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8000 Responding to Requests for Licensing Information

LPPH December 2009

Policy

Licensing records are considered open records, with certain exceptions.

Upon written request, information that is not considered confidential must be released to the public.

Texas Government Code, Title 5, Ch. 552, Public Information Act

Licensing staff provide information about child care and regulation upon request. Making the community aware of the minimum level of care required by licensing increases the safety of the children in the community:

Staff respond to inquiries from:

  ·  persons subject to regulation (see 2000 Handling Inquiries About the Licensing Process and Exemptions);

  ·  parents;

  ·  DFPS staff;

  ·  staff from other agencies;

  ·  the media;

  ·  legislators; and

  ·  the public.

The method the worker uses to release information depends on:

  ·  the source of the request;

  ·  the type of information requested;

  ·  the amount of information requested; and

  ·  the resources DFPS has available.

Charging for Materials

Licensing must sometimes charge a fee when providing printed copies of DFPS materials. For the amounts charged, see Form 4885 Request for Records.

8100 Information for General Release

8110 Providing the Minimum Standard Rules

LPPH December 2009

Procedure

When Licensing staff receive a request for the minimum standard rules, staff:

  ·  refer the requestor to the minimum standard rules on the DFPS Web site; or

  ·  send the requestor summaries of the standards, rather than providing the standards in their entirety.

Licensing encourages providers to print out their own set of standards. However, Licensing staff may provide new child care providers with a full set of standards, if requested, and then provide replacement changes as changes occur.

8120 Providing Information About Child-Care Operations

8121 Providing Routine Details About a Child-Care Operation

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff may release the following information about child-care operations either in print or over the phone, without requiring that the requestor fill out a form:

  ·  The status of an operation’s license or registration

  ·  The type of operation

  ·  The name of the permit holder

  ·  An operation’s address and phone number

  ·  An operation’s capacity, the ages it serves, and its hours, days, and months of operation

  ·  The statistics available on an operation, such as the number of allegations reported during a given time, or the number of times the operation violated the minimum standard rules

  ·  Details about an operation’s violations of minimum standard rules, within the limitations explained in 8122 Providing Details About an Operation’s Deficiencies

  ·  The minimum standard rules being evaluated as part of a pending investigation (including standards related to abuse and neglect), within the limitations explained in 8122 Providing Details About an Operation's Deficiencies  

See also:

8230 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public

8500 Releasing Information to the Media

8122 Providing Details About an Operation’s Deficiencies

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff must not release details about a child care operation’s deficiencies of the law, administrative rules, or minimum standard rules until Licensing has notified the operation about the violations.

If notification about a deficiency is mailed to an operator, Licensing staff must not release the details of the deficiency until three days after the mailing.

Once the operation is notified about the findings, Licensing staff may release the contents of letters or inspection forms that were produced within the previous two years.

8122.1 When Due Process Rights Are Pending

LPPH December 2009

If actions related to the operator’s due process rights are pending, such as an administrative review or a hearing by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), Licensing staff may release details about a deficiency, but must inform the requestor that the operator’s due process rights have not been exhausted.

8122.2 When a Violation Occurred More Than Two Years Ago

LPPH December 2009

If Licensing staff receives a request for information about a deficiency that occurred more than two years ago, staff may:

  ·  provide the requestor with the information, depending on DFPS’s resources at the time;

  ·  refer the requestor to the public Web site to review the previous three years of compliance history.

  ·  provide the requestor with Form 4885 Request for Records, if the information requested contains confidential information.

8123 Providing Information About Child-Care Options

LPPH December 2009

In response to requests for information about child care options, Licensing staff may provide the following:

  ·  A current list of child care operations

      The list must include a statement that registered child-care homes are inspected at least every three years.

      The list must also include a statement that listed homes are not inspected and are investigated only when a report of abuse or neglect is received or when the listed home is subject to registration or licensure.

