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1000 Legal Basis, Regulated Programs, Records, and Technology

1100 DFPS Regulation Authority

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Chapter 40 and Chapter 42 of the Texas Human Resources Code designate DFPS as the agency responsible for protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Texas children by regulating child-care operations that provide assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision:

  •  for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner of the operation; and

  •  for all or part of the 24-hour day.

Chapter 43 of the Texas Human Resources Code designates DFPS as the agency responsible for issuing licenses for child-care and child-placing-agency administrators. This chapter requires DFPS to develop and administer an examination as part of the licensing process for licensed administrators.

DFPS has designated the DFPS Child Care Licensing Division (Licensing) for being responsible for carrying out the responsibilities outlined in Chapters 40, 42, and 43 of the Texas Human Resources Code.

Texas Human Resources Code §40.002(b)(3); §42.002; §42.052(c); §43.003; §43.004(2); and §43.008

The Child Care Licensing page of the DFPS public website contains information on:

a.   the Child Care Licensing Division;

b.   child-care resources in Texas; and

c.   child-care operations in Texas.

1110 Licensing’s Regulatory Activities

LPPH December 2011

Licensing’s regulatory activities include:

a.   reviewing applications for permits;

b.   determining whether a child care program is subject to regulation or is exempt;

c.   issuing permits to applicants;

d.   inspecting and investigating operations;

e.   developing and administering licensing examinations for child-care and child-placing agency administrators;

f.    seeking to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements in Texas statutes and DFPS rules;

g.   providing technical assistance to operations and licensees;

h.   supporting operations in their efforts to improve their programs; and

i.    taking administrative, corrective, or adverse action on operations and licensees, as appropriate.

1120 Legal Support for Policies and Procedures

LPPH December 2011

This handbook is intended primarily for Licensing staff. Licensing staff must follow the handbook’s policies and procedures, so that DFPS meets the requirements in the Licensing statutes and DFPS rules. State statutes and DFPS rules that support the policies and procedures are cited in the handbook.

1121 District and Regional Procedures

LPPH December 2011

Policy

District directors and managers may develop procedures for their staff provided that the procedures:

a.   support the provisions in this handbook;

b.   do not conflict with Licensing statute, DFPS rules, and the policies in this handbook; and

c.   have been discussed and approved by the director of Child Day Care Licensing or the director of Residential Child Care Licensing.

1122 Licensing Statutes

LPPH August 2012

State statutes for Licensing are found in the following:

Human Resources Code

Chapter 40: Department of Family and Protective Services — Establishes and defines DFPS and its divisions

Chapter 42: Regulation of Certain Facilities, Homes, and Agencies That Provide Child-Care Services — Establishes standards for regulating child-care

Chapter 43: Regulation of Child-Care and Child-Placing Agency Administrators — Establishes standards for regulating the child-care administrators and child-placing agency administrators.

Family Code

Chapter 261: Investigation of Report of Child Abuse or Neglect

1123 Licensing Rules (Texas Administrative Code)

LPPH December 2011

DFPS drafted the rules that are published in Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) in order to implement the department’s statutory responsibilities. The rules identify and describe the rights and responsibilities of DFPS and the operations DFPS regulates.

DFPS publishes all proposed rules in the Texas Register for a 30-day review and comment period before they are adopted as DFPS rules.

Chapter 2001, Texas Government Code (TGC)

Once adopted, rules in the TAC carry the force of law.

1123.1 Chapters in the Texas Administrative Code Applicable to Licensing

LPPH August 2012

The following chapters in Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) apply to the DFPS rules for Licensing:

Licensing, Chapter 745

Minimum Standards for Shelter Care, Chapter 743

Minimum Standards for School-Age and Before- or After-School Programs, Chapter 744

Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers, Chapter 746

Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes, Chapter 747

General Residential Operations, Chapter 748

Child-Placing Agencies, Chapter 749

Independent Foster Homes, Chapter 750

1130 Ethics of Regulation

LPPH December 2011

Policy

All state employees are bound by the laws and rules established by the Texas Legislature in the Government Code and the Penal Code. The Texas Ethics Commission interprets these laws.

As a government regulator, Licensing is expected to use its authority in a manner that earns the respect, trust, and confidence of the public and consumers.

Even the appearance of an impropriety must be avoided.

