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2150 The Role of CPS in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

CPS August 2009

State law requires DFPS to maintain a flexible response system. The system requires DFPS to screen all reports of abuse and neglect and assign a lower priority to less serious cases. Prioritizing reports better enables DFPS to investigate the most serious cases of abuse and neglect.

DFPS is authorized to determine, after contacting a professional or other credible source, whether a child’s safety can be assured without further investigation.

A case is considered to be less serious if the circumstances of the case do not indicate an immediate risk of abuse or neglect that could result in the death of or serious harm to the child.

Texas Family Code §261.3015

A CPS supervisor or investigation screener must review:

  •  every Priority 1 report;

  •  every Priority 2 report; and

  •  every Priority None (PN) report that requires CPS review (see the Priority None section of 2144 The Role of SWI in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect).

2151 The CPI Supervisor’s Role in Reviewing Reports of Abuse or Neglect

CPS October 2021

Review the Report

A CPI supervisor reviews the following reports of abuse or neglect:

  • A Priority 1 (P1) report, as assigned by the DFPS Statewide Intake Division (SWI).
  • A Priority 2 (P2) report, as assigned by SWI, in which the alleged victim is age 5 or younger.
  • A new report on an open case.

To complete the review, the supervisor does the following:

  • Approves or changes the initial priority assigned to the report.
  • Approves or changes the action recommended for the report.
  • Records the changes in the Intake stage in IMPACT.

Note: Reports involving child fatalities and children in the conservatorship of the department are not eligible for Priority None (PN) in specific situations.

See:

2156.1 Closing Child Fatality Reports without Assignment

2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment That Involve Children in Care

Document the Review in IMPACT

After reviewing a report of abuse or neglect referred by SWI, the CPI supervisor ensures that the following information is entered into the report in a contact narrative:

When documenting a review in IMPACT, the supervisor does not use Formal Screening as the Purpose code on the Contact Detail page.

When Closing the Report Without Assignment (PN)

When a CPI supervisor recommends closing a report of abuse or neglect without assignment, see the following sections for appropriate policies:

See:

2154 Notifying the Reporter When a Report Is Closed

2156 Closing Reports of Abuse or Neglect Without Assignment for Investigation

2156.1 Closing Child Fatality Reports Without Assignment

2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment That Involve Children in Care

2156.3 Required Tasks Before Closing without Assignment

2156.4 Reports of Abuse and Neglect That Require Program Director Approval for Closure

2156.5 Reports of Abuse and Neglect That Require Program Administrator Approval for Closure

Time Frame for Initiating an Investigation

The time frames cannot be extended. The supervisor must review the report quickly so the caseworker can respond within the required time frames.

2151.1 Notification of a Report Involving a Child in DFPS Conservatorship

CPS October 2021

If a child is in the conservatorship of DFPS, and an alleged victim or a household member of the home being investigated, the CPI supervisor or designee must notify the following staff assigned to each alleged victim identified or other child in care that is living in the household:

  • CVS/SSCC caseworker
  • CVS/SSCC supervisor
  • CVS/SSCC program director

The CPI supervisor or designee makes this notification via email no later than 7 p.m. the next calendar day. The intake report is stage progressed to an investigation.

If an intake involves child sexual aggression (CSA), the following steps are taken:

  • The CVS/SSCC program administrator must be notified by email.
  • Staff follows protocol outlined in the Child Sexual Aggression Resource Guide.

See:

6419 Working with Children Who Are Sexually Aggressive, Have Sexual Behavior Problems, or Are Victims of Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Aggression Resource Guide

Working with a Child who has Experienced Sexual Abuse Resource Guide

If the child is in a kinship placement, the investigation supervisor also must notify the CPS kinship worker, supervisor, and regional kinship leadership by email.

See 4221.3 CPS Protocol During an Investigation Involving a Child in Conservatorship.

All notifications must occur no later than 7 p.m. the next calendar day, and notification must be documented in a contact narrative.

