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24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide

This publication is a guide for child-placing agencies (CPAs) and general residential operations (GROs) that contract with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to provide residential child care.

In this publication CPAs and GROs are referred to as providers. The term caregiver refers to individuals who deliver services directly to the child, such as foster parents, adoptive parents, group home parents, or residential facility staff.

Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies (40 TAC Chapter 749)

Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations (40 TAC Chapter 748)

1000 Contract Compliance

1100 CPS Prerogatives

1110 Child Protective Services Right of Placement

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The Child Protective Services (CPS) program of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) reserves the right to place a child only in a facility that it believes can meet the needs of the child. CPS is under no obligation to place or continue a placement of any child with a particular provider. Placement is always at the sole discretion of CPS.

The provider must comply with CPS’s placement processes, and do nothing to circumvent them. The provider has no right to place or maintain the placement of any child without the authorization of CPS.

The provider regularly updates its vacancy status in the DFPS Child Placement Vacancy Database. To update vacancies in the database and for other information, see the Child-Care Provider Login web page.

The provider must comply with all applicable federal and state laws, including:

  •  the Multiethnic Placement Act, as amended by the Interethnic Adoption Act of 1996 (42 USC Chapter. 21 §1996b);

  •  the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 USC Chapter 21 §1915);

  •  the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (42 USC Sec. 629 et seq. and Sec. 670 et seq.);

  •  the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 USC §671); and

  •  comparable state laws regarding the placement of children.

1120 CPS Approval Requirements for Travel and Visits

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider develops and maintains a written policy regarding overnight travel and overnight visits.

Approval Required for Travel Out of State

When the provider wishes to take a child in DFPS conservatorship outside the state, the provider must obtain prior written approval from CPS for the child’s travel.

Approval Required for Travel Within the State

If the travel is within the State and for more than three calendar days (72 consecutive hours); the provider must obtain prior written approval from the CPS caseworker.

Approval Required for All Travel

The provider must obtain written approval from the CPS caseworker before allowing any trip, activity or visit with a non-related person for a period of time exceeding 48 consecutive hours.

This requirement does not apply to moving the child to provide the foster parents with  intermittent alternate care.

Travel for Which Approval is Not Required

Written approval for travel and visits is not required when:

  •  the CPS caseworker arranges for the child to visit with members of the child’s family;

  •  the CPS caseworker authorizes the child to travel in specified circumstances (usually routine trips or visits); or

  •  the child is participating in normal childhood activities.

Approval Required for Travel Out of the Country

When the provider desires to take a child outside of the country, the provider completes Form 2069 Declaration of Caregiver Regarding Out-of-Country Travel.

1130 Unilateral Amendments

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS reserves the right to make unilateral amendments to its contract with the provider. A unilateral amendment will be effective upon the provider’s receipt of a copy of the amendment signed by DFPS. DFPS reserves the right to execute a unilateral amendment when necessary to:

  •  incorporate new or revised federal, state, or DFPS rules, or policies;

  •  change the name of the provider in order to reflect the provider’s name as recorded by the Texas Secretary of State;

  •  correct an obvious clerical error in the contract;

  •  change contract and resource numbers;

  •  change the recorded license number of any license needed under this contract in order to reflect the correct number as issued by the licensing authority;

  •  update service level descriptions or daily rates; or

  •  comply with a court order or judgment. 

1200 Provider’s Obligations

1210 Provider Representation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

When a provider under contract with DFPS accepts a child, the provider is stating that:

  •  it has the expertise and is licensed to provide programmatic services to meet the child’s current needs based on the background information provided by DFPS;

  •  it will accept the service level unit rates as payment; and

  •  it will deliver services and meet requirements in a manner that meets high standards of professional quality.

1220 Foster Family Recruitment Prohibitions

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider does not contact the verified family of another CPA for the purpose of recruitment or transfer of a foster home.