Government Code, §§572.001 and 572.051

Penal Code, Chapter 36 (Bribery and Corrupt Influence) and Chapter 39 (Abuse of Office)

Procedure

In all facets of Licensing responsibilities and activities, staff:

a.   enforce licensing regulations in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with state law and DFPS policy and procedures;

b.   inform regulated entities of their rights and responsibilities throughout the regulatory process;

c.   foster a mutual respect among regulated entities, consumers, and DFPS;

d.   provide child-care operations with information and assistance to improve their understanding of state regulations for child care and improve their ability to meet those regulations;

e.   provide information to parents and consumers to assist them in making informed decisions about child care; and

f.    are courteous and professional when conducting regulatory actions.

Licensing staff must:

a.   avoid the appearance as well as the fact of improper, unfair, or self-serving conduct, including unwarranted discrimination or differential treatment;

b.   behave in a manner that earns respect, trust, and confidence and reflects positively on their profession and DFPS;

c.   promptly disclose any personal or financial interest they have or have had that might appear to influence their actions;

d.   avoid the fact or appearance of using their positions to endorse a particular product, licensee, service provider, or group of licensees or providers;

e.   not allow political or religious affiliations to influence decisions made while in the role of a regulator; and

f.    observe the policies published in the DFPS human resources policy and the Health and Human Services Human Resources Manual.

1140 Operations and Activities Regulated by Licensing

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Licensing regulates the following:

a.   Child day care — Operations that provide care to children under age 14 less than 24 hours at a time

b.   Residential child care — Operations that provide care to children under 18 years old 24-hours a day

c.   Administrator licensing — Individuals licensed as child-care administrators, child-placing agency administrators, or both

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §§745.33, 745.35, 745.8901, and 745.8903

1141 Types of Child Day Care Operations

LPPH December 2011

Policy

The following table describes the types of child care that Licensing regulates. See also DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.37(2).

Child Day-Care Operations Regulated by DFPS On and After September 1, 2003

Description

Listed family home

The primary caregiver:

  •  is at least 18 years old;

  •  provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation;

  •  serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13;

  •  provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for more than three consecutive weeks;

  •  serves no more than three children who are unrelated to the caregiver; and

  •  serves no more than 12 children, total, including children who are related to the caregiver.

Registered child-care home

The primary caregiver:

  •  is at least 21 years old;

  •  provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation;

  •  serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13;

  •  provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for more than three consecutive weeks;

  •  provides care to no more than six children who are unrelated to the caregiver;

  •  provides after-school care to no more than six additional elementary school children; and

  •  serves no more than 12 children, total, including children related to the caregiver.

Licensed child-care home

The primary caregiver:

  •  is at least 21 years old;

  •  provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation;

  •  serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13; and

  •  serves no more than 12 children, total, including the children related to the caregiver.

Child-care center

The operation:

  •  provides care for seven or more children;

  •  serves only children younger than age 14;

  •  provides fewer than 24 hours of care per day; and

  •  is located somewhere other than the permit holder’s home.

Small, employer-based child care

(A small, employer-based operation employs fewer than 100 full-time employees)

A small employer that:

  •  provides care for up to 12 children of employees;

  •  serves only children younger than age 14;

  •  provides fewer than 24 hours of care per day; and

  •  is located in the same building where the parents work.

Shelter care

The operation:

  •  provides care for seven or more children;

  •  serves only children younger than age 14;

  •  operates for at least four hours a day and three days a week; and

  •  is located at a temporary shelter, such as a family violence or homeless shelter.

Before or after school program

The operation:

  •  provides care before, after, or both before and after the customary school day and during school holidays;

  •  operates for at least two hours a day, three days a week; and 

  •  serves children who attend pre-kindergarten through grade six.

School-age program

The operation:

  •  provides supervision and recreation, skills instruction, or skills training;

  •  operates for at least two hours a day, three days a week;

  •  serves children who attend pre-kindergarten through grade six; and

  •  may operate before or after the customary school day, school holidays, summer period, or any other time when school is not in session.

1142 Types of Residential Child Care

LPPH August 2012

Policy

The following table describes the types of residential child care that Licensing regulates. See also DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.37(3).

Residential Child-Care Operations

Description

Foster family home (Independent)

A single, independent home that:

  •  is the primary residence of the foster parents; and

  •  provides care for six or fewer children up to age 18.

