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1000 The Statewide Intake (SWI) Contact Center

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

The contact center for the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is maintained by the DFPS Statewide Intake (SWI) program.

The purpose of the contact center is to assist individuals when reporting:

  •   abuse, neglect, and exploitation of persons age 65 or older or adults with disabilities; and

  •   abuse and neglect of children.

SWI is responsible for:

  •   obtaining and reviewing the information reported by applying state statutes and DFPS policy;

  •   determining the correct DFPS program with jurisdiction to investigate;

  •   entering the information in the case management system (IMPACT);

  •   ensuring the report is routed to the correct DFPS program and field office; and

  •   serving as a referral center when information reported is not within DFPS jurisdiction.

In addition to contacts by telephone, SWI receives contacts through faxes, letters, and internet reports. All information provided in a contact is reviewed, assessed, and entered into IMPACT by intake specialists.


A report is documentation of a contact in the IMPACT system that reflects the information provided from a reporter. There are three types of reports:

  •   Intake (report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation sent to a program for investigation)

  •   I&R (Information & Referral)

  •   CRSR (Case Related Special Request—requests for assistance that do not involve abuse, neglect, or exploitation, sent to CPS or APS)

The assessment of the information provided by the reporter will determine the appropriate report type.

1100 Legal Basis

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2017

The Department of Family and Protective Services is charged by the State of Texas with the responsibility to investigate reports of:

  •   child abuse or neglect allegedly committed by a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare (Child Protective Services);

  •   abuse or neglect in child-care operations that are regulated by DFPS (Child Care Licensing);

  •   abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person age 65 or older or an adult with a disability by a caretaker, family member, or individual who has an ongoing relationship with the person (Adult Protective Services In-Home); and

  •   abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals receiving services (adults and children) from certain providers as defined in Human Resources Code §48.251(a)(9) and the Texas Family Code 261.404(a) (Adult Protective Services Provider).

Texas Family Code, Chapter 261

Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 48

To meet this requirement, DFPS must provide for the receipt of reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.479

Therefore SWI is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round.

1110 Legal Requirement to Report

1111 Abuse or Neglect of a Child

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

When the Report Must Be Made

According to the Texas Family Code §261.101, Persons Required to Report; Time to Report, a professional who has cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person must report the suspected abuse within 48 hours.

What Must Be Reported

A professional must make a report when there is cause to believe that a child:

  •   has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected;

  •   is a victim of an offense under §21.11, Penal Code; or

  •   has been abused as defined by Texas Family Code §261.001 or §261.401.

Who Must Make the Report

A professional is an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children.

The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers.

A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.

The requirement to report applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, or an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.

To Whom the Report Must Be Made

The report must be made to:

  •   any local or state law enforcement agency;

  •   DFPS (1-800-252-5400), if the alleged or suspected abuse involves a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child;

  •   the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which abuse or neglect occurred; or

  •   the agency designated by the court to be responsible for the protection of the children.

Texas Family Code §261.103(a)

See also the Child Protective Services Handbook, 2157 Receiving a New Report During an Open Investigation of Abuse or Neglect.

Other programs in DFPS besides Child Protective Services may investigate allegations of child abuse in certain facilities, under definitions of abuse and neglect in the Texas Family Code, §261.401.

1112 Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation of a Person Age 65 or Older or an Adult With a Disability

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2017

Reporting Requirement

A person having cause to believe that an elderly person, a person with a disability, or an individual receiving services from a provider is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation must report the information immediately to DFPS.

Persons Who Must Report

Professionals such as attorneys, clergy members, medical practitioners, social workers, employees or members of a board that licenses or certifies a professional, and mental health professionals who obtain knowledge of possible abuse, neglect, or exploitation during the scope of this employment, are required to report to the department without exception.

To Whom the Report Must be Made

The report is made to DFPS when the concern is regarding an elderly or disabled person residing in the community (for example, in their own private residence) or receiving services from certain providers.

For a list of the certain providers see the HHSC Provider Investigations Handbook, 1320 Providers and Entities.

How the Report Must be Made

The report may be made orally or in writing. It should include:

  •   the name, age, and address of the elderly person or person with a disability;

  •   the name and address of any person responsible for the care of the elderly person or person with a disability;

  •   the nature and extent of the condition of the elderly person or person with a disability;

  •   the basis of the reporter's knowledge; and

  •   any other relevant information.

