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14000 Case and Stage Closure

APS February 2021

Closing a case is a matter of judgment. APS applies all these standards on a case-by-case basis:

  • Reasonable effort
  • Resolution
  • Stability

Reasonable efforts do not include the following:

  • Keeping a case open indefinitely because a resource might eventually become available.
  • Insisting on a positive outcome in order to close the case.

The APS specialist closes the case when the client’s situation is stable, even if full resolution is not a practical goal because of inadequate resources, alleged victim resistance, or some other obstacle.

Informing the Client of Case Closure

The APS specialist informs the client of case closure by one of the following methods:

  • In person.
  • By letter.
  • By phone. (Voice mail is acceptable if a designated perpetrator does not live in the home.)
  • By informing another adult involved in the client’s care (who is not a designated perpetrator) on the client’s behalf, if the client lacks the capacity to consent to closure or is not available when contacted.

14100 Investigation Stage Closure

APS February 2021

Before closing an Investigation stage, the APS specialist ensures all allegations are thoroughly investigated. If the case is not progressed to the Maintenance or Intensive Case Services stage, the APS specialist also makes sure alleged victims are not left in the state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation because of a lack of APS effort.

Tasks Before Closing the Investigation Stage

Before closing the Investigation stage, the APS specialist makes sure to do all of the following:

  • Identify any danger factors present by completing the Safety Assessment.
  • Make adequate attempts to collect evidence.
  • Investigate and document all allegations appropriately.
  • Complete a Risk of Recidivism Assessment, if there was a valid finding.
  • Enter the conclusion summary of the investigation (see 14100 Investigation Stage Closure).
  • Progress the case to the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, as appropriate.
  • Make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the alleged victim is not in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, if APS will not be continuing the case in Maintenance or Intensive Case Services.
  • Notify external agencies and licensing boards according to policy.
  • Save the case and submit it in IMPACT to the supervisor. The supervisor’s approval is required before closure.

The program administrator or district director may use discretion to allow a supervisor or designee to approve cases on his or her own workload when there is a business need. The supervisor or designee must document the management approval in the Comments section of the approval page in IMPACT.

Documentation When Closing the Investigation Stage

The APS specialist may reach conclusions for different allegations on different dates, but he or she must address all allegations before completing the Investigation Conclusion page in IMPACT.

Before closing the Investigation stage, the APS specialist does as follows:

  • Enters a conclusion summary and conclusion justification, as appropriate.
  • Chooses the disposition for each allegation from the drop-down menu on the Allegation Detail page. This applies to allegations made at intake and to those discovered during the investigation.
  • Chooses the reason for closure from the drop-down menu on the Investigation Conclusion page.
  • Marks all appropriate checkboxes on the Stage Closure checklist that appears on the Investigation Conclusion page, including the items that indicate all of the following:
    • Whether the APS specialist informed the alleged victim of case closure.
    • Whether the alleged victim participated in service planning, including planning for any services that were provided during the Investigation stage.
    • Whether APS explored other resources before using Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds.
    • The date when the APS specialist informed the alleged victim of closure or progressed the case to the Maintenance or Intensive Case Services stage.

The APS specialist documents the following on the Investigation Conclusion page:

  • Why the stage is being closed.
  • Whether the alleged victim was informed of the closure.

The APS specialist is not required to document in the Narrative whether he or she informed the alleged victim of case closure. However, if the APS specialist documents information in the Narrative, the specialist makes sure that the checkboxes do not contradict that information.

See 8640 Conclusion Summaries and Conclusion Justifications.

14110 Investigation Stage Closure Codes

APS February 2021

It is important for APS specialists to use the appropriate closure code when closing the Investigation stage. An explanation of each closure code is below.

See also 8610 Allegation Disposition (Finding).

Invalid

After a thorough investigation, there is no indication the alleged victim is in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

See:

8100 Safety Assessment

9000 Case Contacts

Resolved During Investigation With Services

The alleged victim was experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, but APS resolved the problem during the investigation by using Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds, referrals, and so on. The alleged victim is at low or moderate risk of recidivism, and progression to Maintenance or Intensive Case Services is not required.

No APS Services Required

The alleged victim was experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, but APS intervention, including use of Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds, referrals, and so on, was not necessary to resolve the problem. The alleged victim is at low or moderate risk of recidivism, and there is no need for any APS services.

Self-Neglect Resolved Before Face-to-Face

Self-neglect was present at the time of the intake, but the problem was resolved before the APS specialist saw the alleged victim face-to-face.