If the provider believes that another DFPS-contracted CPA has violated this provision, then within 21 business days both parties must work together independently in a good faith effort to privately resolve the dispute.

If the parties to the dispute cannot resolve the conflict, they elevate the dispute by requesting a peer review of the matter to the CPS state office program specialist. DFPS refers the complaint to the Peer Review Committee to hear, review, and render a recommendation resolving the dispute. The Peer Review Committee meets either in person or via teleconference within 30 days of the referral.

Peer Review Committee decisions are based on a majority vote of the committee. The committee forwards its recommendations to the Office of the Associate Commissioner of Child Protective Services for review.

The associate commissioner’s office can choose to adopt, amend, or reverse the recommendations of the Peer Review Committee. If the associate commissioner’s office does not render a final action within ten business days, then the recommendation of the committee becomes final.

DFPS reserves the right to use any and all available contractual remedies if the final recommendation includes a determination that a DFPS-contracted CPA has violated this provision.

1300 Service Levels

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS determines the minimum services to be provided to each child based on the child’s level of need. DFPS designates the level of need as Basic, Moderate, Specialized, or Intense, as described in Service Levels for Foster Care on the DFPS website.

1310 Requesting a Service Level Evaluation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Requests for service level evaluations must be directed to the CPS caseworker, who will forward any approved requests to the service level monitor.

1320 Requesting a Retroactive Initial Service Level

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If a child has not been assigned an initial authorized service level during the current paid foster care stay, a CPA may submit a request for a service level evaluation directly to the service level monitor (a third party contractor). The request must be submitted within the first 45 days of admitting the child.

The CPA may be paid the new initial service level rate retroactively, for up to 60 days in the past. For retroactive payment to be authorized the following conditions must be met:

  •  Upon admission to the CPA, the child must remain in the same foster home or have been in intermittent alternate care within the same CPA that is requesting the initial authorized service level.

  •  The child must have remained less than 30 days in a general residential operation providing emergency care services placement immediately before placement with the CPA.

1330 Providing Treatment at Specialized of Intense Service Levels

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

CPAs serving children at Specialized or Intense service levels must be licensed to provide treatment services.

Before placing a child with a Specialized or Intense service level, the CPA must ensure that the foster home in which the child will be placed is verified to provide treatment services appropriate to the child’s needs.

1340 Disagreement About Service Level Determination

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If a provider disagrees with and chooses to appeal the service level determination made by the service level monitor, the provider goes through the service level monitor’s administrative and peer review processes.

These processes are outlined on the service level monitor’s website.

1400 Notifications

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Maintaining an Email Account

The provider must maintain at all times at least one active email address so the provider can receive communications from DFPS. It is the provider’s responsibility to monitor this email address for information from DFPS.

If the email address changes the provider notifies the residential contract manager using the Residential Contract mailbox (Residential_Contracts@dfps.state.tx.us) within five calendar days of the change.

1410 Notifications Made to DFPS by the Provider

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must make notifications required by rule and law.

Texas Family Code §264.018, Required Notifications; and

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC Chapter 700, Subchapter M, Division 2, Notice of Significant Events

1411 Reporting Serious Incidents to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Within the timeframe mandated by minimum standards the provider must notify the CPS caseworker of any serious incident, including but not limited to:

  •  a child running away;

  •  a child’s death; and

  •  a child’s abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

The provider reports serious incidents to the DFPS Statewide Intake hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

1412 Notifying DFPS of Changes Within the CPA or GRO

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the residential contract manager within 10 calendar days of any significant changes affecting the provider’s residential child care program. These changes include, but are not limited to:

  •  the addition, replacement, or termination of the administrator or board president;

  •  any change in ownership of the facility;

  •  a change in the provider’s status as a for-profit or non-profit entity;

  •  any change to the provider’s admissions policy; and

  •  significant changes to the scope and coverage of the services provided by the provider or any of its subcontractors.

1413 Reporting Breaches of Confidential Records to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the residential contract manager within 48 hours of an identified breach of confidentiality of any child’s information.