Texas Human Resources Code §48.051

1120 Anonymity, Confidentiality, Immunity, and Good Faith

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018


A reporter may remain anonymous when making a report; however, it is helpful for an investigator to have the reporter’s name and contact information. Therefore, intake specialists encourage reporters to provide their names and contact information as well as the names and contact information of any collateral (additional) sources who can corroborate their reports. Reporters who decline to provide their names and contact information are still asked to provide the name of the county from which they are calling.

If the caller who wishes to remain anonymous reports child abuse or neglect by a person responsible for a child’s care, custody, or welfare, the report is assigned to the appropriate field office to conduct a preliminary investigation. The purpose of the preliminary investigation is to determine if there is any evidence to corroborate the report.

Unless the preliminary investigation uncovers some evidence to corroborate the report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, DFPS may not conduct a thorough investigation or take any action against the person accused of abuse.

Texas Family Code §261.304


The reporter’s name is confidential information. DFPS staff must not disclose the reporter’s name to the client, his or her family, or the public. Unless waived in writing by the person making the report, the identity of an individual making a report is confidential and may be disclosed only:

  •   as provided by the Texas Family Code §261.201; or

  •   to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation of the report.

The reporter’s name may be released verbally or in writing to the courts, the district or county attorney, law enforcement agencies, DFPS staff, and other individuals as specified in 40 TAC §700.203, Access to Confidential Information Maintained by DFPS.

If a complainant requests that his or her identity be kept confidential, the specialist advises the reporter that the department may have to disclose his or her identity to the district attorney and to law enforcement officials, but may not reveal the fact that the person reported the abuse to parents, alleged perpetrators, children, or the general public without the reporter’s consent, unless a court orders otherwise.

Texas Family Code §261.201


The APS Provider Investigations program may reveal to the facility administrator the name of the reporter, if the alleged perpetrator is reported to be sexually exploiting a person served, and the alleged perpetrator is considered to be a mental health services provider.

DFPS Rule, 40 TAC §§711.401, 711.403


Child Protective Services and Child Care Licensing

Intake specialists may inform reporters that the Texas Family Code, §261.106, gives them immunity from civil or criminal liability resulting from the report, unless a complainant is reporting his or her own conduct or reporting in bad faith or malice.

Adult Protective Services

A person is immune from civil or criminal liability if he or she:

  •   files a report;

  •   participates in an investigation;

  •   testifies; or

  •   participates in any judicial proceeding arising from a petition, report, or investigation.

A person, including an authorized department volunteer, medical personnel, or law enforcement officer, who participates in an investigation or the provision of services, is also immune as long as the person is acting in good faith.

Texas Human Resources Code §48.054(a),(b)

Good Faith

Child Protective Services

If the reporter is a parent who reports the other parent in connection with a pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the specialist may inform the reporter that false reports are admissible as evidence in any suit between the parents regarding the terms of conservatorship of a child.

Texas Family Code §153.013

Specialists also may inform any reporter that the Texas Family Code §261.107 sets a state jail felony for knowingly or intentionally making a report that is false or without a factual foundation.

Adult Protective Services

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally reports information that the person knows is false or lacks factual foundation. Such an offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Texas Human Resources Code, §48.053

Child Care Licensing

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally makes a report that the person knows is false or lacks factual foundation.

Texas Family Code §261.107

1130 Notification to Law Enforcement

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI is responsible for sending notification to the local law enforcement agency for all CPS and CCL intakes.

APS In-Home and APS Provider Investigations are responsible for sending notification to the local law enforcement agency when necessary.

Child Protective Services

Unless law enforcement is the source of a report, SWI must immediately notify the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency of any report it receives that concerns the suspected abuse or neglect of a child or death of a child from abuse or neglect.

Texas Family Code §261.105(b)

See also the Child Protective Services Handbook, 2136 When to Notify Law Enforcement About Reports of Abuse or Neglect.

Child Care Licensing

Unless law enforcement is the source of a report, SWI notifies law enforcement, within 24 hours of receiving the report, of all reports alleging abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child or the death of a child from abuse or neglect while in care.

If staff notifies law enforcement by telephone, written notice is also sent.

Licensing staff are required to make additional notification to law enforcement, especially in cases of serious physical or sexual abuse.