Foster group home (Independent)

An independent foster group home is a home that is:

  •  a single, independent home licensed after January 1, 2007, that:

  •  is the primary residence of the foster parents; and

  •  provides care for seven to 12 children up to the age of 18 years.

or

  •  a single, independent home licensed before January 1, 2007, that provides care for seven to 12 children up to age 18.

General residential operation

An operation that provides child care for 13 or more children up to age 18.

The care may include treatment and other programmatic services. Residential treatment centers are a type of general residential operation.

Child-placing agency (CPA)

An agency, organization, or person (other than a child’s parent) that places or plans for the placement of the child in an adoptive home or other residential care setting.

CPA foster family home

A home regulated by a child-placing agency that:

  •  is the primary residence of the foster parents; and

  •  is verified to provide care for six or fewer children up to age 18.

CPA foster group home

A home regulated by a child-placing agency that is verified to care for seven to 12 children up to age 18.

Homes verified after January 1, 2007, must be the primary residence of the foster parents.

CPA adoptive home

A home approved by a child-placing agency for the purpose of adoption.

1143 Types of Licensed Administrators

LPPH December 2011

Policy

The following table describes the types of licensed administrators that Licensing regulates. See also DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §§745.8901, 745.8903.

Licensed Administrators

Description

Child-Care Administrator

A person who:

  •   supervises and exercises direct control over a general residential child-care operation or a residential treatment center; and

  •  is responsible for the operation’s programs and personnel, regardless of whether the person has an ownership interest in the operation or shares duties with anyone.

Child-Placing Agency Administrator

A person who:

  •  supervises and exercises direct control over a child-placing agency, as defined in §745.37(3)(F) (relating to What specific types of operations does Licensing regulate?); and

  •   is responsible for the child-placing agency’s programs and personnel, regardless of whether the person has an ownership interest in the agency or shares duties with anyone.

See also Section 9000 Licensed Administrators.

1200 Application Security for CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH December 2011

To preserve the integrity of confidential information within the CLASS and IMPACT systems, DFPS policy on application security must be followed. The security policies apply to most DFPS applications.

1210 Assigning Security Roles in CLASS

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Each DFPS employee who has approval to use the CLASS system is assigned a core security role. The role is based on the employee’s job classification and title.

See Appendix 1000-3: Security Roles and Functions in CLASS for:

a.   a list of the core security roles;

b.   the functions performed by employees in those roles; and

c.   the pages in CLASS used to perform the functions associated with the roles.

Requests for roles that require additional security permissions are considered individually, based on the business need.

Examples of tasks that require additional security permissions include:

a.   updating CLASS to reflect changes in the minimum standards;

b.   maintaining information in the Administrators’ Licensing System (ALS) in CLASS; and

c.   maintaining the Technical Assistance Library in CLASS.

1220 Assigning a Designee in CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH December 2011

Policy

An employee may be assigned to perform functions for another employee in the CLASS and IMPACT systems. Employees assigned designee status are accountable for the responsibilities they are assigned while serving as designees.

If the designee performs casework for another employee, the designee is expected to produce the same quality of work that would be produced if the designee were working on his or her own caseload.

1221 Maximum Number of Designees in CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Managers and Directors

Managers and directors may assign up to three designees each in the CLASS or IMPACT systems.

Supervisors

Supervisors may assign up to two designees in the CLASS or IMPACT systems.

Inspectors and Investigators

A Licensing inspector or investigator may assign designee status to another Licensing inspector or investigator only for the purposes of:

  •  completing a specific task; or

  •  temporarily covering a caseload.

Once the specific task is completed, the designee status must be deactivated.

Examples of the tasks appropriate for assignment to a designee include:

a.   conducting courtesy interviews during an investigation;

b.   sharing inspection responsibilities, temporarily, for a vacant caseload; or

c.   completing other specific tasks assigned by a supervisor, manager, or district director.

Designees

A Licensing staff person may be appointed as a designee for up to five people.

1222 Time Limitations for Designees in CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH March 2015

Policy

In both the CLASS and IMPACT systems, a designee is assigned for only a limited time.

Procedure

Licensing periodically receives a list of staff who have been assigned as a designee in CLASS for more than 90 days. A designated program specialist for Licensing in the DFPS state office:

  •   reviews the list; and

  •   coordinates with regional managers to determine whether to continue each employee’s designee assignments.