1414 Reporting the Child’s Absence to the School

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the school the same day of any change that will affect the child’s attendance at school and, where possible, the length of time a child may be absent.

1415 Notifying DFPS of Changes to Authorized Health Passport Users

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must send notification to the residential.passportaccess@dfps.state.tx.us email box within 48 hours of any additions or deletions of health passport authorized users.

1416 Reporting Complaints to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the residential contract manager in writing within 10 calendar days if the provider receives a formal complaint or lawsuit filed against it regarding noncompliance with any statutes or regulations.

1417 Reporting an Application to Foster by a Relative or Fictive Kin

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If a person applies to a child-placing agency to be verified as a foster home, and that person is a relative or fictive kin of the child, the CPA notifies DFPS within two business days of accepting the application. Notification is made at the Child-Care Provider Login page of the DFPS website.

If the provider verifies the person as a foster parent, the provider notifies the child’s CPS caseworker in writing within two business days of the verification, and provides a copy of the foster home screening.

If the provider does not verify the person as a foster parent, the provider explains why the person was not verified at the Child-Care Provider Login page of the DFPS website within two business days of determining that the home will not be verified.

1420 Notifications Related to the Child

1421 Reporting Service Level Issues to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the residential contract manager within 10 calendar days if there are:

  •  service level issues that cannot be resolved by DFPS’s third-party contractor; or

  •  payment issues which cannot be resolved by the applicable regional foster care billing coordinator.

1422 Notifying DFPS of Meetings Related to the Child

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Within three business days of receiving notice of certain meetings related to the child, the provider must notify the CPS caseworker about the meeting in writing. These meetings are:

  •  upcoming ARD team meetings; and

  •  any meetings regarding student disciplinary actions that may lead to in-school or out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or placement at an alternative education setting.

1430 Notifications Related to the Older Child or Young Adult

1431 Reporting Incomplete Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must notify the child’s CPS caseworker in writing within 48 hours when:

  •  a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement signed by the child has not been completed within 10 calendar days prior to the child’s 18th birthday; or

  •  a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement has not been received for a Child 18 to 22 years of age participating in Extended Foster Care. 

Efforts made to obtain a copy of the signed agreement should be documented in the child’s record;

1432 Reporting Violations of the Extended Foster Care Program

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

When a child 18 to 22 years of age has requested Extended Foster Care or Return for Extended Foster Care, but is not participating in the required school, work or other activity, the provider must notify the CPS caseworker of this within 30 calendar days.

1433 Reporting a Child Needing to Enroll in PAL

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If the provider is updating the service plan of a child 16 years of age or older, and there is not yet a plan in place for the chlld to enroll in or receive PAL Life Skills training classes, the provider must notify the child’s CPS caseworker.

1434 Reporting a Child Entering the Transitional Living Program

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

When a minor is accepted into the provider’s transitional living program, the provider notifies the child’s CPS caseworker within 24 hours. If the provider does not know the child’s CPS caseworker, the provider notifies the regional Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) staff. See the Regional Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Coordinators page of the DFPS website.

Texas Family Code §32.203

1440 Notifications Made to the Provider by DFPS

1441 Notification of Discharge

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS notifies the provider 30 calendar days before discharging a child from placement. An emergency care services provider is notified five calendar days before discharging a child from placement.

No notification is required for removal when:

  •  the removal is court ordered;

  •  there is an immediate threat to the health, safety or well-being of a child; or

  •  after the provider requests removal.

However, when DFPS determines the removal to be in a child’s best interest, DFPS will make every effort to afford the child and the provider reasonable notice.

If DFPS discharges a child with less than 30 day’s notice, the provider may request a discharge document signed by the DFPS program director responsible for the child. At DFPS’s discretion the discharge document may be signed by a higher management level if the discharge is not for one of the reasons above. The discharge document describes DFPS’s reasons for the discharge and the reasons for discharging with less than 30 day’s notice.