See 9300 Self-Neglect Resolved Before Initial Face-to-Face.

Progress to Maintenance

The case meets all the following criteria:

  • The alleged victim is experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • Intensive case services are not necessary to remedy the problem.
  • The case must remain open until the pending referral or service is completed.

In addition to the criteria above, at least one of the following must also be true:

  • The case must be kept open until guardianship can be determined or finalized.
  • APS has agreed to pay for services and expects service delivery to take longer than two months.
  • Placement in a nursing home requires APS to wait for Medicaid approval.

Selecting this closure code progresses the case to the Maintenance stage.

See:

8700 Risk of Recidivism Assessment (RORA)

11100 Maintenance Cases

Progress to Intensive Care Services (ICS)

Based on the Risk of Recidivism Assessment, the client is determined to be both of the following:

  • At moderate or high risk of recidivism.
  • In need of intensive case services to remedy the root cause of the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Selecting this closure code progresses the case to the Intensive Case Services stage.

See:

8700 Risk of Recidivism Assessment (RORA)

Client’s Participation in Service Planning in 10200 APS Service Plan

Client Refused Services

The client is experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, but the client has declined any services.

See:

10310 Assessing Indicators (Signs) of a Lack of Capacity to Consent

10320 Client Refusing or Withdrawing from Services

Services Needed, But Not Available

Abuse or neglect is validated, but no resources (community, state, PCS, and so on) exist to remedy the problem.

Unable to Determine

Based on the available evidence, a preponderance does not support a finding of Valid or Invalid for the allegations. The APS specialist does the following:

  • Documents his or her efforts to obtain sufficient information in IMPACT.
  • Completes the conclusion justification with the available information.

Client Died

When the client passes away during an open APS investigation, the APS specialist completes the investigation before closing the case using a closure code of Client Died. See 12100 Alleged Victim Dies During the Investigation and its subsections.

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

14111 Rapid Closure Codes and Disposition of Other

APS February 2021

The APS specialist must complete a Case Initiation contact and Section 1 of the Safety Assessment when the Overall Allegation Disposition in the IMPACT system is Other and the Closure Reason is one of the following:

  • Moved/Unable to Locate
  • Does Not Meet Definition of APS
  • Client Died
  • Administrative Closure
  • Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated
  • Reclassification
  • Other Agency/Out of State

If the situation meets the criteria above, the APS specialist is not required to complete any of the following:

  • Sections 2–5 of the Safety Assessment (including when the specialist determines rapid closure at the initial face-to-face contact).
  • A face-to-face contact.
  • Risk of Recidivism Assessment.
  • The investigation.

The APS specialist has limited contact with the alleged victim in a case closed using Rapid Closure codes. For that reason, it is important for the APS specialist to document as much information about the alleged victim in the Person Detail page as possible. The APS specialist documents any contacts made or actions taken before it became apparent that using a rapid closure code was appropriate.

Moved/Unable to Locate

The APS specialist uses this disposition in either of the following situations:

  • When the alleged victim moves to another state.
  • When the APS specialist does not know the alleged victim’s whereabouts and is therefore unable to make contact with the alleged victim.

See 8220 Alleged Victim Moves or Cannot Be Located During the Investigation.

Does Not Meet Definition of APS

The APS specialist closes a case as Does Not Meet Definition of APS in any of the following situations:

  • When the allegation at the time of intake or initiation, even if assumed to be true as presented, does not meet the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • The alleged victim is not one of the following:
    • Age 65 or older.
    • An adult with a disability that substantially impairs his or her ability to live independently or provide self-care.
  • The alleged perpetrator is any of the following:
    • Not a caretaker, paid caretaker, family member, or person who has an ongoing relationship with the alleged victim when the allegation is abuse or financial exploitation.
    • Not a caretaker or paid caretaker when the allegation is neglect.
    • Too young to be a perpetrator (see 3330 Minors as Perpetrators).

The Does Not Meet Definition of APS closure code is not appropriate when either of the following apply:

  • At first, the allegation appears to meet the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. However, after further investigation, it becomes apparent that parts of the definition do not apply.
  • It is not clear at the beginning of the investigation whether the allegation meets all parts of the definition of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, and further interview or investigation is necessary to make that decision.

In either of these situations, the APS specialist completes a full investigation and makes a determination other than Does Not Meet Definition of APS.

When there are no other allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, an allegation of a missing person is not appropriate for an APS investigation. The APS specialist makes necessary notifications and closes the case using closure code Does Not Meet Definition of APS.

