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1280 Reviews by the Office of Consumer Affairs

1281 Overview of the Review Process

CPS February 2007

When a person's role as a designated perpetrator is upheld in an Administrative Review of Investigation Findings (ARIF), the individual may request that the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) review his or her role in the investigation.

The person must request the review in writing within 30 days after the send date of the notification letter regarding the ARIF decision. The OCA director may waive the 30-day requirement for good cause.

Review Procedures

When a review is requested, the OCA obtains a copy of the case record from the region that conducted the original investigation.

The OCA reviews:

  •  the case record;

  •  the ARIF documentation; and

  •  other information that was available during the investigation and was, or should have been, considered by investigation staff.

In extraordinary circumstances, the OCA may also:

  •  review information that was not available during the investigation; and

  •  interview the requester.

The OCA prepares written findings and recommendations after completing the review.

  •  If the OCA determines that the person's role should not be changed, the OCA notifies the requester and the region where the investigation was conducted and closes the review.

  •  If the OCA recommends changes to the person's role, the OCA sends the recommendations to the associate commissioner for CPS or a designee for review. The designee may discuss the OCA's recommendations with the region that conducted the original investigation. The CPS associate commissioner notifies the OCA about whether CPS concurs with the OCA's recommendations.

  •  If the CPS associate commissioner agrees, the OCA notifies the requester of the findings.

  •  If the OCA and the CPS associate commissioner do not agree, the case is referred to the DFPS general counsel, who reviews the case and makes recommendations to the DFPS commissioner for final disposition.

OCA Notification Letter

When the results of the OCA review are made final, the OCA:

  •  notifies the requester in writing that his or her role in the investigation was either upheld or changed; and

  •  sends a copy of the letter to the regional director where the investigation was conducted.

1282 Regional Responsibilities

CPS February 2007

Regional Director Responsibilities

When a perpetrator requests that the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) review a person's role in an investigation, the regional director in the region where the investigation was conducted:

  •  oversees the region's work with the OCA; and

  •  ensures that regional staff complete all requirements in this item in a timely and appropriate manner.

Initiating an OCA Review

When a review is requested, the region must provide the case record to the OCA's office for review within 10 workdays from the date of the OCA's request.

Completing an OCA Review

Upon receiving a copy of the OCA's notification letter on the findings of the OCA review to the person who requested the review, regional staff must take the actions specified below within 30 workdays.

Document the Review in IMPACT

Regional staff must document the review and the results in the Administrative Review and Appeal stage. The review must be documented whether the findings are upheld or changed.

If the ARIF stage does not open, regional staff must document the review and any change in findings by adding a closed stage addendum contact to the investigation that was reviewed.

Change the Findings in IMPACT

If the review resulted in a change in the findings, the region must make the exact change in the disposition(s) as indicated in the OCA's notification letter.

Make the change in the Administrative Review and Appeal stage, when the stage will open. When the stage will not open, make the change by submitting a database correction.

Complete the Administrative Review and Appeal page in the ARIF stage, as follows (leave blank the fields that are not listed below):

Administrative Review and Appeal Window

IMPACT Field

IMPACT Entry

Type

Select Investigation

Authority

Select Office of Consumer Affairs

Status

Select In Process

Request Received Date

Enter the date of the OCA notification letter to the person reviewed.

Review Date

Enter the date of the OCA notification letter to the person reviewed.

Save

Select Save before proceeding.

Allegation List

(third level tab)

If a reason to believe allegation was overturned, select the Allegation List tab. The Allegation List page for the investigation opens. Change the disposition(s) as appropriate.

Result

Select FPS Position Upheld if:

  •  no changes were made to the allegations against the perpetrator, or

  •  changes were made, but one or more Reason to Believe allegations against the perpetrator remain.

OR

Select FPS Position Changed if all Reason to Believe allegations against the perpetrator were overturned.

Date Person Reviewed Notified

Enter the date of the OCA notification letter to the person reviewed.

Narrative

 

Select the Narrative button to open a narrative template. Document that the OCA reviewed the allegations against the perpetrator and document the results of the review. Enter Not Applicable under the headers for "People present for review" and "RD review results."

Status

 

Select Approved

 

Save and Close

Select the Save and Close button

Notify Persons of Changed Findings

If the OCA review resulted in a change in the findings, the region must notify the persons who were originally notified of the investigation findings and file copies of the notification letter(s) in the paper record.