  ·  Brochures on choosing child care and information on 24-hour care facilities (see 8300 Responding to Requests From Parents and Managing Conservators)

8130 Referring Requestors to the DFPS Web Site

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff may refer requestors to the DFPS Web site, for topics such as:

  ·  proposed changes to DFPS rules;

  ·  minimum standard rules and guidelines for child day care;

  ·  minimum standard rules and guidelines for residential child care;

  ·  information on child care services;

  ·  information for all child care operations in Texas;

  ·  the results of inspections and investigations for all child-care operations;

  ·  addresses and phone numbers for local Licensing offices; and

  ·  the Licensing Policy and Procedures Handbook.

8200 Protecting Confidential Information

LPPH December 2009

If Licensing staff receive a request for printed information and the printed information includes confidential information, Licensing staff:

  ·  give the requestor Form 4885 Request for Records; and

  ·  explain that the information must be screened and the confidential material must be removed before the information can be released.

8210 Routine Requests

LPPH December 2009

If a request submitted using Form 4885 is for routine information (such as inspection-related files, the results of an inspection, or the results of a non-abuse/neglect investigation), Licensing staff produce the materials for the requestor, as follows:

  ·  Identify the material that cannot be released according to the guidelines in 8230 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public

  ·  Make a copy of the record.

  ·  Delete the confidential information from the copy.

  ·  Notify the requestor within 10 business days of receiving the form that the copied material is ready. (If the material cannot be released to the requestor within 10 business days, Licensing staff send a letter to the requestor setting a date within a reasonable time when the information will be available.)

  ·  Explain to the requestor that he or she may come to the office to review the record and that copies may be purchased at that time. (If the requestor sends payment in advance, as described on Form 4885 Request for Records, staff may mail copies of the requested material.)

8220 Nonroutine, Questionable, and Sensitive Requests

LPPH December 2009

If Licensing staff receive one of the following requests, staff sends the request to the deidentifier for the region:

  ·  A request for the results of abuse or neglect investigations

  ·  A request for the content of a subpoena

  ·  A nonroutine request

  ·  A request that is questionable in nature

Deidentifiers have 10 business days to respond to a request.

For policy and procedures regarding receipt of a subpoena, refer to the DFPS Subpoena Policy.

8230 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public

LPPH March 2014

Policy

A judge may order the release of confidential material in a court hearing or by court order. If the request for records is the result of a subpoena, the Licensing staff handling the subpoena discusses the release of information with the deidentifier. For policy and procedures regarding receipt of a subpoena, refer to the DFPS Subpoena Policy.

If it appears necessary to share information with a permit holder that is not subject to disclosure, Licensing staff consults with the supervisor and the state office attorney.

The table below identifies the information that must not be released to the public, provides the rationale for not releasing the information, and lists any applicable exceptions to the restrictions:

Confidential (Not for Release)

Exceptions

The name of reporter and the reporter’s identifying information

Rationale

The Attorney General’s Open Records Decision No. 176, September 9, 1977, states that the identity of a reporter alleging a possible violation of minimum standards at a child-care operation may not be disclosed.

Information identifying the person who made a report resulting in an investigation may only be released as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations.

The name and identifying information about someone contacted during an investigation who makes a new allegation that is unrelated to the report being investigated See 6260 Confidentiality of the Reporter’s Identity.

Rationale

This person is a reporter with respect to the new allegation, so Open Records Decision No. 177 is applicable, even if Licensing investigates the new allegation as a part of the original investigation.

Information identifying the person who made a report resulting in an investigation may only be released as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations.

Children’s last names and identifying information, regardless of whether the children are victims.

Rationale

The Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Title 5, Chapter 552, Public Information) excludes certain information from disclosure, based on the constitutional and statutory rights of the individuals. Case law supports the exclusion of children’s names, based on their right to privacy.

The identity of a child or information identifying the child in an abuse or neglect investigation is confidential and may not be released except:

  •  as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations; or

  •  to the following persons:

1.  the child’s parent or prospective adoptive parent;

2.  the operation that was cited for a deficiency as a result of the investigation; or

3.  the single-source continuum contractor (SSCC) for foster care redesign when:

a.  the SSCC subcontracts with the operation;

b.  the operation has signed a release of information; and

c.  the operation was cited for a deficiency as a result of the investigation.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8491

Information obtained through criminal history checks regarding conviction, indictment, criminal complaint, or deferred adjudication

Rationale

Government Code §411.114 prohibits the release of criminal history checks to unauthorized persons or entities.