Risk and Safety Concerns Involving a Child in Conservatorship

After making face-to-face contact with the child or caregiver, if there are immediate child safety concerns or any risk factors of concern (the CPI caseworker may not leave the child alone in that placement), the CPI caseworker or supervisor immediately informs the following people:

  • CPI program director
  • CVS/SSCC caseworker
  • CVS/SSCC supervisor
  • CVS/SSCC program director
  • CPS kinship staff (if applicable).

CPI and CVS/SSCC staff coordinate any need for a new placement. If a new placement is needed, CPI and CVS/SSCC work together to ensure that policy for notifying legal parties is followed.

If more alleged victims are identified during the investigation, the investigator is responsible for notifying the CVS/SSCC caseworker, supervisor, and program director by email of any additional information.

The email must include the following information:

  • Case name.
  • Case number.
  • Victim child’s name.
  • Victim child’s PID.
  • Any other child in the home’s name, PID, and relation to the alleged victim.
  • A statement of whether the allegations involve sexually aggressive behavior or child-on-child physical abuse.
  • Any additional information identified during the investigation.

Maintaining Contact with the CPS Caseworker of Alleged Victims

After the initial notification, the CPI caseworker should maintain contact with the child’s CVS/SSCC caseworker if the child is listed as an alleged victim for the following reasons:

  • To obtain more information about the child, including the child’s history of abuse or neglect, behavioral patterns, and any other information that provides insight into the investigation.
  • To share information with the CVS/SSCC caseworker about the status of the investigation, including any concerns the CPI caseworker may have with the child’s placement and detailed information regarding incidents of child-on-child abuse.
  • To get help acquiring the child’s medical records from a doctor’s office or hospital, if necessary.

Document Staffing with DFPS Conservatorship in IMPACT

All contacts with a child’s CVS caseworker, supervisor, program director, and CPS risk manager that pertain to this section of policy must be documented in IMPACT within 24 hours.

See:

2221 Documentation and Same Day Contact Entry for Alleged Victims and Other Children

4221.2 CPS Responsibility and Procedure after Receiving a Notification of Abuse or Neglect by either RCCI or CPI

Investigation Conclusion

Once CPI has completed the investigation, the CPI supervisor contacts the CVS/SSCC supervisor to inform him of her of the information gathered during the investigation and investigation disposition.

CPI forwards a copy of the notification letter to CVS/SSCC staff once the investigation is closed.

2152 Contacting Collateral Sources About Reports of Abuse or Neglect

CPS October 2020

A CPI caseworker, supervisor or a CPI screener must make attempts to contact a collateral source  to determine whether an investigation is needed.

The contact must be with a reliable collateral or a principal who can provide new and relevant information about the allegations and the current safety of the child. A collateral source could be a relative, teacher, neighbor, or family doctor. The principal source may not be an alleged victim or perpetrator.

If a collateral source is not listed in the current report or does not respond to an attempt by the caseworker to gather more information, then the caseworker must:

  • Review all IMPACT records for the family to determine if another collateral can provide pertinent information to the case.
  • Document in a contact narrative the attempts to contact or locate a collateral in the information reviewed.
  • Document in a contact narrative the reason the collateral is not required for determining if an investigation is needed.

See 2156.3 Required Tasks Before Closing without Assignment.

2153 Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect (The Role of the Investigation Screener)

CPS August 2009

The purpose of the formal screening of reports is to ensure that CPS investigates only the cases that appear to meet the guidelines for investigation.

All reports meeting certain criteria must be formally screened by designated CPS staff using the investigation screening protocol.

See:

2153.1 Criteria for Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect 

2153.2 CPS Staff Who Formally Screen Reports of Abuse or Neglect

To document in the Intake stage of the IMPACT case system that a reports has been formally screened, the worker:

  •  navigates to the Formal Screening section of the Priority/Closure page; and

  •  answers Yes to the question Was the Intake Formally Screened?.