Exceptions

Do not notify:

  •  the person who requested the review, since he or she was notified by the OCA;

  •  a non-professional reporter of abuse or neglect; or

  •  a professional reporter of abuse or neglect, unless he or she was told at the conclusion of the original investigation that the person was designated as a perpetrator.

1290 Release Hearings

CPS September 2012

CPS may determine that a designated perpetrator of child abuse or neglect poses a substantial risk to a child or vulnerable adult who lives outside the family, household, or other setting in which the perpetrator is alleged to have committed the abuse or neglect.

If DFPS believes it necessary to release information to a party outside DFPS, including employers, licensing boards, or other entities who have control over the designated perpetrator’s access to the children or vulnerable adults to whom the person poses a substantial risk, staff may use the release hearing process.

To determine whether a designated perpetrator poses a substantial risk to children or vulnerable adults, staff must consider:

  •  the nature of the abuse or neglect that CPS concluded the designated perpetrator was responsible for;

  •  the designated perpetrator’s past patterns of behavior, including any history of child or adult abuse or neglect that DFPS has not directly investigated;

  •  any attempts to seek employment with, or provide volunteer services for agencies or institutions that provide services to children or vulnerable adults;

  •  the designated perpetrator’s apparent level of maturity and psychological functioning;

  •  the apparent age, physical condition, level of maturity and psychological functioning, and other characteristics of the children or vulnerable adults to whom the designated perpetrator has or might have access to;

  •  the nature of the designated perpetrator’s access to those children or vulnerable adults;

  •  the presence or absence of adults who can supervise the designated perpetrator’s access to those children or vulnerable adults, or otherwise protect them from harm; and

  •  all other information that appears relevant in a particular case.

See 1291 Definitions for definitions of designated perpetrator, release, and vulnerable adults.

1291 Definitions Related to Release Hearings

CPS November 2017

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply throughout 1290 Release Hearings and its sub-items.

Designated Perpetrator: An individual whom the DFPS has designated as a perpetrator or victim/perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.601(1)

Release: The disclosure of information about a designated perpetrator to any party outside DFPS, including employers, licensing boards, and other entitles who have control over an individual’s access to children or vulnerable adults, without the consent of the designated perpetrator. For purposes of this section, the term release does not apply to disclosures required by law, including:

  •   disclosures made according to authority as set forth in 40 TAC §700.203 (relating to Access to Confidential Information Maintained by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS); or

  •   Texas Family Code §261.201.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.601(1)

Information may be disclosed only about allegations with dispositions of Reason to Believe.

In the above definition, the reference to licensing boards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  •   Board of Social Work Examiners

  •   Board of Nurse Examiners

  •   Board of Medical Examiners

  •   State Bar of Texas

  •   State Board of Psychologists

  •   State Board of Teacher Certification

  •   Texas Education Agency

When releasing findings to one of these boards, CPS staff must:

  •   follow the procedures outlined in Appendix 2871: Additional Procedures for Release to Licensing Boards; and

  •   use the appropriate letter template. See Appendix 2872 : When to Use Templates for Release Hearing Notice Letters.

Release Hearing

A release hearing, also commonly known as a Due Process or SOAH Hearing, provides a designated perpetrator with an opportunity to appeal DFPS’s decision to release information about him or her to persons or entities outside DFPS.

A release hearing is a formal legal proceeding held before an administrative law judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The judge decides whether to sustain, overturn, or alter a CPS finding of abuse or neglect.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.601(3)

Different Rules for CBCU Match Release Hearing

A release hearing resulting from CPS’s decision to disclose designated perpetrator information to a third party is not covered by the same rules as a release hearing resulting from a Child Care Licensing background check central registry match, which is instead conducted pursuant to Texas Human Resources Code §42.056 and 40 TAC Chapter 745, Subchapter F; Subchapter M, Division 2.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.056

40 TAC Chapter 745, Subchapter F; Subchapter M, Division 2

Sustained Perpetrator

A designated perpetrator becomes a sustained perpetrator when:

  •   a release (Due Process or SOAH) hearing under Subchapter F, DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, Chapter 700, is held and an administrative law judge determines that there is a preponderance of the evidence to sustain a finding that the designated perpetrator is responsible for abuse or neglect of a child; or

  •   DFPS provides the designated perpetrator with written notice of the right to request a release hearing and the designated perpetrator either:

  •   waives his or her right to appeal in writing, or

  •   fails to request in writing a hearing within 15 calendar days after receiving notice of that right.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.601(4)