Authorized persons or entities may receive criminal history information in certain situations. See Government Code §411.114(a)(6) and (7).

Information received from another agency, division, or person, if that information is confidential under law

Examples are:

  •  CPS and APS files on abuse or neglect investigations, including the name of the alleged, designated, or sustained perpetrator in an abuse or neglect report;

  •  police investigation reports; and

  •  medical records, including records of psychological examinations

Rationale

The information is confidential according to statutes and may not be released.

The findings related to child and adult protective services are released to a child-care operation, when appropriate.

See:

5331 Acting on Abuse or Neglect Findings in a DFPS Central Registry Report

6280 Referring a Report of Abuse or Neglect for Investigation When New Allegations Are Received During an Investigation

6632 Notification to the Alleged Perpetrator for an Abuse or Neglect Investigation

7727 Emergency Release

Certain private information may be constitutionally protected, including:

  •  documentation for risk evaluations; and

  •  information pertaining to pending court cases to which the state is a party.

When requests for this information are received, the worker must immediately ask a Licensing attorney to send a written request to the Office of the Attorney General for an opinion on the private nature of the information.

Rationale

Government Code, Title 5, Chapter 552, Public Information Act prohibits the release of certain private information to unauthorized persons or entities.

Exceptions to the Public Information Act may include the release of:

  •  private information to certain authorized persons or entities;

  •  information related to litigation of a criminal or civil nature; and

  •  settlement negotiations to which the state is a party.

Pending investigations

Rationale

Government Code, Title 5, Chapter 552, Public Information Act prohibits the disclosure of information pertaining to an open investigation, but does require disclosure of investigations upon completion of the investigation.

See 8122 Providing Details About an Operation’s Deficiencies to determine what can be released about a pending investigation.

The Social Security number of anyone in an operation.

Rationale

Due to identity theft concerns, social security numbers are confidential.

N/A

Licensing files on abuse or neglect investigations, including the name of the alleged, designated, or sustained perpetrator in an abuse or neglect report.

Rationale

Licensing’s investigations of abuse or neglect are generally confidential based on Human Resources Code §40.005 and Licensing confidentiality rules.

a.   Licensing’s investigations of abuse or neglect may be released to the following parties in the relevant situations:

1.  DFPS staff, including volunteers, as necessary to perform their assigned duties;

2.  the parent of the child who is the subject of the investigation or the alleged perpetrator in the investigation;

3.  an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, or court appointed special advocate of an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect;

4.  the alleged perpetrator;

5.  law enforcement;

6.  a member of the state legislature when necessary to carry out that member’s official duties;

7.  an operation cited for a deficiency as a result of the investigation;

8.  a single-source continuum contractor (SSCC) for foster-care redesign that subcontracts with the operation that is cited for a deficiency as a result of the investigation, but only with a signed release from the operation;

9.  an administrative law judge, or a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction in a criminal or civil case arising out of an investigation of child abuse or neglect, if he or she:

A. provides notice to DFPS and any other interested parties;

B. determines, after reviewing the information, including audio or videotapes, that the disclosure is essential to the administration of justice and will not endanger the life or safety of any individual; and

C. includes in his disclosure order any safeguards that the court finds appropriate to protect the interest of the child involved in the investigation; and

10. a prospective adoptive parent of the child who is the subject of the investigation or who is the alleged perpetrator in the investigation, according to the Texas Family Code §162.006.

b.   The parent of a child who is not the subject of or the alleged perpetrator in the investigation but was a collateral witness during the investigation is entitled to the portion of the investigation record related to their child.

(c) A social study evaluator may obtain a complete, unredacted copy of any investigative report regarding abuse or neglect that relates to any person residing in the residence subject to the social study, as provided by Texas Family Code §107.05145.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8491

The findings of an abuse or neglect investigation are released to a child-care operation, when appropriate.

See:

5331 Acting on Abuse or Neglect Findings in a DFPS Central Registry Report;

6280 Referring a Report of Abuse or Neglect for Investigation When New Allegations Are Received During an Investigation

6631 Notifying the Operation of the Results of an Investigation

6632 Notification to the Alleged Perpetrator for an Abuse or Neglect Investigation

7727 Emergency Release

Information that may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution.

