a)(1)-(2)

5130 Disclosure of Case Information in Connection With a Court Action

APS IH / February 2013

With the exception of the identity of the reporter, all information, including information from the client, collaterals, and other agencies, must be disclosed verbally to:

  •  the county or district attorney;

  •  the attorney ad litem;

  •  the guardian ad litem; or

  •  the court investigator.

All case information may be disclosed when requested in a court hearing on the APS case. The identity of the reporter may be revealed only upon direct order from the court, if the court rules that confidentiality should be waived.

DFPS staff shares all case information, including the identity of the reporter, with the attorney representing DFPS.

5131 Subpoenas

APS IH / February 2013

APS staff may receive a subpoena for various reasons, including subpoenas to attend a court proceeding or provide case records. Receipt of a subpoena or directive from the court requires consultation with the regional attorney.

For policy and procedures regarding the receipt of a subpoena, how to handle the accompanying cash or check, and so on, see the DFPS Subpoena Policy.

See also 4733 Attendance at Guardianship Hearings.

5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship

APS IH September 2014

The APS specialist notifies the probate court about investigations involving alleged victims who have guardians or pending guardianships.

Two types of reports are used for notification:

      Notice to Probate Court of APS Investigation

      APS Court Report for Guardianship (generated in IMPACT as a Contact/Summary Type on the Contact Detail page).

Only the APS Court Report for Guardianship form is sent when a guardian is already in place. Both forms are sent to the court when there is a pending guardianship.

If the alleged victim has …

then the APS specialist …

This report is mailed …

a pending guardianship ...

submits the Notice to Probate Court of APS Investigation to the court where the guardianship petition is filed.

upon receipt of the intake or as soon as the APS specialist is aware of the pending guardianship.

a guardian or a pending guardianship ...

submits the APS Court Report for Guardianship to the court to which the guardian is accountable.

upon conclusion of the investigation regardless of the findings.

someone who has filed for guardianship with the assistance of APS, and has prior positive findings in an APS investigation ...

discusses the prior positive APS findings with the proposed guardian and determines whether he or she still intends to pursue for guardianship.

If the proposed guardian has filed for and still intends to pursue guardianship, the APS specialist submits the Notification of Prior APS Findings form to the court where the guardianship petition was filed.

only after it is determined the person has filed and still intends to pursue guardianship.

The court is notified of APS involvement regardless of the findings and whether or not the guardian or proposed guardian is the alleged perpetrator.

If the APS specialist determines at the end of the investigation or during the service delivery stage (Maintenance or Intensive Case Services) that the client has a guardian or a proposed guardian, the APS specialist:

  •   notes in a contact narrative in IMPACT the date that the APS specialist became aware that the client has a guardian or proposed guardian; and

  •   notifies the court to which the guardian is accountable by sending the APS Court Report for Guardianship. (Sending the Notice to Probate Court of APS Investigation form is not required.)

See also 2650 Investigations Involving Guardianship Wards.

5132.1 Notifying the Probate Court When DADS Is Guardian or Has Pending Guardianship

APS IH / February 2013

The court is not notified of APS involvement when there is a pending guardianship with DADS or DADS becomes guardian as a result of a guardianship referral from APS.

If APS receives an intake report on an alleged victim who is a DADS ward, and the intake is received after the case in which DADS became guardian is closed, the specialist notifies the court, as outlined in the chart in 5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship, in the row related to when there is already a guardian.

5132.2 Notifying the Probate Court When the Alleged Perpetrator Has a Guardian

APS IH / February 2013

APS is not required to notify the probate court when the alleged perpetrator has a guardian; however, if the APS specialist believes that the notification could benefit the alleged perpetrator by providing greater oversight of his or her situation, the specialist may make notification to the court.

5132.3 Notifying the Probate Court When Financial Exploitation Allegations Involve a Guardian of the Estate

APS IH / February 2013

A guardian of the estate cannot exploit a client, because the client’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 of all expenditures made by a guardian of the estate on at least an annual basis. See 2651 Financial Exploitation Allegations Involving a Guardian of the Estate for procedures on handling intake reports that allege exploitation by a guardian of the estate.