Vulnerable Adult

This term includes:

  •   a person with a physical, mental, or developmental disability that substantially impairs the person’s ability to provide adequately for his or her care or protection and who is 18 or older; or

  •   a person with a physical, mental, or developmental disability that substantially impairs the person’s ability to provide adequately for his or her care or protection, who is under 18 years-old, and who has had the disabilities of minority removed (Human Resources Code, §48.002); or

  •   a person age 65 or older.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.601(5)

1292 Release on a Non-Emergency or an Emergency Basis

CPS September 2012

Prerequisites

Subject to certain limitations, the regions may release abuse or neglect findings via a non-emergency or an emergency release.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.602(a)

Approval for a Release

Before a non-emergency or emergency release is initiated, the regional director and the managing regional attorney for the region that issued the finding must consult. Both must agree that the risk of harm that the designated perpetrator poses to one or more children or vulnerable adults outside the family, household, or other setting in which the perpetrator is alleged to have committed the abuse or neglect is substantial. They must also both approve the release.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.602(b)

1292.1 Non-Emergency Release

CPS September 2012

Before the region may release an abuse or neglect finding on a non-emergency basis, it must offer the designated perpetrator a release hearing, and the finding must either be sustained by an administrative law judge or by the designated perpetrator’s failure to timely request a hearing.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.602(c)

Additionally, before the region may conduct a non-emergency release, DFPS must have determined that the sustained perpetrator poses a substantial risk of harm to one or more children or vulnerable adults to whom the perpetrator has access. See 1290 Release Hearings.

Written Notice of Non-Emergency Release to Perpetrator

See 1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS’s Decision to Release the Findings for procedures that regional staff must follow to provide the written notice of non-emergency release to a designated perpetrator.

1292.2 Emergency Release

CPS September 2012

Before releasing an abuse or neglect finding on an emergency basis, the regional director and the regional managing attorney where the finding was issued must first determine that the risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is both substantial and immediate.

When the regional director and the regional managing attorney agree that the risk of harm is both substantial and immediate, the region may release the finding. Release on an emergency basis may occur regardless of whether the designated perpetrator has previously been offered a release hearing or regardless of whether the designated perpetrator has been previously offered and is waiting for a release hearing.

Written Notice of Emergency Release to Perpetrator

The region must send written notice of an emergency release to the designated perpetrator in compliance with 1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS’s Decision to Release the Findings. Written notice must be sent either before or simultaneously with the written release of the findings to a person or entity outside DFPS.

The notice offers the designated perpetrator an opportunity to request:

  •  a release hearing after the release is made; and

  •  the CPS records related to the released investigative findings. 

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.602(d)

See 1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS’s Decision to Release the Findings, for further direction on how to provide written notice of emergency release to a designated perpetrator.

Written Notice of Emergency Release of the Findings to Employer

The written notice of an emergency release to the employer, licensing board, or other entity must be completed simultaneously with or after the written notice of the emergency release to the perpetrator.

Use Template 3 Notice of Emergency Release to Employer to notify the person or entity of the findings when they are released in an emergency.

See 1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators, for direction on how to provide notice of an emergency release to a designated perpetrator.

1293 Providing Notice to Designated Perpetrators of DFPS’s Decision to Release the Findings

CPS September 2012

Written Notice

When a regional director and regional managing attorney agree to release findings against a designated perpetrator as indicated in 1292 Release on a Non-Emergency or an Emergency Basis, CPS staff must give the designated perpetrator written notice of this decision.

Written notice of DFPS’s decision to release investigative findings on either an emergency or non-emergency basis must be provided to a designated perpetrator regardless of whether CPS previously provided him or her with notification of the investigative findings.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.603(a)

If an investigative finding has already been sustained, DFPS has authority to release the investigative finding at any time without providing additional written notice to the perpetrator.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.603(b)

1293.1 Notice Templates

CPS September 2012

The written notice to the designated perpetrator of DFPS’s decision to release investigative findings is provided using one of the following templates:

Template 1 Notice of Non-Emergency Release to Perpetrator

Template 2 Notice of Emergency Release to Perpetrator

Template 3 Notice of Emergency Release to Employer

See 1292 Release on a Non-Emergency or an Emergency Basis for direction on providing written notice to an employer, licensing board, or other entity according to the process for emergency release.

See also:

Appendix 2871: Additional Procedures for Release to Licensing Boards – if the release is made to a licensing board; and

Appendix 2872: When to Use Templates for Release Hearing Notice Letters – if a review of the criteria is needed to determine which template to use.