If a report is eligible for formal screening but a formal screening is not conducted, the supervisor or screener must take the following actions before progressing the report to the next stage or closing it without assignment for investigation:

  •  Select No to the question Was the Intake Formally Screened in the Formal Screening section of the Priority/Closure page in the intake stage, and

  •  Document the reason the formal screening was not conducted in the Contact Detail page of the Intake stage.

For detailed procedures on the formal screening process, see:

2153.3 Determining a Report's Eligibility for Screening

2153.4 Reports That Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

2153.5 Reports That Do Not Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

2153.6 Recommending a Formally Screened Report for Investigation

2153.7 Closing a Formally Screened Reports (Not Recommending Investigation

2153.8 Time Frames for Completing the Formal Screening of a Report

2153.9 Documenting the Formal Screening of a Report

2153.1 Criteria for Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

CPS August 2009

The following reports must be formally screened:

  •  Priority 2 reports when all of the alleged victims are age 6 or older and there is no other open CPS case. The P2 designation must be SWI’s final priority assigned by staff of the DFPS Statewide Intake (SWI) Division. Reports changed to P2 by CPS staff are not eligible to be screened.

  •  Priority None (PN) reports that meet the criteria for SWI to forward the report to the appropriate DFPS field office. (See 2144 The Role of SWI in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect.)

2153.2 CPS Staff Who Formally Screen Reports of Abuse or Neglect

CPS August 2009

Caseworkers

CPS caseworkers who serve as investigation screeners may formally screen intake reports.

Supervisors

CPS supervisors may formally screen reports when all of the following circumstances exist:

  •  A designated screener is not available to perform the function

  •  The report is received on a weekend or holiday

  •  The report meets the criteria for formal screening (see 2153.1 Criteria for Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect)

  •  The supervisor follows the standardized screening protocol.

The supervisor screens the report from his or her own workload within the IMPACT case management system, not from the screener’s workload.

2153.3 Determining a Report's Eligibility for Screening

CPS August 2009

The CPS worker assigned to formally screen a report of abuse or neglect:

  •  navigates to the Priority/Closure page in the Intake stage of the IMPACT case management system; and

  •  views the Formal Screening section.

Depending on the determination made there (identified in the Eligible? field), the worker takes the actions shown in the table below:

Eligibility for Formal Screening:

CPS Action:

Not Eligible

The worker routes the report to the unit supervisor for screening, following regional protocols.

Eligible

The screener proceeds with the:

  •  Person search for prior DFPS history on the family; 

  •  Determine eligibility for a formal screening; and

  •  Document the reason for the screener's or supervisor's actions.

Eligibility Unknown

The screener proceeds with the:

  •  Person search for prior DFPS history on the family;

  •  Search for an open case in a certain stage on the family (and documents yes or no in response to the question on the Priority/Closure page about whether the case is open; 

  •  Determine eligibility for a formal screening; and

  •  Document the reason for the screener's or supervisor's actions.

Conducting a Person Search

Searching for Prior DFPS History

The worker performing the formal screening must conduct a person search of the principals in the case to determine whether the family has prior history with DFPS. If history is found, the screener reviews, summarizes, and considers the history when determining whether the case warrants a formal screening. See the table below.

Searching for an Open Case on the Family

The person performing the search must determine if there is an open case on the family in one of the following stages:

  •  investigation (INV);

  •  Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS);

  •  family substitute care (FSU); or

  •  family reunification (FRE) stage.

Depending on the findings of the search, the screener proceeds as indicated in this table:

Determine whether a prior case is open in the INV, FBSS, or FSU stage.

Document the case as open, based on the open stage of the prior case.

Note the automatic change in the eligibility (Eligible?), based on the open stage of the prior case.

Do as follows, depending on the change in eligibility.

Yes, open in INV, FBSS, or FSU stage.

Yes, open

Not Eligible

Stop the formal screening and send the report to the unit supervisor for further screening.

No, not open inINV, FBSS, or FSU stage.