Rationale

40 TAC §745.8493 indicates CCL may not release portions of Licensing records to anyone if the information may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution.

Any information in a Licensing record that may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution may only be released as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8493(a)(1)

The location of a family violence shelter or information pertaining to a person who was provided family violence services

Rationale

Information pertaining to the location of a family violence shelter or a person who was provided family violence services is confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8493.

Information pertaining to the location of a family violence shelter or a person who was provided family violence services may only be released as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8493(a)(3) and (4)

The location of a “victims of trafficking shelter center” (as defined in Government Code §552.138) or information about a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center.

Rationale

Information pertaining to the location of victims of trafficking shelter center or a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center is confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8493.

Information pertaining to the location of a victims of trafficking shelter center or a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center may only be released as provided in 8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released in Certain Situations.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8493(a)(5) and (6)

Photographs or audio or visual recordings, depictions, or documentations of a child in Licensing records

Rationale

Photographs or audio or visual recordings, depictions, or documentations of a child in Licensing records are confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8495.

We may provide a copy of a photograph or an audio or visual recording, depiction, or documentation of a child in Licensing records to the following parties in the relevant situation:

1.   DFPS staff, including volunteers, as necessary to perform their assigned duties;

2.   law enforcement for the purpose of investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect, failure to report child abuse or neglect, or false or malicious reporting of alleged child abuse or neglect;

3.   an administrative law judge or a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction in a criminal or civil case to which the inspection or investigation is relevant;

4.   the parent of the child; and

5.   any other person authorized by state or federal law to have a copy.

The following persons may review a photograph or an audio or visual recording, depiction, or documentation of a child in Licensing records, but may not have a copy:

1.   an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, or court appointed special advocate of the child;

2.   the operation;

3.   a single-source continuum contractor (SSCC) for foster-care redesign that subcontracts with the operation, but only with a signed release from the operation; and

4.   a prospective adoptive parent of the child, as provided in Texas Family Code §162.006.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8495

8231 Confidential Information That May Be Released In Certain Situations

LPPH March 2014

Policy

The following information is confidential and may not be released except in certain situations:

1.   the name of the reporter and the reporter’s identifying information, including anyone who makes new allegations during the course of the investigation that are unrelated to the report being investigated;

2.   any child’s last name or information identifying the child in an abuse or neglect investigation, regardless of whether the child is a victim;

3.   information that may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution;

4.   the location of a family violence shelter or information pertaining to a person who was provided family violence services; or

5.   the location of a “victims of trafficking shelter center” (as defined in Government Code §552.138) or information pertaining to a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center.

This information may only be released to the following parties in the relevant situations:

a.   to DFPS staff, including volunteers, as necessary to perform their assigned duties;

b.   to law enforcement for the purpose of investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect or false or malicious reporting of alleged child abuse or neglect;

c.   to a member of the state legislature when necessary to carry out that member’s official duties; and

d.   to any other individuals ordered by an administrative law judge or judge of a court of competent jurisdiction.

CCL staff, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, may withhold any information in its records if the release of that information would endanger the life or safety of any individual.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §745.8493

8232 How to Determine if a Person is a Prospective Adoptive Parent

LPPH March 2014

Policy

Before releasing any confidential information listed in 8230 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public to a prospective adoptive parent, DFPS staff must first determine that the requestor is a prospective adoptive parent by verifying with the CPA:

  •  that the person has been selected as the prospective adoptive parent for the child; or

  •  that the person has shown interest in being the prospective adoptive parent of the child.

8300 Responding to Requests From Parents and Managing Conservators

LPPH March 2014

Policy

Licensing staff assist parents and managing conservators by providing information to help them make informed decisions.

Licensing staff or trained volunteers respond to parents’ or a managing conservator’s request for information about how an operation is regulated.

Staff also provide information when parents report alleged violations of the law or rules.

Procedure

Licensing staff provide certain types of information, as explained in the table below.

