Child Protective Services Handbook Revision
August 2009

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on August 3, 2009. Summaries of new or revised items are provided below.

Intake, Investigation, and Assessment

Transferring Cases From Investigation Stage to FBSS

Documentation in Contracted FBSS

Placement Notification to Courts

Intake, Investigation, and Assessment (PATS 2752)

The revisions to sections 2000-2100 provide a clearer understanding of which reports are accepted by Statewide Intake, establishing criteria for those reports that are reviewed by regional screeners and those reviewed by investigation supervisors. This revision also clarifies steps for changes in priority once the report goes to the field, and clarifies reasons for closing a report without assignment for investigation.

See:

2000 Intake, Investigation, and Assessment

2100 The Intake Process for Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2110 The Roles of SWI and CPS During Intake

2120 Requirements for Reporting Abuse or Neglect

2121 Legal Requirements for Reporting Abuse or Neglect

2122 Special Issues Relating to Reporting Abuse or Neglect

2130 The Process for Reporting Abuse or Neglect to the DFPS Statewide Intake Division (SWI)

2131 Reporting Directly to SWI About Abuse or Neglect

2132 Reports Made to Field Offices

2140 Screening and Prioritizing Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2141 The Allegations That CPS Accepts for Investigation and Assessment

2141.1 Criteria for Initiating an Investigation

2141.2 Applying Statutory Definitions of Abuse or Neglect to Determine if a Report Meets the Criteria for CPS Investigation

2141.3 Incomplete or Questionable Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2141.4 When Abuse or Neglect Occurs in a Foster or Adopted Home

2141.5 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Relate to Child-Care Facilities

2142 Assigning Priority to Reports of Abuse or Neglect 

2143 The Role of SWI in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2144 The Role of CPS in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2144.1 Contacting Collateral Sources About Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2144.2 The CPS Supervisor's Role in Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2144.3 Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect (The Role of the Investigation Screener)

2144.31 Criteria for Formally Screening Reports of Abuse or Neglect

2144.32 CPS Staff Who Formally Screen Reports of Abuse or Neglect           

2144.33 Determining a Report's Eligibility for Screening

2144.34 Reports That Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

2144.35 Reports That Do Not Clearly Meet Investigation Guidelines

2144.36 Recommending a Formally Screened Report for Investigation

2144.37 Closing a Formally Screened Report (Not Recommending Investigation)

2144.38 Time Frames for Completing the Formal Screening of a Report

2144.39 Documenting the Formal Screening of a Report

2144.4 Notifying the Reporter When a Report Is Closed

2145 Changing the Priority of a Report About Abuse or Neglect

2146 Closing Reports of Abuse or Neglect Without Assignment for Investigation

2146.1 Reports of Abuse or Neglect That Require Supervisory Approval for Closure

2147 Receiving a New Report During an Open Investigation of Abuse or Neglect

2150 When to Notify Law Enforcement About Reports of Abuse or Neglect

Cross-references to items changed with this revision have been updated in the items below. See:

1474 Case Records Not Involving Abuse/Neglect or Conservatorship

2221 Assignment and Required Completion of Investigations

2224.36 Subsequent Referrals on Unable to Complete Investigations

2232.6 Making a Contact to Initiate the Investigation

2232.7 Follow-Up When Contact Is Not Made Within Priority Time Frames

2370 Special Requests

2700 Intake and Investigation in Facilities Under the Authority of Other State Agencies

5100 Overview of Court-Related Services

Transferring Cases From Investigation Stage to FBSS (PATS 2497)

This is a clarification of the policy on the case transfer process from Investigations to Family-Based Safety Services.

Changes are being made to enhance the understanding of the timeframes involved in staffing the case to provide Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) and the transfer process. Clarify changes to the transfer process when a Family Team Meeting is held before progressing the investigative stage to FBSS. See:

2234.35 Developing a Safety Plan When Transferring to Family-Based Safety Services

2238 Case Transfers

2238.1 Transferring a Case to Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS)

2238.11 Completing the Referral to FBSS

2238.12 If Court Ordered FBSS Services Are Requested

2238.13 Documenting Case Transition to FBSS

2238.2 Transferring a Case From FBSS to Conservatorship

2238.21 Conferring Through a Post-Removal Staffing

3141 Overview of Case Transition, Initial Face-to-Face Contact, and Frequency of Face-to-Face Contacts With Children and Parents

Documentation in Contracted FBSS (PATS 2617)

The items below are revised to clarify the CPS Program Liaison's documentation responsibilities. See:

3250 Contracted Family Based Safety Services

3251 Overview

3252 Stages of Service

3253 Assigning and Monitoring a Contracted Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) Case

3254 Closing a Contracted Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) Case

8225 Handling Liaison Duties

Placement Notification to Courts (PATS 2012)

The Texas Family Code requires DFPS to provide notice to the court no later than the next business day after a child is placed in the temporary care of CPS staff in a DFPS office.

The child’s caseworker must also notify the court where the case is filed whenever a child has to remain in a DFPS office.

This policy was implemented with PSA 08-028, issued to staff on October 15, 2007.

See:

5360 Special Court Approvals and Notifications

5361 Obtaining Court Approval

5362 Notifying the Court