Texas Family Code §261.402

Adult Protective Services

If the investigation reveals that the person age 65 or older or person with a disability has been abused by another person in a manner that constitutes a criminal offense under any law, including §22.04 of the Texas Penal Code, APS submits a copy of the investigation to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

See also:

APS In-Home Investigations Handbook, 2270 Referring Cases to Law Enforcement

HHSC Provider Investigations Handbook, 3210 Notifications to Law Enforcement or the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

1200 SWI Contact Information

1210 SWI Main Number

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

The primary phone number for reporting abuse, neglect, and exploitation to SWI is 1 (800) 252-5400. The number is publicly available to callers nationwide.

1220 Alternative Phone Lines to Contact SWI

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

There are additional 1-800 numbers that can reach the call center in the same manner as the main line (1 (800) 252-5400). Details about these alternate phone lines are described in:

1221 Law Enforcement Line

1222 Designated Line for Reports to HHSC Provider Investigations

1223 Administrative Line

1221 Law Enforcement Line

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

Law enforcement officials are provided with a prioritized toll-free phone number.

This line was created specifically for law enforcement agencies to contact SWI. This number is not available to the general public. The line is answered by intake specialists.

1222 Designated Line for Reports to HHSC Provider Investigations

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

This abuse, neglect, and exploitation reporting hotline is used primarily by persons who work for, reside at, or participate in one or more of the following programs providing services to individuals with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities, or pervasive developmental disorders:

  •   state supported living centers

  •   state hospitals

  •   state centers

  •   community centers

  •   Home and Community-Based Services (HCS), and Texas Home Living Waiver (TxHmL) Programs.

  •   Local Authorities for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities and Contracted Services (contracted services include adult foster care, day habilitation; and vocational services)

  •   Intermediate Care Facility Serving Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Condition (ICF/IID)

The number for this hotline (1-800-647-7418) is posted at these facilities, and is available to the public. The line is answered by SWI intake specialists.

1223 Administrative Line

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

The administrative line is used by DFPS staff for administrative purposes. The calls are usually answered by SWI support staff. This number is not available to the general public.

If a DFPS staff person calls to give an intake report, the SWI support staff asks the staff person to report online. See 1230 Website for Online Reporting.

If the DFPS staff person insists on reporting by phone, or if a caller to the administrative line is not a DFPS staff person but wants to make a report, SWI support staff:

  •  explains that the call is being forwarded to the appropriate queue and that this may result in a delay; and

  •  transfers the call to the English queue, where the caller can choose among the options offered.

1230 Website for Online Reporting

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

No Emergency Response Required

Reporters are encouraged to use the Texas Abuse Hotline Website to report suspected situations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to DFPS. This website is only for reporting situations that do not require an emergency response.

See the Texas Abuse Hotline Website.

Emergency Response Required

The reporter should contact local law enforcement or 911 in the event of a life threatening or emergency situations in which one of the following faces an immediate risk of abuse or neglect that could result in death or serious harm:

  •  a child;

  •  an adult with disabilities; or

  •  a person who is over the age of 65,.

1240 Mailing Address

SWI Policy and Procedures May 2015

Mailing Address for Statewide Intake

DFPS, Mail Code 019-3

P.O. Box 149030

Austin, TX 78714-9030

When a reporter requests an address for SWI, the mailing address is provided.

1250 International and Collect Calls

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

International Calls

Supervisory approval is required before making international calls.

International calls involving an intake can be made from the telephone in the office of the assistant commissioner for SWI.

Collect Calls

SWI does not accept collect calls. Callers can use the toll-free primary phone number for reporting abuse, neglect, and exploitation to SWI.

1260 Call Recording

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

All calls to the hotline are recorded. All recorded calls are stored for at least one year using a call recording system in order to preserve them as evidence in accordance with state law. Recorded calls are accessed through a designated application that is accessible to SWI leadership, intake supervisors, SWI CLOE (SWI’s training unit) and SWI Program Improvement. Recordings are made available to intake and support staff when necessary for training purposes and performance review.

Texas Family Code §261.310(d)(3)

1300 Processing Calls

1310 Automatic Call Distributor

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

All calls to the hotline are handled by an automatic call distributor (ACD). When a person calls into the call center, the ACD offers recorded information and several options. The choices made by the caller help to route the call to appropriate staff in the shortest possible time. Callers are given the option of making a report in English or Spanish.