1442 Notifying the Provider of Changes in the Child’s Permanency Goal

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS keeps the provider informed of any significant changes in the child’s circumstances in a timely manner including legal status, family situation, and factors related to the child’s permanency goal.

1443 Notifying the Provider of Changes in Funding

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS notifies the provider when it knows that funds for the provider’s contract will be reduced or eliminated.

1444 Notifying the Provider of a Delay in Service Level Evaluation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

DFPS notifies the provider within 10 calendar days when a request for a service level evaluation will not be forwarded to the service level monitor.

1500 Use of Department Forms

1510 Non-Emergency Placements

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

For children at the moderate service level or higher, CPS completes and provides to the provider at or before placement the Common Application for Placement of Children in Residential Child Care (Form 2087) as the uniform assessment form and application for admission.

The provider accepts children for placement by CPS only after receiving one of the following completed forms, as appropriate:

2085-B Designation of Medical Consenter for non-DFPS Employee

2085FC Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential Care

2085-E Education Decision-Maker Form

2085SIL Placement Authorization - Supervised Independent Living

If the child’s service level is moderate or higher, the provider must also receive:

2087 Common Application for Placement of Children in Residential Care (long form)

2087ex Alternative Application for Placement of Children in Residential Care (short form)

2089c Youth for Tomorrow Request for Initial Level of Care Authorization

If the CPS caseworker attempts to place a child at the moderate service level or higher without a copy of a current Form 2089, the provider may, but is not required to, accept the child for 72 hours after having the caseworker sign the DFPS Form 2089-C.

1520 Emergency Placements

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

In an emergency placement CPS will make every effort to complete and provide to the provider at or before placement the Common Application for Placement of Children in Residential Child Care (Form 2087) as the uniform assessment form and application for admission. The form may be incomplete at admission but will contain all available information.

Alternatively, CPS may provide the Alternative Application for Placement of Children in Residential Child Care (Form 2087ex), which is shorter version of the form.

Whichever form is used at or before placement (either the incomplete 2087 or the 2087ex), the CPS caseworker completes Form 2087 and delivers it to the provider at the time the child’s placement is changed from an emergency to a non-emergency placement. 

Changing From an Emergency to a Non-Emergency Placement

The provider accepts Form 2087 or Form 2087ex as the uniform assessment form and application for admission for placement of CPS children.

The provider accepts CPS children for placement only after receiving one of the following completed forms, as appropriate:

2085FC Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential Care

2085-B Designation of Medical Consenter for non-DFPS Employee

1530 Unaccompanied Emergency Placements

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

In the event an unaccompanied child in the care of CPS presents for emergency placement, the provider may accept the child for placement. The provider immediately notifies CPS for instructions and to initiate documentation.

CPS completes the required forms within the next working day but may immediately move the child.

1540 Use of Forms at Admission

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider accepts CPS children for placement only after receiving one of the following completed forms, as appropriate:

2085FC Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential Care

2085-B Designation of Medical Consenter for non-DFPS Employee

CPS must also provide one of the following forms, complete or incomplete:

2087 Common Application for Placement of Children in Residential Care (long form)

2087ex Alternative Application for Placement of Children in Residential Care (short form)

CPS will complete the long version of Form 2087 within 30 calendar days following the provider’s written request for it. 

If CPS does not provide the completed forms, the provider can obtain them from the Find a Form page on the DFPS website, and provide them to the CPS workers for completion.

When the child’s service level has not been determined at the time of placement, the provider will be compensated at the basic rate. The provider may request a retroactive initial service level authorization to change the child’s service level. See 1320 Requesting a Retroactive Initial Service Level. 

The provider can obtain Form 2279 Placement Summary, to be completed by the provider at discharge, from the Find a Form page on the DFPS website.

1541 Reviewing the Childs’ Rights With the Child

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

At the time of admission and any placement change, the CPS caseworker gives the provider and the child a copy of the CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care.