1293.2 Certified Mail

CPS September 2012

The region must send notice to the designated perpetrator of the intent to release investigative findings on an emergency or non-emergency basis via certified mail with a return receipt requested. The notice must be sent to the designated perpetrator via certified mail unless staff determine that a faster form of written notice is required.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.603(d)

1293.3 What the Notice Must Include

CPS September 2012

The notice to release investigative findings on an emergency or non-emergency basis must include:

1.   a specification of the investigation findings;

2.   notice of DFPS’s decision to release information about the designated perpetrator to specific outside parties. This may include, but is not limited to, employers, licensing boards, or other entities that have control over his or her access to children or vulnerable adults;

3.   notice, when applicable, that the information will be released on an emergency basis before an appeal can be completed;

4.   notice that:

  •  the designated perpetrator has a right to appeal the decision to release information about him or her,

  •  to appeal the decision, the designated perpetrator must submit two copies of a written request for an appeal, and

  •  the two copies of the designated perpetrator’s written request for an appeal must be:

  •  postmarked within 15 days after the individual receives DFPS’s written notice; and

  •  sent to:

  •  the DFPS docket clerk in the Administrative Hearings division; and

  •  the regional director for the region that issued the abuse or neglect finding; and

  •  the designated perpetrator is responsible for providing the docket clerk with written notification of any change in address that occurs after having requested a release hearing;

5.   notice that failure to appeal the decision may result in DFPS’s release of the information now and in the future to outside parties without the perpetrator’s consent and without additional notice to the designated perpetrator at any time in the future;

6.   notice of the designated perpetrator’s right to:

  •  review all audiotapes and videotapes included in the CPS investigation record, if any, and

  •  request a copy of all the written documentation included in the CPS investigation record;

7.   notice of DFPS obligation to delete the following information from all written documentation that DFPS provides to the designated perpetrator:

  •  the name of the person who reported the abuse or neglect that CPS investigated, and

  •  any other information that is confidential by law; and

8.   notice that the designated perpetrator’s request for a copy of the written documentation included in the investigation record may be denied if:

  •  releasing the documentation would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or proceeding; or

  •  the attorney representing DFPS in a lawsuit has determined that the documentation must be withheld.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.603(e)

1294 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Request a Release Hearing

CPS September 2012

The designated perpetrator waives his or her right to a hearing and automatically becomes a sustained perpetrator if:

  •  a designated perpetrator does not request a release hearing after being notified of his or her right to do so; or

  •  the written request for a release hearing is not postmarked within 15 days after the individual receives notice.

At that point, the region may release the sustained perpetrator’s name and the finding (without further notice to the sustained perpetrator) to persons or entities outside DFPS that monitor the sustained perpetrator’s:

  •  access to;

  •  custody over; or

  •  control of children or vulnerable adults.

1294.1 Notifications

CPS September 2012

DFPS must send written notice of the perpetrator’s sustained status to both the perpetrator and his or her employer if:

  •  a designated perpetrator waives his or her right to a release hearing, or:

  •  he or she did not request a hearing or he or she fails to timely request one.

To Perpetrators

Use Template 4 Notice of Sustained Status to Perpetrator to notify the person that his or her role has changed to sustained perpetrator when:

  •  the findings were either released on an emergency basis or the designated perpetrator was informed of DFPS’s intent to release the information about him or her on a non-emergency basis; and

  •  the sustained perpetrator failed to request, or failed to timely request, a release hearing.

To Employers

Use Template 5 Notice of Sustained Findings to Employer to notify the employer, licensing board, or other entity of the findings when:

  •  the findings were released on an emergency basis; and

  •  the sustained perpetrator failed to request, or failed to timely request, a release hearing.

Use Template 6 Notice of Sustained Findings to Employer to notify the employer, licensing board, or other entity of the findings when:

  •  the designated perpetrator was informed of DFPS’ intent to release investigative findings on a non-emergency basis; and

  •  the sustained perpetrator failed to request, or failed to timely request, a release hearing.

See also:

Appendix 2871: Additional Procedures for Release to Licensing Boards; and

Appendix 2872: When to Use Templates for Release Hearing Notice Letters – if a review of the criteria determining which template to use is needed.