The ACD system distributes calls through the phone network and routes calls to the next available intake specialist. There is never a busy signal, and all calls are counted to enable constant scheduling improvements. Each call is held within the system until answered or abandoned by the reporter. Contact center calls are electronically recorded.

1320 English Language Queue

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

Most SWI calls are routed through the English language queue. They are answered in the order in which they are received.

1330 Spanish Language Queue

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2014

Spanish-speaking callers who use SWI’s main number or the APS Facility Investigations hotline to report potential abuse may opt to be routed to the Spanish language queue. The Spanish language queue is staffed by Spanish-speaking intake specialists who also receive calls from the English application when no Spanish calls are holding.

If a non-Spanish speaking intake specialist receives a report from a Spanish-speaking caller, the intake specialist handles the call through the Language Line translation service. Intake specialists do not transfer the caller back into the Spanish language queue.

1400 Communication Assistance Services

1410 Language Line (Translation Services)

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI contracts with Language Line Services, which provides translation services for many different languages.

See Language Line Instructions.

1420 Relay Texas Interpreter Services

SWI Policy and Procedures September 2012

Relay Texas is a service used by persons who are deaf or hearing-impaired or who have speech disabilities. These callers contact SWI using the Relay Texas service. The Relay Texas operator facilitates the conversation or interview between SWI and the caller by using equipment that enables the Relay Texas operator to read the caller's signals from the TTY (text telephone) and hear the voice of SWI.

1500 Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Criminal History Check

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

A DPS criminal history check is used by CPS to facilitate placement of a child. SWI completes these checks for CPS only when the requestor cannot access IMPACT and no other CPS staff are available. Only intake specialists who are assigned to the E-Unit (full time or back up) have the authorization to perform these checks.

1600 Maintaining Records of Calls


SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

IMPACT stands for "Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas."

IMPACT is the main system DFPS uses to record case information about the children and adults the agency protects. Every call, fax, letter, and internet report is documented in IMPACT as well as all stages of a case.

The IMPACT system resides on a closed and protected server. Only persons who work with, for, or are contracted by DFPS to perform duties that require them to use this system have access to it. Extensive security precautions have been taken to protect the sensitive information contained in the system.

1620 Contact Center Statistics

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

Every contact received by SWI is counted and catalogued. Statistics are reported to the state Legislature regarding the number and type of contacts, the amount of time spent by callers waiting to speak to an intake specialist, and the number of intakes generated for each DFPS program.

1700 SWI Program Organization

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

SWI staff have a thorough knowledge of the intake process for all programs within DFPS. Staff also have to be familiar with services offered by other agencies in order to make appropriate referrals. Intake staff are dedicated to the mission of the agency to protect the unprotected.

1710 Intake Specialists

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2012

Intake specialists are highly trained in interviewing callers. The intake specialist assesses reported information to determine whether the situation meets the legal definition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and, if so, further determines priority, allegation type, and report processing.

Based on the circumstances described by the reporter, the intake specialist must exercise judgment to determine whether an intake is warranted and to assign a priority to the report that determines the time frame in which the investigation must be initiated in the field. This requires knowledge of family dynamics and the ability to assess risk with little information.

The intake specialist must be knowledgeable about all laws, policies, and procedures for all DFPS programs and the services they offer so that intakes are directed to the appropriate offices. Confidentiality of the reporter must be maintained.

The intake specialist must also be knowledgeable about community resources and services offered by other state agencies so reporters receive accurate referrals.

The intake specialist must ensure the report contains complete and accurate information. The report generated must be clear and sufficiently detailed to allow field staff to conduct an investigation.

Reports are subject to subpoena as a court document, and intake specialists must bear in mind that they may be required to testify as to the accuracy of each report.

The intake specialist must be able to think and act quickly, handle crisis situations, and cope with secondary trauma.

Intake specialists are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

1711 E-Unit

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

The E-Unit is composed of intake specialists whose primary responsibility is to process reports submitted through the internet, which are known as E-Reports. Additionally, staff in the E-Unit also:

  •   Process all re-entry requests made through the re-entry queue by DFPS staff.

  •   Process all Out of State (OOS) requests for DFPS history searches.