If allegations of financial exploitation by a guardian of the estate are received, the APS specialist notifies the court that has jurisdiction, as explained in 5132 Notifying a Probate Court About an Investigation Involving Guardianship. In the Summary of APS Findings and Actions section of the APS Court Report for Guardianship, the specialist includes the following information:

This court has already approved the financial transaction in question in its order approving the annual accounting. The court must determine whether the expenditure was appropriate. APS has no jurisdiction to make a finding of financial exploitation in this situation, since a victim of financial exploitation must be legally able to give or withhold informed consent to financial transactions for financial exploitation to occur under §48.002 Human Resources Code. APS will not be conducting an investigation for the purposes of making a finding about this allegation. This matter is referred to the court for further action as you find appropriate.

Please be assured that APS continues to conduct investigations and make findings concerning wards of this court who may have been abused or neglected since the ability to give legal consent is not an element in those definitions.”

See 2651 Financial Exploitation Allegations Involving a Guardian of the Estate.

5132.4 Notifying the Probate Court About Cases Involving an Administrative Desk Review

APS IH / February 2013

If a validated case involves an alleged victim who has a guardian or a pending guardianship and an administrative desk review is required, the APS specialist sends the APS Court Report for Guardianship form to the court to which the guardian is accountable:

  •  before the administrative desk review is completed, if the specialist and supervisor believe that the client is at significant risk; or

  •  after the administrative desk review, if the specialist and supervisor believe that the risk to the client is low.

If the form is sent before the review, the specialist includes a statement in the form that the findings are subject to change.

If the findings are overturned as a result of the desk review, the specialist sends the Notification to Probate Court of Administrative Desk Review Findings to the probate court to notify the court about the overturned findings.

See:

4732.2 IMPACT Background Checks

5222 External Documentation Page

5300 Desk Review for Designated Perpetrators

5140 Providing Information to DADS on Adult Foster Care Provider Applicants or Staff of an HCSSA

APS IH / February 2013

APS provides information to DADS when:

  •  a person has submitted an application to DADS to become an adult foster care provider;

  •  APS validates abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against an adult foster care provider; or

  •  APS validates abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against an employee of a Home and Community Support Services Agency (HCSSA) that is licensed by DADS.

Before releasing the information, the APS specialist follows the procedures outlined in 5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases.

See 2680 Allegations Involving Paid Caretakers.

5141 Release of Information on Adult Foster Care Provider Applicants (DADS Form 2357, DFPS Records Check)

APS IH / February 2013

The contract managers for DADS adult foster care (AFC) are required to ask DFPS to determine whether a person who applies to provide adult foster care provider applicant has ever been a validated perpetrator in an APS in-home case.

The process for requesting a determination is as follows:

1.   The foster care provider applicant signs HHSC Form 2357 DFPS Records Check.

2.   The Centralized Background Check Unit (CBCU) for DFPS receives DADS Form 2357 from the DADS employee who is requesting the records check.

3.   CBCU staff conduct a records check in the IMPACT system to determine whether the foster care provider applicant has been listed as a perpetrator in a validated APS in-home case.

See 2380 Record Checks.

If There Is No Match

The CBCU staff person:

  •  checks the No Match section of Form 2357; and

  •  signs and returns the form to the DADS AFC contract manager listed on the form.

If There Is a Positive Match

If the applicant is found to be a designated perpetrator in a validated APS in-home case, he or she must be offered due process before notifying DADS about the positive match, as outlined in 5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases.

The CBCU staff person sends Form 2357 to the APS In-Home Mailbox.

An APS state office program specialist notifies the APS program administrator about the request from DADS and the need to offer the perpetrator due process.