1295 Preparing for and Scheduling Release Hearings

CPS September 2012

If the designated perpetrator timely requests a release hearing, the region must alert the Administrative Hearings Unit docket clerk via the DFPS Licensing Legal Services mailbox. The DFPS docket clerk assigns an agency attorney to handle the case and also refers the case to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for a release hearing.

The assigned DFPS attorney or the DFPS docket clerk asks the caseworker or supervisor who is most familiar with the case to send him or her a copy of the case file and external documentation, if any, in preparation for the hearing.

The DFPS attorney schedules the hearing in the region that was responsible for the investigation and prepares caseworkers and supervisors for witness testimony.

1295.1 When DFPS May Schedule a Release Hearing

CPS September 2012

A DFPS attorney may schedule a release hearing when the following two events have occurred:

  •  The region has notified the designated perpetrator of its decision to release investigative findings as specified in 1293 Notice Requirements.

  •  The designated perpetrator has sent a written request to appeal the decision to release a finding on an emergency or non-emergency basis no later than 15 days after receiving notice of DFPS’s intent to release the finding.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.604

1295.2 After a Designated Perpetrator Requests a Release Hearing

CPS September 2012

When a designated perpetrator timely requests a release hearing, either the DFPS attorney assigned to handle the hearing or the DFPS docket clerk contacts the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) to request a hearing date.

After a hearing date is calendared and SOAH assigns a docket number to the case:

  •  the DFPS attorney sends a Notice of Hearing by both regular and certified mail to the designated perpetrator’s last known address as it appears in DFPS records; or

  •  the DFPS attorney sends a Notice of Hearing to designated perpetrator’s attorney, if the DFPS docket clerk has received written notice of representation from an attorney representing the designated perpetrator. See 1296 Release Hearings Conduct and Decisions.

The designated perpetrator is responsible for providing the DFPS docket clerk with written notification of any change in address that occurs after he or she requests a release hearing.

12961296 Release Hearing Conduct and Decisions

CPS September 2012

How a Release Hearing Is Conducted

A release hearing is conducted according to the following procedural rules:

  •  State Office Administrative Hearings (SOAH) rules found at 1 TAC Chapters 155 Rules of Procedure, 157 Temporary Administrative Law Judge, and 161 Requests for Records

  •  The Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001, Administrative Procedures Act (APA) rules, to the extent that they do not conflict with the SOAH rules

  •  The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that they do not conflict with the SOAH or APA rules

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.606

1296.1 Decisions

CPS September 2012

The administrative law judge (ALJ) may uphold, reverse, or alter a CPS finding of abuse or neglect. The ALJ’s decision is subject to appeal. See 1296 Appeal of the Decision.

For information regarding all three outcomes described below, see 1296.2 Timing of Sending Notice Letters and Updating IMPACT.

The ALJ can issue a decision that:

  •  overturns the original CPS finding. If this occurs and the investigative findings were previously released on an emergency basis, CPS staff must notify the parties to whom the finding was previously released of the court’s ruling. CPS staff must also change the role of the person from designated perpetrator to No Role and the Reason to Believe disposition to Ruled Out in IMPACT. See 1296.6 Regional Actions if Finding Is Reversed or Altered.

  •  sustains (upholds) the original CPS finding. If this occurs, CPS must release the finding if it had not already done so. CPS must also change the person’s role from designated perpetrator to sustained perpetrator of abuse or neglect in IMPACT. See 1296.5 Regional Actions if Finding Is Sustained (Upheld)

  •  alters the original CPS finding. If this occurs, CPS must follow the direction outlined in the court’s order.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.607

1296.2 Timing of Sending Notice Letters and Updating IMPACT

CPS September 2012

The field must not send notice letters of sustained status to the perpetrator, an employer or any other persons or entities outside DFPS until the court has issued a written ruling and any appeal (rehearing) has occurred.

Regional staff must also wait to update IMPACT until the court has issued a written ruling and any appeal has occurred. The region may contact the Administrative Hearings Unit docket clerk to determine the appropriate time to send out the notice of sustained status and to update IMPACT.

1296.3 Appeal of the Decision

CPS September 2012

Both the perpetrator and DFPS may appeal an adverse release hearing decision. Both sides have 15 days from the date that the court issues its decision to file a Motion for Rehearing.

If regional staff disagree with a court’s decision to overturn or alter investigative findings, they should consult with their regional director. The regional director may then discuss the court ruling with the DFPS attorney to decide whether it is appropriate for DFPS to file a Motion for Rehearing with SOAH. If the DFPS attorney, his or her supervisor, and the general counsel agree that a Motion for Rehearing is appropriate, the motion will be filed within 15 days of the court’s final decision.