If the child requests it and it is appropriate, the CPS caregiver reviews the CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care with the child, and explains the child’s rights.

The child and immediate caregiver sign and date the CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care to acknowledge that the child had help reviewing the document and understands his or her rights.

The provider maintains a copy of the signed CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care in the child’s record.

Within 72 hours of admission, the immediate caregiver reviews the foster home or placement’s rules and expectations with the child.

1550 Disclosure of Medical Information

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If it becomes necessary for the provider to obtain and disclose health information on a child the provider must still comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). To facilitate this compliance, CPS provides the following forms on the Find a Form page on the DFPS website:

2085-FC Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential Care

2085-B Designation of Medical Consenter for non-DFPS Employee

If the provider encounters problems obtaining and disclosing health information on a child, the provider works with the CPS caseworker and the DFPS residential contract manager to obtain any additional permissions that are necessary.

1560 Medical Consent

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The medical consenter is authorized by the court to access, receive, and review all of the child’s medical records. The Medical Consenter may also authorize the release of the child’s medical records to obtain services for the child.

The provider advises children ages 16 and 17 years of age of their right to request the court to authorize them as their own medical consenter under Texas Family Code §266.010.

The medical consenter follows the requirements and responsibilities of the medical consenter listed in Designation of Medical Consenter Form (Form 2085-B) located on the Find a Form page on the DFPS website.

1561 Training for Medical Consenter

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Caregivers and employees who serve as medical consenters submit the completed Acknowledgment and Certificate of Completion of Medical Consent Training (Form 2759) to the CPS caseworker each time a child is placed or a caregiver is designated as medical consenter for a child.

1562 Training for the Child Who Is the Medical Consenter

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Children  ages 16 and 17 years of age may be designated by the court as their own medical consenters. Within seven days of the court’s designation the child must complete the DFPS computer-based training on informed consent by clicking the Take the Training button on the Medical Consent Training for Caregivers web page of the DFPS public website.

No less than 120 days before the child’s 18th birthday, the child must take the training, and within five days of completing it submit the completed Acknowledgment and Certificate of Completion of Medical Consent Training (Form 2759) to the CPS caseworker.

If the child has a non-emergency appointment with a health or  behavior healthcare provider within those seven days the child must take the training before the appointment. The child submits the completed Acknowledgement and Certificate of Completion of Medical Consent Training (Form 2759) to the CPS caseworker within five days of completion.

1600 Disaster and Emergency Response Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must maintain at all times a written disaster and emergency response plan.

The provider must also develop and maintain policies and procedures to address internal and external emergencies and disasters that include, but are not limited to:

  •  acts of nature (such as flood, hurricane, fires, and tornadoes);

  •  chemical or hazardous material spills;

  •  critical equipment failure;

  •  weapons of mass destruction events; and

  •  acts of terrorism. 

Emergency Requiring Evacuation or Quarantine

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation or quarantine, the provider is responsible for maintaining the safety and placement of all children in its care. 

All staff and subcontractors of the provider must be aware of the disaster plan requirements and be prepared to fulfill their role in executing the plan. 

1610 Content of the Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The disaster and emergency response plan and procedures must address the following:

  •  mandatory evacuation if directed by local officials;

  •  emergency evacuation;

  •  emergency response;

  •  disaster planning training for all staff and Caregivers; and

  •  arrangements for adequate provision of:

  •  staffing;

  •  shelter;

  •  food;

  •  transportation;

  •  medication;

  •  supplies;

  •  emergency Equipment;

  •  emergency Services; and 

  •  medically necessary equipment and supplies, or access to these items for the Child during an emergency.

1620 Preserving Records In a Disaster

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that contact information for the CPS caseworker and the caseworker’s supervisor is available.

The provider must identify and track each child and be aware of each child’s location.