Examples of Invalid and Does Not Meet Definition for APS

  • The intake states that an alleged perpetrator pushed an alleged victim, resulting in harm. During the investigation, the APS specialist determines the alleged perpetrator did indeed push the alleged victim, but there was no resulting harm. The initial allegation did meet the definition, but the APS specialist determined through further investigation that the allegation did not meet all parts of the definition. A finding of Invalid is appropriate.
  • The intake alleges a 60-year-old alleged victim needs assistance with home repairs. After several contacts, the APS specialist determines the alleged victim is not substantially impaired. A finding of Does Not Meet Definition of APS is appropriate.
  • The intake states that an alleged perpetrator (not a paid caretaker) yelled at an alleged victim, but the intake does not indicate whether there was fear of imminent injury. Through further investigation, the APS specialist determines that the alleged perpetrator did yell at the alleged victim, but there was no fear of imminent injury. A finding of Invalid is appropriate.

Client Died

When the alleged victim passes away during an open APS investigation, the APS specialist and supervisor determine whether rapid closure procedures are appropriate when using the closure code Client Died.

See:

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

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

Administrative Closure

This disposition is only used as outlined in the chart below.

Situation

Action

APS exhausted all reasonable efforts to resolve the alleged victim’s problems and no other alternative action is known to exist.

APS assisted the alleged victim through PCS funds on multiple occasions, but the alleged victim repeatedly failed to follow through with the service plan to remedy his or her situation. There are no concerns about the alleged victim’s capacity.

The APS specialist, supervisor, and, as needed, subject matter expert discussed the alleged victim’s situation and the cause for the alleged victim’s recidivism. They all agree that no further reasonable action exists that APS can provide that would benefit the alleged victim.

The APS specialist documents the following:

  • Previous attempts to remedy the alleged victim’s problems.
  • The reason the actions were unsuccessful.
  • The justification for using the Administrative Closure code in the IMPACT system.

The alleged perpetrator is no longer in a position to perpetrate abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against the alleged victim. The alleged victim is not being abused, neglected, or financial exploited and is not at risk in the foreseeable future.

Exception: Regardless of the above criteria, APS must conduct an investigation if the allegations made at intake or during the case initiation contact meet the definition of reportable conduct as outlined in 15412 Reportable Conduct.

The APS specialist, in consultation with the supervisor, determines whether the alleged perpetrator will have, in the foreseeable future, the type of access to the alleged victim that provides the opportunity to perpetrate ongoing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

If it is determined the intake will not be investigated and the case will be closed using the Administrative Closure code, the APS specialist documents a detailed explanation regarding that decision in IMPACT.

See also 2400 Chronic Callers.

Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated

When APS receives an intake that is identical to another case that is already closed, open in the Investigation stage, or in a service stage (Maintenance or Intensive Case Services), the APS specialist closes the new intake using the closure code Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated.

To be identical, the second intake must relate to the same event or incident as the first intake, or to an ongoing situation that is either of the following:

  • Is being addressed in an open stage.
  • Was resolved in a closed case.

All of the following characteristics of the first and second intake must also be the same:

  • Allegations or incident.
  • Victims.
  • Alleged perpetrators.

The APS specialist must obtain supervisory approval to use this closure code if the original case was closed more than 30 calendar days before the date the new intake was received.

The APS specialist follows policy for Administrative Closure if the new intake is related to an ongoing situation in which APS exhausted all efforts to resolve the alleged victim’s problems and there is no known alternative action.

Examples of Administrative Closure Versus Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated

Original Intake or Investigation

New Intake

Closure Code

A caretaker neglected a non-ambulatory alleged victim when the caretaker failed to bathe the alleged victim all week. The APS specialist validated the allegation and then progressed the case to service delivery (SVC) for referrals.

A new reporter alleges the alleged victim went without a bath for several days. The APS specialist determines this report is referring to the same week identified in the original intake.

Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated. The reports are referring to the same incident.

The alleged victim was unable to pay an electric bill due to money mismanagement. There were three cases before this one also with money management problems. In all of these cases, the alleged victim refused to make any changes or accept referrals to a money management program, and her medical doctor provided a statement that the alleged victim can handle her own finances.

The alleged victim is unable to pay her rent. The APS specialist learns the alleged victim is still mismanaging her money.

Administrative Closure. The alleged victim is unable to pay her regular expenses because of repeatedly mismanaging her funds and refusing to make any changes. There are no other known actions that APS can take.

The intake states the alleged victim was assaulted by her son. The investigation shows the alleged victim’s son slapped her and pushed her down. The APS specialist validated the allegation and closed the case.