No, not open

Eligible

Determine whether the report:

  •  clearly meets guidelines (see 2153.4 Reports That Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines); or

  •  does not clearly meet guidelines (see 2153.5 Reports That Do Not Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines)

2153.4 Reports That Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

CPS August 2009

When a report that is eligible for screening clearly meets the guidelines for investigation and no clarification of information is needed, the person performing the formal screening:

  •  performs the steps under 2153 Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect (The Role of the Investigation Screener);

  •  immediately progresses the report to the next stage; and

  •  forwards the report for investigation, following regional protocols. See 2153.6 Recommending a Formally Screened Report for Investigation.

2153.5 Reports That Do Not Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

CPS September 13, 2010

If a report that is eligible for screening contains information that needs clarification or does not clearly meet the guidelines for investigation, the screener performing the formal screening takes the following steps:

1.   Contact collateral sources, such as the child’s neighbors, teacher, or family doctor to clarify and develop information for the report (see 2152 Contacting Collateral Sources About Reports of Abuse or Neglect; also see To Close a Report, below) and, if appropriate, contact the child’s parents, as described below. (The reporter is not considered a collateral source.)

2.   Contact the reporter to clarify information in the report, if possible and appropriate.

3.   Determine whether to:

  •  assign the report for investigation (see 2153.6 Recommending a Formally Screened Report for Investigation); or

  •  close the report without assignment for investigation. See 2153.7 Closing a Formally Screened Report (Not Recommending Investigation).

When It Is Beneficial to Contact a Parent

To ensure thorough screening, it may sometimes be beneficial for a screener to contact the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian of an alleged victim.

However, before making contact, the screener must complete the following steps:

1.   To prevent initiating the investigation while screening an intake, the screener must first confirm that the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian is not listed as an alleged perpetrator (AP) in the open intake.

2.   If the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian is not an AP, the screener confirms that the person is aware of the report by answering yes to at least one of the following questions:

  •  Is the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian aware that the report was made?

  •  Is the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian the reporter?

  •  Is the report being made on behalf of the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian (that is, was the report made with his or her knowledge)?

3.   If the screener answers yes to at least one of the questions noted in step two, above, and has confirmed that the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian is not an AP, the screener then holds a staffing meeting with a screener supervisor or designee to:

  •  obtain confirmation that the screener may contact the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian that the screener has identified; and

  •  obtain guidance on the extent to which the screener may question the parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian.

Closing a Report

To close a report, the screener must make contact, not just attempt contact, and must obtain meaningful information:

  •  that was not contained in the original report; and

  •  that either refutes the allegations or otherwise indicates that the child’s safety is assured.

2153.6 Recommending a Formally Screened Report for Investigation

CPS August 2009

When the screener recommends the report for investigation, the screener stage progresses the report to the investigation stage and forwards it for investigation, following regional protocols.

If the screened report that is recommended for investigation is a report that has been assigned as Priority None (PN), the screener must upgrade the priority of the report before progressing the report to the next stage.

2153.7 Closing a Formally Screened Report (Not Recommending Investigation)

CPS September 2011

When a report of abuse or neglect can be closed after a formal screening, the screener:

  •  changes the priority of the report to PN (Priority None), if needed (see 2143 Assigning Priority to Reports of Abuse or Neglect);

  •  documents on the Priority/Closure page of the IMPACT case management system the reasons for changing the priority;

  •  considers carefully whether the issues identified during the screening process could be addressed by a community resource that would benefit the family and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect in the future;

  •  contacts the parent or legal guardian with information about the resource, if an appropriate resource is available (this action applies, regardless of whether the parent or legal guardian is the regular caregiver);

  •  documents in the case narrative the discussion held with the parent or legal guardian about the resource; and

  •  notifies the reporter of abuse or neglect that the report has been closed (see 2154 Notifying the Reporter When a Report Is Closed).

Cases closed without being assigned for investigation as a result of the formal screening must have a minimum of one completed contact documented in the Intake stage of the case. The contact must have the Purpose code of Formal Screening.

