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12000 Death of an Alleged Victim or Client

APS February 2021

APS does not investigate allegations of abuse or neglect when the alleged victim is already deceased at the time the allegation is made, except as outlined in policy.

12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

APS February 2021

When an alleged victim dies during the Investigation stage, the APS specialist consults with the supervisor and, when appropriate, the subject matter expert to determine whether the alleged victim’s death was due to one of the following:

  • Self-neglect, accident, or natural causes.
  • Abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator.

If it is suspected that abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator contributed to the alleged victim’s death, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Immediately reports the situation to law enforcement.
  • Follows 2332 High-Profile Cases within 24 hours of being notified of the alleged victim’s death.
  • Continues the investigation unless law enforcement requests otherwise.

In some cases, the available evidence may indicate both caretaker neglect and self-neglect are present. 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 table provides examples with the appropriate policies to follow in different situations involving a death:

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.

12120 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.

12140 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.

12130 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

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

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

When an Alleged Perpetrator Is EMR-Eligible in 12130 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.

12140 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim’s Death

See 12200 Client Dies During a Service Delivery Stage.

Notifying Office of the Inspector General

APS notifies the HHSC Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and APS state office when both of the following apply:

  • A DFPS employee’s actions or inaction may have contributed to an alleged victim’s death during an open APS case.
  • One of the following is suspected: 
    • Employee misconduct.
    • Violation of law.
    • Violation of DFPS policy.

The APS supervisor or designee does the following:

  1. Consults the program administrator or designee.
  2. Completes Form 2206 APS In-Home OIG Death Notification.
  3. Emails the completed form to the district director or designee.

The district director or designee reviews the form to determine if it meets the criteria for notifying OIG. If it does meet the criteria, the district director or designee emails the completed form to all of the following:

  • Assistant deputy inspector general of internal affairs.
  • DFPS Internal Audit.
  • APS Field Operations specialist.

The district director or designee ensures the notification email and form are documented on the External Documentation page in IMPACT.

12110 Alleged Victim Dies Before the Initial Face-to-Face Is Completed

APS February 2021

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

  • The alleged victim dies before the APS specialist can complete an initial face-to-face contact.
  • A case is open in the Intensive Case Services stage 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:

9400 Initial Face-to-Face Contact With the Alleged Victim

12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

12120 Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

APS February 2021

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

  • Consults the APS supervisor.
  • Assesses whether it will be possible to reach a disposition with the available evidence.

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 (see 12121 Rapid Closure When 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 does the following:

  • Determines the validity of the allegations based on a preponderance of the available evidence.
  • Documents the client’s death in IMPACT as outlined below.

See also 12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation.

Documentation of Death Due to Natural Causes or Accident

If the alleged victim’s death was a result of natural causes or an accident, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Documents the investigation and all consultations as required by policy.
  • Records the date of the 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.
  • 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:

9000 Case Contacts

14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes

Documentation of Death Due to Self-Neglect

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

  • Documents the investigation and all consultations as required by policy.
  • Records the date of the 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.
  • 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 14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes.

12121 Rapid Closure When Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

APS February 2021

The APS specialist, in consultation with the supervisor, uses rapid closure procedures following an alleged victim’s death when both of the following criteria are met:

  • The alleged victim’s death was related to natural causes, an accident, or self-neglect.
  • 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 12120 Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect.

Documentation of Rapid Closure

When using rapid closure procedures, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Completes Section 1 of the Safety Assessment, including the Case Initiation contact information.
  • Consults with the supervisor regarding the appropriateness of using rapid closure procedures and documents the discussion.
  • 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.
  • 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 14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes.

12130 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death

APS February 2021

If the APS specialist does not suspect the alleged perpetrator’s actions or inactions contributed to the alleged victim’s death, then the APS specialist does the following:

  • Consults the APS supervisor.
  • Assesses whether it will be possible to reach a disposition with the available evidence.

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 (see 12121 Rapid Closure When 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 does the following:

  • Determines the validity of the allegations based on a preponderance of the available evidence.
  • Documents the alleged victim’s death in IMPACT, as outlined below.

When an Alleged Perpetrator Is EMR-Eligible

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 12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation.

See 15400 Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR).

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

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

  • Documents the investigation and all consultations as required by policy.
  • Records the date of alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page in IMPACT.
  • Selects one of the following as the Reason for Death in the dropdown box on the Person Detail page:
    • APS – Not Related to A/N (not related to abuse or neglect). Select this reason 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.
    • APS – UTD or INC (undetermined or inconclusive). Select this reason when an alleged victim dies of self-neglect, or the available evidence does not indicate whether the death was related to abuse or neglect.
  • 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 9000 Case Contacts.