If a perpetrator disagrees with a court decision to sustain or alter investigative findings, he or she must file a Motion for Rehearing with the court and provide the DFPS attorney with a copy of the motion.

During the 15-day window for filing an appeal, regional staff may not send notification letters of sustained or altered findings to employers, licensing boards, or other persons or entities outside DFPS.

Filing Copies

If a Motion for Rehearing is pursued, the region must arrange for the following to be filed in the paper case record:

  •  A copy of the administrative law judge’s order

  •  A copy of each signed notice to perpetrator, employer, or other person entitled to notice

  •  A copy of any materials or evidence relevant to the appeal

1296.4 Notification of Court Decisions

CPS September 2012

The court provides written notice of its decision to sustain (uphold), overturn, or alter investigative findings to both the perpetrator and to the DFPS docket clerk.

Either the DFPS attorney or the DFPS docket clerk provides notice of the court’s decision, along with the court’s written opinion, to the appropriate regional staff.

1296.5 Regional Actions if Finding Is Sustained (Upheld)

CPS September 2012

Notifications

After the time frame to request an appeal has expired, the region in which the finding was originally made must provide written release of the sustained finding to any appropriate parties outside DFPS. This includes written release to employers, licensing boards, and other person or entities that have control over the perpetrator’s access to children or vulnerable adults.

Use Template 7 Notice of Sustained Findings to Employer to notify a person or entity outside DFPS of the findings when:

  •  the finding had been previously released in an emergency;

  •  a release hearing was held;

  •  the ALJ sustained (upheld) the investigative finding; and

  •  the time frame for the appealing the process has passed.

Use Template 8 Notice of Sustained Findings to Employer to notify the employer or entity of findings when:

  •  notice of a non-emergency release was made to the person who is now a sustained perpetrator;

  •  a release hearing was held;

  •  the administrative law judge sustained the investigative finding; and

  •  the time frame for the appealing the process has passed.

See also:

Appendix 2871: Additional Procedures for Release to Licensing Boards – if the release is made to a Licensing Board; and

Appendix 2872: When to Use Templates for Release Hearing Notice Letters – if a review of the criteria determining which template to use is needed.

Change Role to Sustained

The resolution specialist for the region in which the finding was made must create an Administrative Review of Investigation Findings (ARIF) stage for the case in IMPACT and change the person’s role to Sustained Perpetrator.

1296.6 Regional Actions if Finding Is Reversed or Altered

CPS September 2012

Notifications

If the finding is reversed or altered, the time for any appeal has passed, and the investigative finding had been released on an emergency basis, the region in which the finding was made must provide written notice of the court’s ruling to the person or entity to which the finding was previously released. 

Use Template 9 Notice of Overturned Findings to Employer to notify the employer, licensing board or other entity that the findings previously released in an emergency were overturned or altered by the administrative law judge (ALJ). Use this template when:

  •  the finding had been previously released in an emergency;

  •  a release hearing was held;

  •  the administrative law judge reversed or altered the finding; and

  •  the time frame for the appealing the process has passed.

See also:

Appendix 2871: Additional Procedures for Release to Licensing Boards – if the release is made to a Licensing Board; and

Appendix 2872: When to Use Templates for Release Hearing Notice Letters – if a review of the criteria determining which template to use is needed.

Change Dispositions to Ruled Out or Otherwise Alter Dispositions

The resolution specialist for the region in which the finding was made must create an ARIF stage for the case in IMPACT, change the allegation dispositions to be consistent with the court order, and send notification letters from IMPACT to:

  •  the person who was the subject of the release hearing if all the allegations naming the person as an alleged perpetrator in the investigation are ruled out. The notification letter must contain a Request for Role Removal form for the former perpetrator’s use as desired;

  •  the alleged victim’s parents or guardian; and

  •  the original reporter, except reporters who report in a non-professional capacity.

1297 Designated Perpetrator Does Not Appear at the Release Hearing

CPS September 2012

If the designated perpetrator timely requests a release hearing but fails to appear in court, the agency attorney may request and the administrative law judge may grant, a default judgment. A default judgment effectively sustains (upholds) the finding of abuse or neglect as if a full hearing had been held.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.608

If the administrative law judge issues a default judgment, the designated perpetrator becomes a sustained perpetrator, and the region must take the same actions mandated in 1296 Release Hearing Conduct and Decisions.

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