2153.8 Time Frames for Completing the Formal Screening of a Report

CPS August 2009

Screen Within 72 Hours

Reports of abuse or neglect that meet the criteria for formal screening must be screened within 72 hours of the date and time the intake report was received.

Progress Immediately for Investigation

As soon as a screener recommends a report for investigation, the screener:

  •  documents the actions taken to make the recommendation; and

  •  progresses the case to the next stage.

2153.9 Documenting the Formal Screening of a Report

CPS August 2009

Before stage progressing or closing a report that is eligible for formal screening, the screener must take the following actions in the IMPACT case management system:

  •  Document the following in the Intake stage, in the Contact Detail narrative, using Formal Screening as the Purpose code:

  •  The results of the person search, including a summary of any prior DFPS history

  •  The contacts made

  •  The rationale for the decision to close the case or progress it to the next stage

  •  Document in the Priority/Closure page, whether the intake was formally screened

Document Within 24-Hours

Workers who formally screen a report must document all of the actions taken and the contacts made within 24 hours of taking the action or making the contact.

If a report is recommended for investigation, the screener must document his or her actions and contacts quickly enough to progress the case to investigations in a timely manner.

2154 Notifying the Reporter When a Report Is Closed

CPS August 2009

When an intake report is closed following review by either a CPS supervisor or an investigation screener, the supervisor or screener notifies the reporter about the closing by generating a letter in the IMPACT case management system.

  •  The screener changes the name in the notification letter from that of the intake worker in the DFPS Statewide Intake (SWI) Division who generated the report to that of the CPS worker who makes the decision to close the report.

  •  The screener then sends the letter to the reporter who reported the abuse or neglect.

2155 Changing the Priority of a Report About Abuse or Neglect

CPS October 2020

A supervisor or CPI screener can change the priority of a report of abuse or neglect. To change the priority, select one of the following options listed in IMPACT:

Changing the Priority Assigned to a Report

IMPACT Option:

Reason for Change:

Due to Additional Calls Made

Calls made to collaterals after initial intake provided additional information that warrants a priority change.

Due to Local Records

Information in local records revealed information that warrants a priority change.

Inconsistent With Documented Risk

The level of risk documented in the intake does not support the priority originally assigned.

P1 Response Increases Vulnerability

Responding within 24 hours could leave a child more vulnerable.

Example:

To avoid escalating a situation, the worker delays the response until an unprotected child is in a more protective environment, such as at school or day care.

Closed and Reclassified

The allegations warrant follow-up by a different DFPS program area than the one originally identified. To qualify as Closed and Reclassified, the report must be re-entered as a report for another DFPS division.

Example:

A CPI report alleges that the victim is a 16-year-old with an intellectual disability, but records indicate that the victim is actually a 19-year-old adult. The CPI report is closed and reclassified as APS.

When closing such a report:

When Closed and Reclassified is the reason entered into IMPACT for changing a report’s priority, Closed and Reclassified must also be the reason for closing the report.

Other Agency/Out of State

The intake and investigation are outside CPI’s jurisdiction and must be handled by law enforcement, another Texas agency such as HHS or DSHS, or another state’s child protection agency staff.

When closing the report:

When Other Agency/Out of State is the reason entered into IMPACT for changing the priority, Other Agency/Out of State must be the reason for closing the report. After reviewing a report, the supervisor must assign it for investigation if it meets the criteria in 2142 The Allegations That CPI Accepts for Investigation and Assessment.