12131 Rapid Closure When the Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did not Contribute to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS February 2021

The APS specialist consults the supervisor before using rapid closure procedures. In cases involving an alleged perpetrator, the APS specialist may use rapid closure procedures following a client’s death when all of the following apply:

  • 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).
  • The APS specialist has no reason to believe the alleged perpetrator is an ongoing threat to other people over age 65 or adults with disabilities.

See 12130 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions Did Not Contribute to Alleged Victim’s Death.

Documentation of Rapid Closure

When using rapid closure procedures, the APS specialist does the following:

  • 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.
  • 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 14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes.

12140 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim’s Death

APS February 2021

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 does the following:

  • 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.
  • Follows 2332 High-Profile Cases within 24 hours of being notified of the alleged victim’s death.

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 does the following:

  • Documents law enforcement’s request in IMPACT.
  • Sends the LE Form Conclusion to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Consults with the supervisor to determine if either of the following applies:
    • Law enforcement is willing to share information that will allow APS to reach a disposition.
    • The case can be closed as Unable to Determine.

Law Enforcement Does Not Request APS Discontinue Investigation

If law enforcement does not request that APS discontinue the investigation, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Continues the investigation by interviewing people 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 to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • 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 is 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 subject matter expert as a secondary approver in IMPACT when reviewing an investigation for stage closure in which the APS specialist or supervisor suspects the alleged perpetrator’s actions may have contributed to the alleged victim’s death.

See:

12300 Adult Fatality Review Team

14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes

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

The APS specialist completes the following actions in IMPACT:

  • 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 that says “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.
  • Records the date of the alleged victim’s death on the Person Detail page.
  • Selects one of the following reasons for the alleged victim’s death in the Reason for Death dropdown box on the Person Detail page.
    • 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). Select this reason 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.
    • APS – UTD or INC (undetermined or inconclusive). Select this reason when an alleged victim dies of self-neglect, or the available evidence does not indicate whether the death was related to abuse or neglect.
  • Documents all investigation contacts as required by policy.
  • 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:

8400 Referrals to Law Enforcement

12120 Alleged Victim’s Death is Related to Natural Causes, Accident, or Self-Neglect

14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes

15100 Desk Review

15300 Due Process for Non-EMR (Employee Misconduct Registry) Cases

15400 Employee Misconduct Registry (EMR)

12200 Client Dies During a Service Delivery Stage

APS February 2021

When a client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the APS specialist consults with the supervisor and, as needed, the subject matter expert to determine whether the client’s death was due to one of the following:

  • Self-neglect, an accident, or natural causes.
  • Abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator that was any of the following:
    • Not previously investigated.
    • Alleged but not validated during the Investigation stage.
    • Validated during the Investigation stage.

If it is suspected that abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator contributed to the client’s death, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Immediately reports the situation to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Follows 2332 High-Profile Cases within 24 hours of being notified of the client’s death.

When evidence indicates both self-neglect and abuse or neglect by a perpetrator may be present, the APS specialist analyzes the available evidence, including information from medical professionals, to determine whether an alleged perpetrator contributed to the client’s death.

In some instances, a new intake report is required following a client’s death. SWI only creates a new intake after both of the following happen:

If the case involved misconduct or violation of law or DFPS policies by a DFPS employee, notify the HHSC Office of Inspector General as outlined in 12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation.

See:

12230 Client’s Death May Involve Allegations Validated in the Investigation Stage

12240 Client’s Death May Involve New Incidents Related to Allegations Investigated or Validated During the Investigation Stage

12250 Client’s Death Involves New Allegations of Abuse or Neglect by an Alleged Perpetrator

12210 New Intake Is Received Before Client’s Death During a Service Delivery Stage

APS February 2021

The APS specialist consults with the supervisor when all of the following occur:

  • The APS specialist suspects the alleged perpetrator’s action may have contributed to the client’s death.
  • A new intake report is received before the client’s death.
  • The client dies while the new case is in the Investigation stage.
  • The original case is in Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.

If the APS specialist or supervisor does not suspect an alleged perpetrator contributed to the client’s death, the APS specialist does the following:

If the APS specialist or supervisor suspects that an alleged perpetrator may have contributed to the client’s death, the APS specialist does the following:

12220 Death Is Related to Natural Causes, an Accident, or Self-Neglect During a Service Delivery

APS February 2021

If a client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage and the death is related to natural causes, an accident, or self-neglect, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Consults with the supervisor.
  • Documents the client’s death in IMPACT, as outlined below, before submitting the case for closure.

Documentation When a Client Dies From Natural Causes or an Accident

If a client dies as a result of an accident or natural causes, the APS specialist does all of the following in IMPACT:

  • Documents all of the contacts made during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage of the case, as outlined in 9100 Requirements for Contacts and 9110 Time Frame for Entry of Contacts.
  • Enters any external documentation, including photographs, on the External Documentation page.
  • Records the date of death on the Person Detail page.
  • Selects Not Related to A/N in the Reason for Death dropdown box.
  • Selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Stage Closure page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Strengths and Needs Assessment.