1230 Reassigning Cases, Deactivating Accounts, and Removing Roles in CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Directors, managers, and supervisors manage and monitor the workloads of Licensing employees.

When the employment status of a Licensing employee changes, the employee’s director, manager, or supervisor submits a Move, Add, or Change form (known as an eMAC) to request a change in the employee’s access to DFPS systems such as CLASS and IMPACT.

To maintain security, the eMAC form must be submitted in a timely manner.

See:

1231 Reassigning Cases in CLASS and IMPACT

1232 Deactivating CLASS Accounts for Lack of Use

1233 Removing Rights to CLASS When an Employee Transfers Within DFPS

1234 Removing Rights to CLASS When an Employee Voluntarily Leaves DFPS Employment

1235 Removing Rights to CLASS and IMPACT When an Employee Is Involuntarily Terminated

1231 Reassigning Cases in CLASS and IMPACT

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Before an employee’s access to DFPS systems such as CLASS and IMPACT may be removed, all of the employee’s cases must be transferred in CLASS and IMPACT to other employees.

Procedure

When possible, an employee’s cases must be reassigned in CLASS and IMPACT before the employee’s position is vacated. This includes the reassigning of operations, agency homes, and investigations.

When cases cannot be reassigned before an employee’s position is vacated, the cases must be transferred in CLASS and IMPACT no later than five days after the position is vacated.

1232 Deactivating CLASS Accounts for Lack of Use

LPPH June 2012

Policy

If an employee has not used the CLASS system for more than 90 days, the employee’s permissions are reviewed to determine whether to approve continued access.

Procedure

The Management Reporting and Statistics (MRS) area of DFPS provides Licensing with a list of staff who have access to CLASS, but have not logged into the system for more than 90 days.

A designated program specialist in Licensing at the DFPS state office:

  •  reviews the list; and

  •  coordinates with Licensing’s regional managers (and the managers of other divisions, programs, or agencies, when necessary) to determine whether to continue the employee’s access.

If the decision is made to deactivate the employee’s access to CLASS, the program specialist:

  •  directs the employee’s director, manager, or supervisor to submit an eMAC (Move, Add, or Change form) within two business days to request that the employee’s access to CLASS be removed; or

  •  directs staff in the Data Integrity area of DFPS Program Support to remove the employee’s access to CLASS.

1233 Removing Rights to CLASS When an Employee Transfers Within DFPS

LPPH December 2011

Policy

When a Licensing employee transfers to a new position within DFPS, the employee’s rights to the CLASS system must be removed at the time of the transfer.

Exceptions may be considered by DFPS Program Support on a case-by-case basis.

Procedure

No later than the day after a Licensing employee transfers to a new position within DFPS, the employee’s supervisor submits a Move, Add, or Change form (known as an eMAC) to request that the employee’s rights to CLASS be removed.

If an exception is needed, the district director or manager contacts DFPS Program Support for assistance.

1234 Removing Rights to CLASS When an Employee Voluntarily Leaves DFPS Employment

LPPH December 2011

Policy

When an employee voluntarily leaves DFPS employment, all of the employee’s rights to the DFPS network, including rights to the CLASS and IMPACT systems, must be removed.

Procedure

No later than the day after a Licensing employee voluntarily leaves DFPS employment, the employee’s supervisor submits an eMAC (Move, Add, or Change form) to request that the employee’s rights to CLASS be removed.

1235 Removing Rights to CLASS and IMPACT When an Employee Is Involuntarily Terminated

LPPH December 2011

Policy

When an employee is involuntarily terminated from DFPS employment, all of the employee’s rights to the DFPS network, including rights to the CLASS and IMPACT systems, must be removed immediately.

Procedure

When an employee is involuntarily terminated, the supervisor immediately takes the following actions:

  •  Transfers all of the open cases assigned to the former employee in CLASS and IMPACT to another Licensing employee

  •  Submits an eMAC (Move, Add, or Change form) to request that all of the former employee’s rights to any DFPS systems (including CLASS and IMPACT) be removed

  •  Calls a data integrity specialist to request that the former employee’s rights be removed immediately

If the employee’s cases cannot be transferred to another employee immediately in order to terminate the employee’s rights to all DFPS systems:

  •  the employee’s supervisor calls the Data Integrity area of DFPS Program Support to request that the employee’s access to the CLASS and IMPACT systems be suspended; and

  •  Program Support staff change the employee’s password to prevent the employee from accessing the system, until the employee’s account can be deactivated.