2156 Closing Reports of Abuse or Neglect Without Assignment for Investigation

CPS October 2020

The CPI supervisor, with program director approval, or a CPI screener may close a report of abuse or neglect without assigning it for investigation for the following reasons:

  • There does not appear to be a reasonable likelihood that a child will be abused or neglected in the foreseeable future. This does not apply when the report is related to certain child fatalities. See 2156.1 Closing Child Fatality Reports Without Assignment.
  • The supervisor or screener concludes, after calls to the reporter or other collateral sources, that the allegations are too vague or general to determine whether a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected.
  • Staff makes reasonable efforts to find additional locating information in the report but cannot locate the child or the child’s family or household (See the Finding Families Resource Guide). These reasonable efforts include the following:
    • Search of local records.
    • Search of TIERS (the State’s Medicaid eligibility system).
    • Search of IMPACT records (IMPACT is DFPS’s automated case management system).
    • Search of various databases (for example: White pages, Facebook, Google, or local law enforcement).
    • Conversation with local school districts, if the child is school-aged.
  • The report has been reclassified and referred to the DFPS Adult Protective Services or Child Care Licensing divisions. If closing the report without assigning it for investigation requires a priority change the following must occur:
    • The priority of the intake must be changed in IMPACT to Priority N.
    • The intake number of the new report documented.
    • The reason for the change must be documented as Closed and Reclassified.
  • Handling the report is not the responsibility of CPI and will be investigated by another state agency in Texas, another state’s protective services program, or law enforcement. If closing the report without assigning it for investigation requires a priority change, the following must occur:
    • The priority of the intake must be changed in IMPACT to Priority N.
    • The reason for the change must be documented in Other Agency/Out of State.
  • The reported information has already been investigated in a case closed before the date of the new intake. This applies when the current report of abuse or neglect has been investigated in a case that is closed before the date of the new intake. In the new report all allegations, alleged perpetrators, victim children and incidences must have been investigated in the closed case. The CPI supervisor must document the closed case number and how the current case information in the new report was addressed in the closed investigation.

See 2157 Receiving a New Report During an Open Investigation of Abuse or Neglect.

Note: When a case involves a principal child in the conservatorship of the Department, see 2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment that Involve Children in Care.

2156.1 Closing Child Fatality Reports Without Assignment

CPS October 2020

Reports involving child fatalities are not eligible for closure without assignment unless both of the following apply:

  • No allegations pertain to other children in the home.
  • The child fatality has already been investigated and dispositioned.

See 2156.4 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Director Approval for Closure.

All other child fatality reports must be stage progressed and assigned for investigation.

2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment That Involve Children in Care

CPS October 2020

Reports involving any child in the conservatorship of the department that are not eligible for formal screening cannot be closed without investigation. These reports must be stage progressed to an investigation.

2156.3 Required Tasks Before Closing without Assignment

CPS October 2020

Before a CPI supervisor recommends the closure of a report of abuse or neglect without assignment for investigation, the following steps must be taken:

  •   Contact the reporter.

  •   Attempt contact with a reliable collateral or a principal source who can provide new, relevant information about the allegations and the current safety of the child. The source may also be the reporter if they have the necessary information. If the reporter is used as the reliable collateral the information they provide must be new and relevant information about the allegations and current safety of the child and is not information that was provided in the current report. When making a decision to close the case without assignment, the following must be considered:

  •   Whether the report references a principal being involved in concerning behavior with other agencies.

  •   Whether this behavior has the potential to affect child safety.

      When reviewing the information provided in the report, if there is not a collateral source listed to contact, see 2152 Contacting Collateral Sources About Reports of Abuse or Neglect to determine actions needed to close the case without a collateral source.

      Exception: Collaterals must be contacted for either of the following reasons:

  •   The case is being closed without investigation because the allegations of abuse or neglect are vague or general.

  •   The information does not appear to involve abuse or neglect.

  •   Conduct a person search of the principals in the report to determine whether the family has prior DFPS history. If history is found, it is reviewed, summarized, documented and considered when determining whether the report warrants investigation.

  •   Consult on the case with the family preservation caseworker and supervisor if a principal on the investigation is also a principal in an open family preservation, family reunification family substitute, kinship care, or substitute care stage. See 2156.5 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Administrator Approval for Closure. When the case involves a child in the conservatorship of the department see 2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment that Involve Children in Care.

