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5230 Merging and Relating Persons

APS-IH / February 2009

Having an individual's complete IMPACT case management system record under a single person ID is very beneficial to the APS specialist in his or her efforts to investigate allegations and provide services. The APS specialist is able to easily view information, such as:

  •   current and past locating information;

  •   collateral information not listed in the current intake;

  •    previous and current DFPS involvement;

  •   previous successful and unsuccessful interventions;

  •   worker safety issues;

  •   limited English proficiency (LEP) information; and

  •   personal relationship dynamics and history.

5231 Person Identification (ID) Number

APS-IH / February 2009

Each time a person is entered into the IMPACT case management system, a unique Person ID number is created. The identifying information and case history of each individual is linked to their Person ID number.

If the same individual is entered into IMPACT more than once, that person may have multiple unique Person ID numbers listed in the system. This results in his or her case history being divided among several different Person ID numbers because IMPACT classifies each Person ID as a different person.

The Person Relate and Person Merge functions combine each individual's identifying information and pertinent case history into one record. The records linked to each separate Person ID are combined into a single Person ID number.

5232 Automated Person Merge

APS-IH / February 2009

The IMPACT case management system automatically merges individuals if the system is able to match two or more of the following:

  •   Name

  •   Address

  •   Date of birth

  •   Social Security number

  •   Gender, or

  •   SAVERR/TIERS number.

If IMPACT merges persons in an open case, the caseworker receives an alert on his or her To Do List. The APS specialist reviews the alert to ensure the merge was correct.

There are some instances when IMPACT cannot automatically process a Person Merge. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Some of the elements above match, but some elements are different.

  •   Both individuals are associated with the same event.

  •   The age difference is greater than 5 years.

When IMPACT is not able to automatically process a Person Merge, the Person ID numbers are listed on an Automated Person Merge Exception Report. Designated staff process these reports in order to ensure these merges are correct and complete. The designated staff research the individuals' records and contact field staff for further information in order to determine which Person ID numbers should be merged.

5233 Manual Person Merge

APS-IH / February 2009

Before the APS specialist is able to progress or close an investigation, he or she must complete a Person Search for each principal listed on the Person List. This is done from the Person Detail page. If the Person Search reveals that the individual has multiple Person ID numbers, the APS specialist completes a manual Person Merge from the Person Merge/Split Detail page. The specialist must be diligent and ensure the Person ID numbers to be merged are the same individual.

See also IMPACT FYI resources:

Merge a Person

Search for a Person

Person Search page

Person Detail page

Person Merge/Split Detail page

Person List

5234 Person Relate

APS-IH / February 2009

The APS specialist must add to the Person List any additional collaterals or principals discovered during the investigation.

A Person Search is completed for every new individual added to the list. If the search reveals that the individual already had a Person ID number, the APS specialist selects the Relate push button. This process brings the existing Person ID into the case rather than creating a new Person ID.

Relating a person allows the APS specialist to review the individual's address, phone number, demographic information, and case history.

If more than one exact match is found in the Person Search results list, the specialist uses the Relate function for one of the exact matches. The specialist uses the Person Merge function to merge the remaining Person ID numbers.

See also IMPACT FYI resources:

Merge a Person

Relate a Person

Search for a Person

Person Search page

Person Detail page

Person Merge/Split Detail page

Add a Person to the Person List

Person List

Delete a Person from the Person List

5235 Manual Person Split

APS-IH / February 2009

If two Person ID numbers are merged in error, the APS specialist completes a manual Person Split from the Person Merge/Split Detail page. IMPACT does not automatically split two individuals that were incorrectly merged.

See also IMPACT FYI resources:

Person Detail page

Split a Person

Person Merge/Split Detail page

5240 Case Merge

APS IH / May 2011

Every APS case record must contain all of the information received during the course of the case. Each APS case has a unique Case Identification (ID) number. If there is an open case for a client, and subsequent reports for the same client are received, the specialist merges the subsequent case numbers into the original Case Identification number.

Once the original case is closed, the case record is complete. A Case Search using the Case ID number from the Merge From case links to the Case ID number for the Merge To case and becomes one record.

The process starts over with a new Case Identification number if a new case is received.

See:

FYI Merge a Case

FYI Case Merge/Split Detail page

FYI Split a Case

5241 When to Merge Cases

APS IH / September 2011

The APS specialist merges cases when subsequent reports are received regarding a client in an open APS case. Only open cases are merged. The specialist merges cases as soon as he or she completes all necessary tasks and the cases are in the same stage. This enables the specialist to document in only one case.