Documentation When a Client Dies From Self-Neglect

If a client dies as a result of self-neglect, the APS specialist does all of the following in IMPACT:

  • Documents all of the contacts made during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, as outlined in 9000 Case Contacts.
  • Enters any external documentation, including photographs, on the External Documentation page.
  • Records the date of death on the Person Detail page.
  • Selects UTD/INC (Unable to Determine/Inconclusive) in the Reason for Death dropdown box.
  • Selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Stage Closure page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Strengths and Needs Assessment.

12230 Client’s Death May Involve Allegations Validated in the Investigation Stage

APS February 2021

The APS specialist must take certain actions when a case meets both of the following criteria:

  • A client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services (ICS) stage of a case.
  • The original allegation of ongoing neglect by the caretaker or a specific incident of abuse by a perpetrator was found to be valid during the Investigation stage of the case.

If a case meets the criteria above, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Consults the supervisor.
  • Makes any additional contacts necessary to establish the reason for death.
  • Documents the case as outlined in policy.

If the APS specialist determines that the validated allegation contributed to the client’s death, the APS specialist follows these policies before closing the case:

2332 High-Profile Cases

12231 Corrections to the Allegation Detail When Investigated Allegations Contribute to a Client’s Death During a Service Delivery Stage

Regardless of the finding or the reason for death, the supervisor adds either the program administrator or subject matter expert (SME) as the secondary approver in IMPACT for closing the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.

Examples of When a Death May Involve a Validated Allegation

The following are examples of allegations validated in the Investigation stage which may have contributed to a client’s death during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.

  • Neglect due to the perpetrator not feeding a client who is non-ambulatory and this has been ongoing.
  • Abuse when the perpetrator kicked and choked the client and there have been no subsequent incidences of abuse.

Documentation When a Client’s Death May Involve Allegations Validated During the Investigation Stage

If a client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage and the original allegations were found to be valid for neglect or for a specific incident of abuse by a perpetrator during the Investigation stage, the APS specialist takes the following steps in IMPACT:

  • Documents all contacts made while investigating the reason for the client’s death, including narrative information, as outlined in 9100 Requirements for Contacts and 9110 Time Frame for Entry of Contacts.
  • Enters any external documentation, including photographs, on the External Documentation page.
  • Records the date of death in the Person Detail page.
  • Records the appropriate reason for death in the Reason for Death dropdown box by selecting one of the following:
    • Related to A/N (AP or self) — Related to abuse or neglect by a perpetrator.
    • Not related to A/N — Not related to abuse or neglect (used when an alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the client’s death).
    • UTD or INC — Undetermined or inconclusive (used when the client dies of natural causes, an accident, or the actions of the client in valid self-neglect cases, or when the available evidence does not indicate whether the death was related to abuse or neglect).
  • Selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Stage Closure page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Strengths and Needs Assessment.

12231 Corrections to the Allegation Detail When Investigated Allegations Contribute to a Client’s Death During a Service Delivery Stage

APS February 2021

The APS specialist uses the Technology Assistance: Make Your Own Ticket page on the DFPS intranet to submit a ticket for an IMPACT Database Correction when either of the following ultimately contributed to the client’s death:

  • Neglect or abuse by a perpetrator that was validated during the Investigation stage.
  • A new incident related to an allegation involving a perpetrator that was investigated, but not validated during the Investigation stage.

The Application Development and Maintenance (AD&M) division of Information Technology (IT) makes database corrections. If abuse or neglect by a perpetrator that was validated in the Investigation stage contributed to the client’s death, the APS specialist submits a data correction form to request that AD&M mark the appropriate box on the Allegation Detail page indicating that the allegation contributed to the client’s death.

If a new incident related to an allegation involving a perpetrator that was investigated but not validated during the Investigation stage contributed to the client’s death during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the data correction requests that AD&M:

  • Validate the appropriate allegation.
  • Mark the appropriate box on the Allegation Detail page indicating that the allegation contributed to the client’s death.

Since the Investigation stage is closed once the APS specialist progresses the case to Maintenance or Intensive Case Services, the APS specialist asks AD&M to mark the appropriate allegation as contributing to the client’s death in the investigation stage to accurately reflect that the neglect or abuse contributed to the death.