  •   Document a written rationale for closing the case without investigation in the contact narrative in IMPACT. Consider the nature of the allegations and any other relevant information such as the following:

  •   Ages of each child in the home.

  •   Alleged conditions in the home.

  •   The types and seriousness of any alleged injuries.

  •   Whether the child made an outcry of abuse or neglect.

  •   Any additional information obtained from the reporter or collateral sources.

  •   Request approval from a Program Director to close the report. See 2156.4 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Director Approval for Closure.

When a CPI supervisor recommends closure of a report of abuse or neglect without assignment for investigation, the following policies apply:

2154 Notifying the Reporter When a Report Is Closed.

2156.4 Reports of Abuse and Neglect That Require Program Director Approval for Closure.

2156.5 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Administrator Approval for Closure.

2156.4 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Director Approval for Closure

CPS October 2020

Closing Without Assignment or Priority None (PN) Closure

The CPI supervisor must obtain approval from a program director before closing without assignment any intake report prioritized by the DFPS Statewide Intake (SWI) Division as a P1 or P2 and recommended for closure without assignment as a Priority None (PN).

When requesting program director approval to close a case as PN, the following steps must be completed:

  • Enter all contacts supporting the closure into the intake report before submitting the report for review.
  • The program director reads the intake report and provides a written rationale to approve or deny the request for closing the case without assignment or PN.

The program director takes the following steps when approving closure of the case:

  • Documents the rationale for closure in the intake contact narrative.
  • Closes the intake report in IMPACT.
  • Merges the closed intake is with other case history on the family.

Approval for closure without assignment must occur within priority timeframes and cannot be extended.

See also:

2310 Administrative Closure.

2156.4 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Administrator Approval for Closure.

2156.5 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Program Administrator Approval for Closure

CPS October 2020

Closing Without Assignment or Priority None (PN) Closure

A program director and a program administrator both must approve closing without assignment or PN for an intake if any of the following are true:

  • A new report is received and any principal is also a principal in an open family preservation, family reunification, family substitute, kinship care, or substitute care stage. When the case involves a child in the conservatorship of the department see 2156.2 Closing Reports without Assignment that Involve Children in Care.
  • Before the current report, the previous three reports on the family have been closed without assignment at intake with no intervention by the department.

For such cases, the following must be completed:

  • Enters all contacts supporting the closure into the intake report before submitting the report for review.
  • The program administrator reads the intake report and provides a written rationale to approve or deny the request for closing without assignment as PN.
  • If the program administrator approves closure, he or she does the following:
    • Documents the rationale for closure in the intake contact narrative.
    • Closes the intake report in IMPACT.

The closed intake is merged into other case history on the family.

Approval for closure without assignment must be made within priority timeframes and cannot be extended.

2157 Receiving a New Report During an Open Investigation of Abuse or Neglect

CPS October 2020

If a new report is received while the case is being investigated, CPI staff must do the following:

  • Stage progress the new report from the Intake to Investigation stage in IMPACT.
  • Merge the two reports within priority timeframes.

Progressing the new report to Investigation stage before merging the reports ensures that the details about the reporter, the victim, and the allegations carry forward correctly.

If the new report comes from SWI as a PN this policy does not apply.

Determining Whether Family Contact Needs to be Made

Initiating contact with the family when a new report is received on an open investigation depends on information in the new report.

Face-to-face contact must be made with the family to assess this new information within initial contact timeframes if the new report involves any of the following:

  • New allegations
  • New victim children
  • New alleged perpetrators
  • New incidences of abuse or neglect

If the CPI supervisor determines the new report contains the same information as the current investigation and all the information in the new report has been addressed with the family in the current investigation, the following steps are taken:

  • The supervisor consults with the program director to determine whether face-to-face contact with the family is required.
  • If the program director agrees such contact is not necessary,  an initial contact is entered in the new investigation report that references the case number of the open investigation and how the information in the new report was addressed in the open investigation.
  • Staff contacts the family to notify them of the subsequent report received.
  • Staff merges the new investigation into the open case.

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