A new intake is received stating the alleged victim’s son pushed her. The APS specialist learns this intake is referring to the same incident investigated in the previous intake.

Duplicate Referral/Already Investigated. The intakes are referring to the same event or incident with the same alleged victim and alleged perpetrator.

An alleged victim who owns his home has no running water and exposed wiring throughout the house. The cost to make repairs is over $10,000. The alleged victim refuses to seek a USDA loan or to move, and APS closed the case.

The city wishes to condemn the alleged victim’s house because of the unsafe conditions. The alleged victim refuses to move.

Administrative Closure. Repairs are too costly for purchased client services (PCS), the alleged victim has refused suggested solutions, and there are no other known actions for APS to take.

See:

8320 New Intakes During the Investigation

8610 Allegation Disposition (Finding)

11300 New Allegations During a Service Delivery Stage

11400 New Intakes During a Service Delivery Stage

16252 Merging Cases

Reclassification

The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of another DFPS program. The APS supervisor or designee contacts SWI support staff at 1-800-252-3223 or 512-929-6920 and requests that SWI re-enter the intake for the correct program.

Other Agency or Out of State

The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of another agency or entity or under the jurisdiction of another state.

14120 Supervisory Review of Investigation Stage Closure

APS February 2021

When an APS specialist submits an investigation for approval to close or progress to Maintenance or Intensive Case Services, the APS supervisor does as follows:

  • Reviews the submitted investigation, including any assessments and reassessments, within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date in IMPACT to make sure that all of the following apply:
    • All allegations have been investigated adequately and documented in IMPACT. This applies to allegations made at intake and to those discovered during the investigation.
    • All current danger factors identified during the investigation are listed on the Safety Assessment.
    • APS has made all reasonable efforts to make sure the alleged victim is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • Rejects a submitted investigation, if any of the following apply:
    • APS has not adequately investigated some or all of the allegations. This applies to allegations made at intake and to those discovered during the investigation.
    • One or more current danger factors identified during the investigation are missing from the Safety Assessment.
    • The APS specialist used a discretionary override that is inaccurate or inappropriate.
    • The APS specialist made a recommendation not to progress the case to Intensive Case Services, but the recommendation is inaccurate or inappropriate.
    • APS has not made all reasonable efforts during the case to make sure that the alleged victim is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
    • There are other valid reasons to reject the submission.

When an APS specialist submits an investigation for closure or progression and it requires two levels of management approval, both approvals must be completed within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date in IMPACT. This does not include investigations submitted to the district director or designee to review for reportable conduct criteria as outlined in 15412 Reportable Conduct.

The supervisor is not required to review investigations to determine whether the APS specialist complied with performance management standards.

14200 Service Stage Closure

APS February 2021

Before closing a case during a service delivery stage (Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage), the APS specialist makes sure of the following:

  • APS made all reasonable efforts to resolve the problems that led to the state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • The client’s situation is stable.
  • All required service contacts are complete.
  • APS addressed all of the problems identified on the Service Plan tab in IMPACT and documented the root causes, actions, action results, and outcomes.
  • All documentation is complete.
  • The APS specialist completed a Service Authorization form in IMPACT for any purchased client services, and the supervisor approved the form, as required by policy.
  • The APS specialist entered a conclusion summary of the service stage. See 8640 Conclusion Summaries and Conclusion Justifications.
  • The APS specialist saved the case and submitted it to the supervisor before closure. Supervisors must review all submitted cases within 10 calendar days.

The program administrator or district director may use discretion to allow a supervisor or designee to approve cases on his or her own workload when there is a business need. The supervisor or designee documents the management approval in the Comments section of the approval page in IMPACT.

While a case in the Maintenance stage can be moved to the Intensive Case Services stage for a higher level of service delivery, a case in Intensive Case Services cannot be moved to Maintenance.

See:

14300 Case Outcomes

14220 Supervisory Review of Service Stage Closure

New Case with the Same Client

The APS specialist closes a client’s two cases separately, without merging them, if both of the following apply:

  • DFPS receives a new intake report while the original case is in the Maintenance or Intensive Case Services stage.
  • The investigation based on the new intake report will not progress to the same stage as the original case.

The APS specialist informs the client of case closure only when the last of the two separate cases is closed.