The program administrator or designee:

  •  notifies the perpetrator about the intent to release the findings to DADS and about his or her right to due process, as outlined in 5420 Due Process for Non-EMR Cases; and

  •  keeps APS state office staff informed about the status of the due process.

An APS state office program specialist:

  •  completes Form 2357, based on the outcome of the due process; and

  •  returns the form to the DADS AFC contract manager listed on the form.

APS staff do not release to DADS staff information obtained through a criminal history check or from CPS case records.

If There Is a Possible Match

If the applicant is found to be a sustained perpetrator in a validated APS in-home case, the CBCU staff person:

  •  completes the form, including the validated in-home case in which due process has already been completed or waived; and

  •  returns the form to the DADS AFC contract manager listed on the form.

The CBCU staff sends Form 2357 to the APS In-Home Mailbox for further review by APS state office staff.

If APS state office staff determine that there is no match, the state office program specialist:

  •  checks the No Match section of Form 2357; and

  •  signs and returns the form to the DADS AFC contract manager listed on the form.

If APS state office staff determine that there is a match, a state office program specialist notifies the APS program administrator about the request from DADS and the need to offer the perpetrator due process. The program administrator or designee follows the same procedures outlined above for when a positive match is made.

See also:

1541 Allegations in Facilities Requiring Licensure by DADS Regulatory Services

5336 Circumstances in Which Findings May Be Released (Release Hearing)

5421 Sending Notice of Intent to Release in Non-EMR Cases

5150 Release of Case Information to Entities Responsible for Protecting Clients

APS IH / February 2013

At the conclusion of an investigation, the APS specialist may disclose case information in writing, including findings, to authorized personnel at entities that provide residential care to the client. At no time may the specialist reveal the name of the reporter. Before releasing case information, the APS specialist follows the procedures outlined in 5430 Due Process for Client Protection.

The APS specialist consults with the supervisor and regional attorney to determine whether there is enough justification to warrant seeking a release of information, given the extensive requirements associated with the due process required before releasing findings of Valid.

The APS specialist considers the ongoing risk of abuse or neglect that the client is exposed to because the entity is not aware of validated abuse or neglect by a family member or person with an ongoing relationship that has access to the client.

If a release is warranted, the specialist also considers whether an emergency release is warranted, based on the potential risk to the client of ongoing abuse or neglect.

Examples of entities that provide residential care include:

  •  nursing homes;

  •  assisted living centers;

  •  state-supported living centers;

  •  state hospitals;

  •  providers of home and community-based services (HCS); and

  •  private intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related condition (ICFs/IID).

See:

2662.2 Circumstances That Require an APS In-Home Investigation

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

5434.2 Release of Findings in Client Protection Cases

5434.3 Emergency Release of Findings in Client Protection Cases

5160 Release of Information to State Supported Living Centers (SSLC)

APS IH / April 2017

In some instances, when an alleged victim is a resident of an SSLC, APS In-Home will conduct an investigation due to the relationship between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. Often, an SSLC resident will go on leave either to a home (a family member's residence, for example) to visit family or friends or to a provider (an HCS group home, for example) for the purpose of transitioning to the community. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) holds SSLCs accountable for the health and protection of residents while they are away from the facility.

Since the SSLC is held accountable for the resident, APS specialists are permitted to release information to the SSLC when completing an investigation in these instances.

5161 Procedure for Release of Information to State Supported Living Centers (SSLC)

APS IH / April 2017

Verbal Communication

The APS specialist verbally communicates with the SSLC administrator or designee as the case progresses and identifies any concerns that potentially affect the health or welfare of the alleged victim.

Written Communication

All findings will be released to the SSLC regardless of the disposition. The APS specialist sends the SSLC administrator or designee a notice of findings letter following the conclusion of the investigation.

If the finding is changed, the program administrator or designee sends a new notice of findings to the SSLC administrator or designee.

When uncertain about what information can be released, the APS specialist consults with his or her supervisor.

See:

5121 Confidentiality of the Reporter

5300 Desk Review for Designated Perpetrators

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