Each child’s records and important paperwork must be protected or recovered. This includes but is not limited to:

  •  electronic records;

  •  placement information;

  •  medical authorizations;

  •  Medicaid cards;

  •  STAR Health cards; and

  •  the child’s education portfolio.

1630 Providing Service to Children During and After a Disaster

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that each child receives regular and crisis-response services during and after a disaster.

The provider must have plans in place for maintaining any services required by a court order or the child’s service plan, for any child in care both during and after a disaster.

Counseling Services

The provider must ensure that each child receives services such as crisis counseling, to meet the crisis-related needs of the child in care during and after the disaster.

Medical Services

The provider must ensure that each child receives medical services to each child throughout the disaster. Such services include, but are not limited to:

  •  providing the child with medication as prescribed (including insulin and asthma-related treatments);

  •  emergency care; and

  •  medical care if a child has primary medical needs (as defined in the glossary).

1640 Maintaining Communications During a Disaster

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that communication with DFPS and CPS is maintained.

The provider must provide DFPS with the names and telephone numbers two emergency contacts who will be available to DFPS at all times in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Unless otherwise instructed by DFPS, during a disaster providers with multiple facilities and CPAs must contact CPS at a minimum once a day  until all children in the provider’s care are accounted for.

To report the location and condition of each child in care as soon as the child has reached the evacuation destination, the provider uses the online reporting feature on the DFPS website. This feature is enabled during times when mass evacuation of part of Texas is anticipated.  If the website is not available, the provider calls the Statewide Intake hotline at 1-800-252-5400

Child-placing agencies must have methods by which their individual foster homes can contact the CPA administration to inform them of the location and condition of each child in care as soon as possible upon reaching an evacuation destination.

1650 Post-Disaster Plans

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must include post-disaster needs in the disaster plan. This includes planning to:

  •  provide emergency power, food, water, and transportation; and

  •  return after an evacuation;

1660 Reviewing and Updating the Disaster Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that the disaster plan remains current and is reviewed at least:

  •  every two years; and

  •  when changes in administration, construction, or emergency phone numbers occur.

1670 Distribution of the Disaster Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Child-Placing Agencies must provide a copy of their disaster plan to foster parents and ensure that each home has a written disaster plan specifically for that home. The home’s plan is updated as necessary and at each re-evaluation required by minimum standard §749.2801(b)

The CPA maintains a copy of each home’s disaster plan in its records.

1700 Retention, Access, and Confidentiality of Records

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider maintains comprehensive and legible records of all actions performed by the provider’s personnel. 

The records management requirements in this section remain in effect even if the contract with DFPS is terminated, or if services cease to be performed by the provider.

1710 Records Retention

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider maintains, for a minimum of five years after the termination of the contract period:

  •  financial and programmatic, with supporting documents;

  •  statistical records;

  •  documentation to support performance measures;

  •  records about claims or cost reports submitted; and

  •  records about services delivered.

1711 Retaining Records During Litigation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If any litigation, claim, monitoring, or audit involving these records begins before the five year period ends, the provider must keep the records and documents for:

  •  not less than five years and

  •  until all litigation, claims, monitoring, or audit findings are resolved. 

A case is considered resolved when a final order is issued in litigation and the order cannot be appealed, or a written agreement resolving all issues is entered into between DFPS and the provider.

1712 DFPS Approval for Records Disposal

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must not dispose of records before providing written notice to, and receiving written approval from, the DFPS residential contract manager.

1720 Providing Access to Records

1721 Providing Access to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider makes available any and all records and information concerning the child to DFPS upon written request. The provider must forward legible records and information to DFPS within 14 calendar days of receiving the request.

Emergency Access

The provider makes available any and all records and information concerning the child to DFPS upon verbal request in emergency situations. Upon verbal request from DFPS, the provider submits legible records and information within DFPS’s specified time frame. Emergency requests for records can include, but are not limited to:

  •  the need to review the child’s service level in order to make a placement change;

  •  court ordered requests; or

  •  attorney requests.