See:

11300 New Allegations During a Service Delivery Stage

11400 New Intakes During a Service Delivery Stage

16252 Merging Cases

Documentation When Closing a Case During Service Delivery

At the conclusion of the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage, the APS specialist does as follows in IMPACT:

  • Selects the appropriate reason for closing the service delivery stage from the options on the Close Service Delivery page.
  • Selects all appropriate checkboxes on the Stage Closure checklist that is on the APS Close Service Delivery page, including the items that indicate whether the following apply:
    • The APS specialist advised the client of case closure.
    • APS explored alternate resources before using Purchased Client Services (PCS) funds.
    • The APS specialist verified that the client received the services purchased using PCS funds.

14210 Service Stage Closure Codes

APS February 2021

It is important for APS specialists to use the appropriate closure code when closing the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage. An explanation of each closure code is below.

Condition Stabilized

The abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation has been addressed and it is believed the client will be safe for the foreseeable future.

Unable to Locate

The APS specialist does not know the client’s whereabouts and is therefore unable to make further contact with the client.

Client Withdrew

A client who is able to consent and who has a service plan withdraws from all protective services.

See 10320 Client Refusing or Withdrawing from Services.

Efforts Exhausted

APS exhausted all reasonable efforts to resolve the client’s problems and does not know of any other alternative actions. The APS specialist, supervisor, and, as needed, subject matter expert did the following:

  • Consulted about the client’s situation and all actions taken.
  • Agreed that no further reasonable action exists that APS can take to benefit the client.

Services No Longer Available

APS validated abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation and initiated services, but the resources (community, state, PCS, and so on) to remedy the problem are not currently available.

Client Died

When the client passes away during an open Maintenance stage or ICS stage, the APS specialist completes the open case before closing the case using a closure code of Client Died. See 12200 Client Dies During a Service Delivery Stage and its subsections.

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

Progress to ICS

During the Maintenance stage, the service plan is unsuccessful for any reason and the client is believed to be unsafe or the situation not stable. This includes when there is a finding of conditionally safe or unsafe on a Safety Re-assessment.

See:

9520 Service Contacts

11100 Maintenance Cases

14220 Supervisory Review of Service Stage Closure

APS February 2021

When an APS specialist submits a case in either the Maintenance stage or Intensive Case Services stage for approval to close, the supervisor reviews the case within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date recorded in IMPACT. The supervisor makes sure that all of the following apply:

  • The submitted case in IMPACT is complete, including the following:
    • The APS service plan.
    • The Strengths and Needs Assessment, if applicable.
    • Any Safety Reassessments, if applicable.
  • APS has made all reasonable efforts to make sure that the client is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • The case is appropriate for closure.

The supervisor rejects the submission if either of the following applies:

  • APS has not made all reasonable efforts to make sure that the client is not left in a state of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
  • There are other valid reasons to reject the submission.

When an APS specialist submits a case in a service delivery stage for closure and it requires two levels of management review, both approvals must be completed within 10 calendar days of the Save and Submit date in IMPACT.

Before approving a case for closure, the supervisor is not required to do the following:

  • Review the investigation stage again, if he or she has previously read it.
  • Determine whether the case complies with performance management standards.

14300 Case Outcomes

APS February 2021

The phrase “problem resolved” implies all the following are true:

  • The client is as safe as possible under the circumstances.
  • The client’s major needs are being met.
  • Resources exist to keep the situation stable for the foreseeable future or at least three months.

The chart below describes case outcomes that meet reasonable effort standards and result in one of the following:

  • Full resolution.
  • A resolution sufficient for closure.

Type of Case

Full Resolution: Case is closed

Client Stabilized: Case is closed if other conditions for full resolution are not practical

Financial Exploitation

The financial exploitation stopped. For example:

  • Measures were taken to prevent future financial exploitation.
  • Law enforcement is pursuing prosecution of the perpetrator.
  • Exploited resources were restored.

The financial exploitation stopped.

  • Measures were taken to reduce likelihood of future financial exploitation.
  • The client’s needs are met.

Abuse

The abuse stopped. For example:

  • The perpetrator no longer has access to the client or factors leading to the abuse are fully remedied.
  • Law enforcement is pursuing prosecution of the perpetrator.

The abuse stopped.

The perpetrator still has access to the client, but services addressing factors leading to abuse have started and recurrence is less likely.

Neglect

All major needs are met and likely to be met indefinitely. For example:

  • Client is approved for all services and support for which they are eligible.
  • Services are being managed well.
  • All of the client’s needs for food, clothing, shelter, and health care are met.
  • The client has applied for all services, support, and benefits for which he or she is eligible.
  • Financial management issues were addressed.
  • The client is receiving treatment deemed appropriate and adequate by a physician.

See also 10230 Making a Reasonable Effort.

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