1300 Licensing Records

LPPH December 2011

Policy

The purpose of retaining Licensing records is to:

a.   document that Licensing staff have followed the policies and procedures required by law, the DFPS rules, and the policies in this Licensing handbook;

b.   maintain a chronology of an operation’s regulatory history with Licensing; and

c.   maintain a chronology of a licensed administrator’s regulatory history with Licensing.

1310 The Content and Organization of Licensing Records

LPPH December 2011

Policy

A Licensing record consists of:

  •  a hard copy record; and

  •  electronic records maintained in the CLASS and IMPACT systems.

The documentation in Licensing records must be legible, objective, concise, and clear.

Upon receiving an application, inquiry, or report, Licensing staff must establish a record:

a.   for each regulated operation;

b.   for each operation that is exempt from regulation; and

c.   for each individual who applies to become a licensed administrator.

Records for Abuse or Neglect Investigations

For abuse or neglect investigations:

  •  hard copy records are maintained separately from other records; and

  •  electronic records are maintained in both the IMPACT and CLASS systems.

See 6750 Maintaining an Investigation File.

Records for Non-Abuse or Neglect Investigations

For non-abuse or neglect investigations:

a.   hard copy records are maintained separately from other records until the investigation is complete;

b.   the entire file for the investigation becomes part of the hard copy record, after the investigation is completed; and

c.   electronic records are maintained in the CLASS system.

See 6710 Maintaining an Investigation File.

Procedure

Case records are maintained according to the guidelines in Appendix 1000-2: Organization of Case Records.

1320 Custody of Licensing Records

LPPH December 2011

Policy

The hard copy record is kept in the custody of the Licensing employee assigned to the operation.

Each Licensing office must establish procedures to track the location of hard copy records. The district director or manager must approve the tracking procedures.

1321 Assigning, Reassigning, and Transferring Records

LPPH December 2011

Policy

Electronic records are assigned, reassigned, and transferred in the CLASS system. See 1200 Application Security for CLASS and IMPACT.

In CLASS, a record is always assigned to the Licensing employee who is responsible for regulating the operation or administrator, even though different Licensing employees may be assigned to complete an investigation or inspection.

The hard copy record is transferred when the electronic record is assigned or reassigned in CLASS. When a Licensing employee vacates his or her Licensing position, the employee’s supervisor ensures continuous custody of the hard copy records until the record is reassigned to another Licensing employee.

1330 Records Retention

LPPH June 2012

Policy

Every electronic and hard copy record created in the course of business must be retained for a specific period of time. The amount of time Licensing records are retained is listed in the DFPS Records Retention Schedule, which is approved by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

No records or documents may be destroyed before the time designated in the retention schedule.

Under certain circumstances, the retention period may be extended, if approved by:

a.  a district director (or designee);

b.  the director of Child Day Care Licensing (or designee);

c.  the director of Residential Child Care Licensing (or designee);

d.  the assistant commissioner of licensing (or designee);

e.  a licensing attorney; or

f.  the DFPS records management officer.

The extension may be granted for as long as needed. The reason for the extension and the approval must be documented in the operation’s electronic record.

Procedure

Licensing staff follow the:

  •  retention schedule for Licensing records in the DFPS Records Retention Schedule; and

  •  policy and procedures outlined in Operating Policy OP-4201 Retention and Disposal of DFPS Records.

Extending the Record Retention Period

All records and documents must be kept at least as long as the retention period stated in the schedule. If there is a business need to keep a record longer than the time specified in the retention schedule, Licensing staff must receive approval to extend the retention period of that record from:

a.  a district director (or designee);

b.  the director of day care licensing (or designee);

c.  the director of residential child care licensing (or designee);

d.  the assistant commissioner of licensing (or designee);

e.  a licensing attorney; or

f.  the DFPS records management officer.

After receiving approval to extend the retention schedule, Licensing staff document the following in the operation’s record in Chronology field in the CLASS system:

a.  The reason for the extension

b.  The name of the approver

c.  The date of the approval

CCL Closed Record Storage

When hard copy records need to be stored outside of the district or state office, Licensing staff prepare and send records according to the CCL Closed Records Storage Process, which is located on the Records Management Group intranet website.

 

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