1722 Providing Access to the STAR Health Contractor

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Psychotropic Medication Utilization Review

The provider gives the STAR Health contractor (Superior/Cenpatico) information for a specific child upon written request, if it is for the purposes of a Psychotropic Medication Utilization Review (PMUR). This information includes:

  •  the last three months of physician’s notes;

  •  the last three months of medication logs; and

  •  the most recent psychological evaluation.

Other Requests

If the provider receives a written request for information from the STAR Health contractor that does not involve PMUR, the provider tells the STAR Health contractor to contact the CPS caseworker for assistance.

1730 Confidentiality

1731 Confidentiality of All Records

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

All records received or created by the provider in which a child may be identified as having been referred by CPS are confidential. They may be disclosed to third parties only with the prior written consent of DFPS or within the scope of consents permitted by the medical consenter. 

The provider takes reasonable measures to secure confidential records and prevent their destruction or disclosure, according to applicable federal and state law, rules, and regulations. 

If the provider receives any request or demand for disclosure of confidential records the provider notifies DFPS. Requests may be in the form of oral questions, subpoenas for documents, civil investigative demands, interrogatories, requests for information, or other similar legal processes. DFPS may seek an appropriate protective order, or it may consent to the disclosure of the requested records.

DFPS has absolute right of access to, and copies of, child case records or other information relating to a child served by the provider.

1732 Confidentiality of Health Passport Records

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider may designate an employee, with DFPS approval, to have access to the child’s health passport. This staff member is referred to as the authorized user. The authorized user must comply with all operative restrictions of the health passport user agreement as it exists now or may later be amended.

The authorized user must not share information from the health passport with anyone who does not have a direct need to know the information for purposes of providing health care to the child, including behavioral health care. The authorized user shares the minimum amount of information required.

The authorized user is responsible for maintaining the physical security and confidentiality of health passport information. This includes information that the authorized user may view on a computer, print to paper or copy or download to other formats. The authorized user does not allow physical access to people who do not need the information. This may involve locking the computer or blanking the screen, and picking up printed materials promptly from shared printers.

The authorized user must not share passwords. If the provider becomes aware that a password has been shared, he or she is required to notify Superior within 24 hours so that a new password can be assigned.

The provider informs authorized users that DFPS may restrict or deny access to the health passport if they are in violation of the user agreement or terms and conditions described in this section.

Sharing Health Passport Information with the Child

The authorized user limits access to health passport records to:

  •  children who are served by the provider; or

  •  children with whom the authorized user has a relationship for which health passport access is authorized.

1733 Confidentiality Children’s Photos

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider may release or otherwise use a photo or image of a child only under certain circumstances.

Releasing or otherwise using a photo or image of a child must:

  •  be in the best interest of the child;

  •  pose no threat to the child’s health or safety; and

  •  not be used for any commercial use, publicity, pecuniary benefit, or similar gain for the provider or anyone else.

If a child’s photo or image is released, no reference may be made to the fact the child is in the conservatorship of DFPS. The use of the photo or image must not stigmatize the child in any way.

If the child is old enough and developmentally able to read and write, the child must approve of the release or use of the photo or image. 

Prior Written Approval From CPS

In almost all cases the release or use of a photo or images of a child must be approved in writing by the CPS caseworker.

When Written Approval is Not Required

The provider is not required to receive prior written permission from the CPS caseworker in the following situations:

  •  The photo or image is released or otherwise used by the child or immediate caregiver to share with the child’s friends or the caregiver’s friends or family. This includes but not limited to school pictures traded with peers or a family photo sent in a holiday card.

  •  The photo or image is released by the child or caregiver to the child’s biological family.

  •  The photo or image is used as a normal part of a school or extracurricular activity, including but not limited to:

  •  photos published in the school yearbook or a church newsletter,

  •  photos of honor roll students published in the local newspaper,

  •  a group photo of a scout troop distributed to all the troop members and posted on a community youth center bulletin board, or

  •  photos of the sports team posted in a school showcase.