If parents …

then Licensing staff …

request educational materials …

follow the procedures explained in Appendix 8000-1: Educational Materials.

need permits or forms …

  •  refer parents to the DFPS Web site for permit and inspection, appropriate; or

  •  advise parents to request from the permit holder or operator a copy of the operation inspection forms or follow-up letters.

have a child in DFPS conservatorship …

must share all information with CPS staff.

need general information …

must follow the procedures in 8100 Information for General Release.

allege that a child care operation has violated the law or minimum standard rules …

must follow the procedures in 6200 Assessing and Processing Intake Reports.

When forwarding a request for details about an abuse or neglect investigation to the deidentifier for the region, staff must follow the procedures in 8200 Protecting Confidential Information.

See 8230 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public if a parent requests information related to:

a.   an investigation;

b.   a photograph,

c.   an audio or visual recording; or

d.   other depictions or documentations of a child.

8400 Responding to Requests From DFPS Staff and Other Agencies

LPPH December 2009

Policy

Licensing staff do not require a formal request in order to provide information to other DFPS staff or to respond to routine requests from other government agencies (including law enforcement) when there is a job-related need for the information.

8410 Releasing to DFPS Staff

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff may share any information with any other DFPS staff person who makes the request for the information without redacting confidential information.

8420 Releasing to Other Agencies

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff may share information with other government agencies, as long as the requestor provides assurance that any confidential information will be protected and that the information will be used only for the purpose and function of the division or agency requesting it.

Licensing staff note in the record:

  ·  the information provided;

  ·  to whom the information was provided; and

  ·  the purpose of providing it.

Questionable Requests

For requests for information from other governmental agencies (including law enforcement) that are questionable, not job-related, unusual, unclear, or not routine, staff must:

  ·  obtain a written request on the requesting agency's letterhead; and

  ·  verification from a regional attorney that the release is authorized.

8500 Releasing Information to the Media

8510 When to Contact a Regional Public Information Officer (PIO)

LPPH December 2009

Policy

Licensing staff must contact the regional public information officer (PIO) when:

  ·  the office is contacted by any media outlet;

  ·  a case is of community interest; or

  ·  A DFPS employee is accused of committing a felony, especially one involving offenses against children.

8511 Routine Contact With the Media

LPPH December 2009

In routine situations, any or all of the following staff may authorize Licensing staff to provide information to the media:

  ·  the supervisor; or

  ·  the district director or manager, or the director of residential child care licensing.

8512 Requests Beyond General Release

LPPH December 2009

If a representative of a news organization contacts Licensing staff with questions beyond what is afforded in accordance with 8100 Information for General Release, Licensing staff refer the representative to:

  ·  the regional PIO; or

  ·  the state office PIO, in the absence of the regional PIO.

If Licensing staff refer the news representative to the state office PIO, staff report the contact to the regional PIO as soon as possible.

Only the regional or state PIO, or that person's designee, may release information to the media that goes beyond what is afforded in 8100 Information for General Release. Before obtaining information that goes beyond general release, the requestor must complete Form 4885 Request for Records.

8513 Other Reasons to Contact a Regional PIO

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff may contact the regional public information officer for other reasons, such as when:

  ·  consultation is needed or desired;

  ·  a situation has occurred and media interest is anticipated;

  ·  staff want to share a local story with the news media; or

  ·  staff have an idea for a feature story.

8514 When the Regional PIO Is Unavailable

LPPH December 2009

If the regional PIO is unavailable, Licensing staff may contact the following about any media-related concerns, including those listed above:

  ·  the regional PIO’s designated backup; or

  ·  the PIO at the state office in Austin.

8520 When to Contact the State Office PIO

LPPH December 2009

Licensing staff must contact the public information office (PIO) in the state office in Austin when a story requires information and comment from state office staff because it relates to:

  ·  policy;

  ·  legislation;

  ·  procedures;

  ·  funding;

  ·  statewide statistics;

  ·  an action of a DFPS advisory council; or

  ·  a statewide issue.

Licensing staff may also contact the state office PIO in lieu of the regional PIO under the circumstances explained in 8510 When to Contact a Regional Public Information Officer (PIO).