See:

12140 Alleged Perpetrator’s Actions May Have Contributed to the Alleged Victim’s Death

12200 Client Dies During a Service Delivery Stage

12230 Client’s Death May Involve Allegations Validated in the Investigation Stage

12240 Client’s Death May Involve New Incidents Related to Allegations Investigated or Validated During the Investigation Stage

12240 Client’s Death May Involve New Incidents Related to Allegations Investigated or Validated During the Investigation Stage

APS February 2021

The APS specialist follows the steps below when a client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, allegedly as the result of either of the following:

  • New incidents of allegations against an alleged perpetrator that were validated during the Investigation stage of the current case.
  • Allegations that were investigated but not validated during the Investigation stage of the current case.

In either of these situations, the APS specialist does the following:

If the finding is changed to Valid as a result of the new investigation, the APS specialist also ensures that the perpetrator is given the opportunity to request a desk review or due process hearing.

See:

15000 Due Process and Release of Information

15100 Desk Review

Examples of When a Death May Involve New Incidents of Investigated or Validated Allegations

The following are examples of a new incident of an allegation investigated or validated in the Investigation stage which may have contributed to a client’s death during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.

  • Abuse was validated in the Investigation stage when the perpetrator broke the client’s arm, but later on the perpetrator hit the client with a cane. This would be the same allegation, but a new incident.
  • Financial exploitation and abuse were both investigated in the Investigation stage, but only financial exploitation was validated. During the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the client dies allegedly as the result of abuse.

Documentation When a Client’s Death May Involve New Incidents of Allegations Investigated or Validated During the Investigation Stage

The APS specialist follows the steps outlined below when a client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage of a case, allegedly as the result of one of the following:

  • New incidents of allegations against an alleged perpetrator that were validated during the Investigation stage of the current case.
  • Allegations that were investigated, but not validated during the Investigation stage of the current case.

In either of these situations, the APS specialist does as follows in IMPACT:

  • Documents all contacts made investigating the reason for the client’s death, including narrative information, as outlined in 9000 Case Contacts.
  • Enters any external documentation, including photographs, on the External Documentation page.
  • Records the date of death on the Person Detail page.
  • Selects the appropriate reason for death in the Reason for Death dropdown box on the Person Detail page:
    • Related to A/N (AP or self) — Related to abuse or neglect by a perpetrator.
    • Not related to A/N — Not related to abuse or neglect (used when an alleged perpetrator did not contribute to the client’s death).
    • UTD or INC — Undetermined or inconclusive (used either when the client dies from natural causes, an accident, or the actions of the client in valid self-neglect cases, or when the available evidence does not indicate whether the death was related to abuse or neglect).
  • Selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Stage Closure page.

If the APS specialist determines that abuse or neglect by a perpetrator contributed to the client’s death during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the APS specialist refers to 12231 Corrections to the Allegation Detail When Investigated Allegations Contribute to a Client’s Death During a Service Delivery Stage before closing the case.

Regardless of the finding or reason for the death, the supervisor adds the program administrator or subject matter expert as a secondary approver in IMPACT for closing the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Strengths and Needs Assessment.

12250 Client’s Death Involves New Allegations of Abuse or Neglect by an Alleged Perpetrator

APS February 2021

The APS specialist follows these procedures when the situation meets both of the following criteria:

  • A client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.
  • The client’s death may be the result of a new allegation of abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator that was not alleged or investigated in the Investigation stage of the current case.

If the criteria above are met, the APS specialist does the following:

Example

The APS specialist investigated the allegation of self-neglect during the Investigation stage. During the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the client dies allegedly as a result of abuse that was not alleged during the Investigation stage.

Documentation When a Client’s Death Involves New Allegations of Abuse or Neglect by an Alleged Perpetrator

The APS specialist follows the steps below when the situation meets both of the following criteria:

  • A client dies during the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage.
  • The client’s death may be the result of a new allegation of abuse or neglect by an alleged perpetrator that was not alleged or investigated during the Investigation stage of the current case.

The APS specialist does as follows in IMPACT:

  • Documents the IMPACT case ID number for the new intake report in a contact narrative.
  • Records the date of death on the Person Detail page.
  • Selects APS Death in SVC/New INT in the Reason for Death dropdown box on the Person Detail page.
  • Documents all Maintenance or Intensive Case Services contacts, as outlined in 9000 Case Contacts.
  • Selects Client Died as the closure reason on the Stage Closure page.

The APS specialist is not required to complete the Strengths and Needs Assessment.

12300 Adult Fatality Review Team

APS February 2021

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 promotes 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, expert witness, or consultant.

Request of Information

A review team requests information and records about 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 releases case records 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 of the 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 if it is not specific to a case.

Health and Safety Code §672.009

Referring a Case to the Adult Fatality Review Team

If a victim dies under unusual circumstances, the APS specialist does the following:

  • Determines whether an adult fatality review team exists in the county of the victim’s death.
  • Follows regional procedures for:
    • Determining whether a referral is appropriate.
    • Submitting the case to the adult fatality review team.

See:

12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation

12200 Client Dies During a Service Delivery Stage

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