1740 Providing Records to Persons Appointed by the Court

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider gives access to all records and information concerning the child to properly identified individuals appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction. These individuals may be:

  •  volunteers or employees of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA);

  •  guardians ad litem; or

  •  attorneys ad litem.

Records and information available to these individuals may include, but is not limited to:

  •  documentation of face-to-face visits with the child by the provider’s case manager staff;

  •  the child’s service plan;

  •  documentation of services provided to a child;

  •  discipline logs;

  •  medical and dental information;

  •  educational documentation; and

  •  narratives.

If an individual asks for confidential records and claims to be with CASA, the provider or individual caregiver should confirm this.

If the individual claims to be an employee of the CASA, request a court order and review it to be sure it is valid.

If the individual claims to be a CASA volunteer, request:

  •  a court order and review it to be sure it is valid; and

  •  a notification letter of volunteer assignment and acceptance that clarifies the individual’s appointment to the child.

If the provider or individual caregiver cannot readily determine the person’s identity or authority, they must obtain approval from the child’s CPS caseworker before granting the individual access to the child.

1750 Providing Records to Schools

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider does not provide the documents below to a public school:

Common Application for Placement of Children in Residential Child Care (Form 2087)

Alternative Application for Placement of Children in Residential Care (Form 2087ex)

The provider ensures that documents and information in the education portfolio are kept confidential and only shared with school personnel as necessary to facilitate school activities.

1800 DFPS Information Security Requirements

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must comply with DFPS security requirements, state and federal law and rules in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) relating to the specific DFPS program area that provider supports. Additional requirements are contained in the following resources:

DFPS Contractor Information Security Standards

Health and Human Services Enterprise Information Security Standards and Guidelines

Title 1, Texas Administrative Code, Sections 202.1 and 202.3-.28

Texas Human Resources Code, Section 40.005

Texas Business and Commerce Code, Subchapter B, Sections 521.051-.053

Texas Family Code, Subchapter C, Sections 261.201-.203

Texas Family Code, Section 264.408

Texas Family Code, Section 264.511

Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 85.115

Title 40, Texas Administrative Code, Section 700.1404

Title 40, Texas Administrative Code, Subchapter B, Sections 700.201-.209

In addition, the provider must comply with the following, as applicable:

The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA)

Publication 1075 – Tax Information Security Guidelines for Federal, State and Local Agencies

NIST Special Publication 800-53 Revision 4 – Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations

NIST Special Publication 800-47 – Security Guide for Interconnecting Information Technology Systems

Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 181

Title 1, Texas Administrative Code, Sections 391.1-.2 

1810 Providing IT Information to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If DFPS requests it, the provider must promptly give DFPS access to any information security records, books, documents, and papers that are directly pertinent to the performance of the contract including, but not limited to:

  •  the provider’s information security policies, procedures, standards and guidelines;

  •  the provider’s security plan in compliance with NIST Special Publication 800-53 Revision 4;

  •  the provider’s security violation reports;

  •  the provider’s employee security acknowledgement agreements; and

  •  lists of the provider’s employees, subcontractors, and agents with authorized access to DFPS confidential information.

The provider’s information security policies, procedures, and security plan subject to DFPS’s review and approval. Regardless of whether DFPS approves the provider is still obligated to follow the requirements in this section.

1820 Providing Certification of Compliance to DFPS

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If DFPS requests it, the provider must promptly give DFPS written certifications of compliance with controls and provisions relating to information security. This includes, but is not limited to, those related to confidential data transfers and the handling and disposal of personally identifiable information (PII).

Acceptable forms of written compliance may be, but are not limited to:

  •  Statement on Auditing Standards No.70, Service Organizations (SAS-70) Report;

  •  General Security Controls Audit;

  •  Application Controls Audit;

  •  Vulnerability Assessment; and

  •  Network/Systems Penetration Test.

 

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