8600 Responding to Requests From Legislators

LPPH December 2009

Policy

Licensing staff must respond to a request for information from a member, agency, or committee of the Texas Legislature as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days from receiving the request, if possible.

8610 Requests for General Information

LPPH December 2009

Procedure

When a request for general program information is received from a government official or a member of a government official's staff, Licensing staff:

  ·  complete a Legislative Inquiry Form; and

  ·  send the form (or an e-mail that contains the information found in the form) to the external relations staff person in the Center for Consumer and External Affairs (CCEA).

8620 Requests About Specific Operations

LPPH December 2009

Procedure

When Licensing staff receive legislative inquiries about specific operations, staff:

  ·  consult with the supervisor;

  ·  ask a Licensing attorney or the external relations staff person in CCEA to review the information before releasing it; and

  ·  send the external relations staff person and the DFPS manager of consumer affairs a copy of the final response sent to the requestor.

8630 Responding to Legislators’ Requests for Policy

LPPH December 2009

Procedure

When requests for information about DFPS policy or other routine matters are received, Licensing staff provide the information to the inquirer.

If an inquiry involves an issue that is likely to be controversial, Licensing staff must consult with the supervisor before responding.

If appropriate, Licensing staff notify and consult with one the following in the Center for Consumer and External Affairs (CCEA):

  ·  The regional public information officer

  ·  The external relations staff person

  ·  The manager of consumer affairs

8640 Responding to Legislators’ Requests for Statistical or Budget-Related Information

LPPH December 2009

Policy

After consulting with the supervisor, Licensing staff may release information that has been published in official DFPS documents and approved by the chief financial officer.

Such documents may include:

  ·  statistics;

  ·  appropriations; or

  ·  other budget-related information.

Document the source of the information being provided.

Licensing staff may refer requestors to the DFPS Web site for:

  ·  DFPS annual reports; and

  ·  the DFPS annual data book of statistics.

All other requests for statistical information must be referred to the chief financial officer (CFO) or the CFO’s designee.

8650 Responding to Requests About Complaints or Legislative Issues

LPPH December 2009

Policy

Licensing staff sometimes receive requests for information on general complaints or specific legislative issues.

The DFPS manager of consumer affairs responds to general complaints, particularly if they relate to:

  ·  DFPS program;

  ·  decisions made by DFPS staff; or

  ·  activities outside the area of licensing.

DFPS’s Government Relations staff are DFPS's liaisons to legislators and to persons making inquiries about legislative issues.

Procedure

Before responding to an inquirer, Licensing staff consult with:

  ·  the DFPS manager of consumer affairs; or

  ·  the staff person for External Relations.

When receiving a request about DFPS’s position on proposed legislation, Licensing staff refer the inquirer directly to the staff person for External Relations.

8700 Responding to Requests From Disability Rights Texas

LPPH March 2014

Policy

Disability Rights Texas is the federally funded and authorized protection and advocacy system for Texans with disabilities.

The federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act allows DFPS to release confidential records to Disability Rights Texas when it is representing an individual or investigating crimes related to:

  •  a complaint about the treatment of a DFPS client; or

  •  a complaint about a DFPS client’s abuse or neglect case (including APS, CCL, and CPS cases).

The Act grants Disability Rights Texas staff special access to Licensing records to carry out their duties, including access to records on abuse and neglect investigations. Employees of Disability Rights Texas are not required to formally request information related to a Disability Rights Texas client.

42 USC §§15041-15045

Procedure

Licensing staff must take the following steps:

  •  Respond promptly when Disability Rights Texas requests information related to a Disability Rights Texas client. Expedite the response, regardless of whether Disability Rights Texas requests an expedited response.

      When it is not clear whether a request for information is client-related, contact the program specialist responsible for releasing information. (Disability Rights Texas staff do not have the same rights to Licensing records when they request information on behalf of a friend or family member, rather than as part of their work with Disability Rights Texas)

  •  Send all Disability Rights Texas requests through the regional de-identifier.

  •  Do not charge Disability Rights Texas for copies.

  •  Note in the record:

  •  the information provided;

  •  to whom the information was provided; and

  •  the purpose of providing it.

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