Once a case is closed, no further merge action may be performed. A closed case must not be merged with an open case or with another closed case.

5241.1 Merge Only Open Cases in the Same Stage

APS IH September 2014

The APS specialist merges cases when both cases are in the same stage. The APS specialist may merge an investigation stage of an open case with another open investigation stage, or a service delivery stage of an open case with another case open in the same service delivery stage. For example, an open Maintenance stage may be merged with another open Maintenance stage.  

If the original case has been progressed to a service delivery stage (Maintenance or Intensive Case Services) and a new intake report with new allegations or new incidents involving an alleged perpetrator is received, the APS specialist completes the investigation for the subsequent case, including a new Risk of Recidivism Assessment for valid cases and, if appropriate, progresses the subsequent case to the appropriate service delivery stage before merging the cases. If the subsequent investigation will not be progressed to a service delivery stage, the APS specialist closes the cases separately without merging. The client is informed of case closure when the last of the two separate cases is closed.

See:

2541 Procedure for New Intake Reports Received During the Investigation Stage

2921.15 Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated

3241 Procedure for New Intake Reports Received During the Intensive Case Services Stage

3281 Procedure for Closing a Case During Service Delivery

3320 Additional Allegations Discovered and New Reports Received Involving a Maintenance Case

5241.2 Close Duplicate Reports Without Merging Cases

APS IH / April 2015

The APS specialist closes the new intake using the rapid closure code Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated if a second identical intake is received, and the original case:

  •  has been closed;

  •  is open in the Investigation stage; or

  •  has been progressed to the Maintenance or Intensive Case Services stage.

The APS specialist refers to 2921.15 Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated to determine whether the new intake can be closed using this rapid closure code.

See:

2541 Procedure for New Intake Reports Received During the Investigation Stage

FYI Merge a Case

FYI Case Merge/Split Detail page

FYI Split a Case

5242 Case Merge Checklist

APS IH September 2014

Before merging cases, the APS specialist:

  •   completes a Person Search and Person Merge for any person appearing on both Person Lists in order to ensure each person has only one Person Identification (Person ID). Any person listed on both Person Lists with different Person ID numbers appears on the new merged Person List twice because IMPACT classifies each Person Identification number as a separate person;

  •   ensures the final risk level is the same in the Merge To case and the Merge From case, if Risk of Recidivism Assessments have been completed in both investigations;

  •   completes all open service authorizations in the Merge From case before merging;

  •   ensures the same victim is listed in both cases to be merged;

  •   ensures the Merge To case and the Merge From case are open and in the same stage. For example, both cases must be in the investigation stage or both cases must be in the same service delivery stage (Maintenance or Intensive Case Services); and

  •   ensures the Merge To case is the case with the earliest intake date.

See also:

FYI Merge a Case

FYI Case Merge/Split Detail page

FYI Split a Case

2800 Risk of Recidivism Assessment

5250 Storage of External Case Files

APS IH / April 2015

External case files are maintained as follows:

The APS specialist does not keep separate case records, notes, or documentation from closed cases in offices or vehicles. All external documentation is stored in a secured centralized file cabinet in order to protect confidentiality.

The APS specialist shields external media such as CDs or diskettes from sun, light, and heat to protect them from damage.

If a file folder is used, it is labeled with the IMPACT case management system case name and number.

Physical case files are sent to Records Management through the Records and Imaging Office (RIO) within 30 calendar days of case closure. Electronic case records remain on the IMPACT database until their destruction date, with a reference to the location of the external documentation.

See:

State of Texas Records Retention Schedule for DFPS.

5223 Retention

5260 Destruction of APS Case Records

5260 Destruction of APS Case Records

APS IH / April 2015

Once an APS case record reaches its destruction date, DFPS permanently removes the electronic file from the IMPACT database and destroys any external documentation that is part of the case record in a manner that does not jeopardize confidentiality. The case destruction date is automatically calculated by the IMPACT case management system. When a case record is destroyed, the entire record is destroyed at the same time, regardless of the medium.

The destruction date is automatically calculated by the IMPACT system based on the type of case:

  •  APS case records are retained for five years after the most recent date of closure.

  •  APS case records related to APS-initiated guardianships granted by the court are retained for seven years after the most recent date of closure.

Audio and videotapes, diskettes, and CDs are not reused.

APS follows established agency record retention guidelines to prepare, ship, and store records.

See:

Records Management on the DFPS Intranet

Records Management Group Handbook, 2612 Handling Physical Case Files

How to Prepare Your APS and CPS Case Records for Storage

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