  •   Complete Texas DPS criminal history checks for CPS staff, on the rare occasion when the requestor cannot access IMPACT and no other CPS staff are available.

1720 Intake Supervisors

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

Intake supervisors must be available to intake staff for consultation on difficult situations and to help in making decisions regarding priority levels.

Each intake supervisor reviews reports of intake specialist activity and provides feedback to staff regarding his or her performance. Each intake supervisor is required to read a percentage of reports generated by intake specialists and monitor calls for quality assurance purposes. Feedback to the specialist is provided for each case or call reviewed.

Intake supervisors conduct routine unit meetings during which they provide ongoing training and policy updates to intake specialists.

1730 Support Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

SWI has support staff who complete many tasks required to manage the workload. Support staff:

  •   Answer the Administrative line.

  •   Manage the correspondence (mail/fax) that is received at SWI.

  •   Perform call outs to on-call field workers after-hours and on holidays.

  •   Check and resolve a variety of workload issues to ensure that reports have been appropriately processed and notify supervisors when their involvement is required.

Technical support staff, known internally as GCS, provide computer support and troubleshooting, allowing intake specialists to dedicate their time to taking calls and documenting reports. GCS coordinates with DFPS IT when necessary regarding problem resolution, and upgrades to hardware and software.

1740 Floor Managers

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

SWI floor managers monitor and manage contact workloads for intake specialist adherence and compliance. They use call center forecasting software, daily absenteeism reports, and other pertinent and critical information to forecast the number of staff needed to handle the call volume in 15-minute intervals. Floor managers schedule adequate phone coverage to meet changing demands, based on variations in call volume. They balance contact workloads based on information obtained to strive for and achieve standards set forth by the Legislature. Floor managers interpret data to report past actions taken and determine present and future actions to aid in effective workload management.

1750 Program Improvement Unit

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

The Program Improvement (PI) unit coordinates efforts to improve SWI’s effectiveness in providing intake services. The unit develops tools for the qualitative evaluation of intake specialists. PI completes random reviews of staff work and uses the results to define trends, determine training needs, ensure consistency, and identify areas for improvement. PI also enhances SWI’s performance through handbook development and revisions, policy and procedure clarifications, ongoing training, and complaint resolution.


SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

CLOE SWI is the training unit which provides all of the learning opportunities for SWI including: Basic Skills Development (BSD) for all new intake specialists over a 7 week period, and Advanced Skills Development (ASD) to all BSD graduates within 12 months of BSD.

Additionally, CLOE SWI oversees the certification program for SWI and sponsors or facilitates additional training opportunities open to all SWI staff which are used for certification or additional professional development. (The certification program is similar to a teacher, social worker, or other professional certification, except that it is an internal recognition of skills, experience, good performance, and completion of required training by DFPS staff.)

CLOE SWI also coordinates or directly provides a number of service programs to SWI, which aim to promote self-care, professional development, and job satisfaction.

1800 Workload Management

SWI Policy and Procedures July 2009

In order to optimize efficiency, workforce management software allows intake supervisors and management to predict overall staffing needs as well as monitor an individual intake specialist's adherence to his or her schedule. Continuous focus is on achieving a balance of quality and quantity.

1810 Shift Scheduling

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

Shifts are created through the use of call center forecasting software. This specialized software forecasts the number of staff needed to handle the report volume in 15-minute intervals, based on historical data.

Forecasting software is used for scheduling adequate phone queue coverage to meet changing demands, based on variations in call volume. Even when variations are small, they can affect SWI's ability to answer the phone and process reports promptly. Additionally, the projected volume of reports from the internet, mail, and fax queues is taken into consideration.

1820 Managing the Workload

SWI Policy and Procedures March 2018

The number of reports SWI receives and the rate at which they are received fluctuates significantly, even during short spans of time. The time of year, day of the week, and time of day all affect the number of incoming reports. Holidays and the opening or closing of the school year also affect the number of reports received. Additional influences which are less predictable but still significant are:

  •   The weather.

  •   Media reports.

  •   The political environment.

  •   Technical issues with telephone or internet equipment or services.

  •   Public awareness campaigns.

SWI receives reports of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation by phone, internet, mail, and fax correspondence.

SWI has designated staff, referred to as workforce management, who monitor the volume of these queues and allocate resources to best manage the workload. Supervisory staff assist in monitoring and managing the workforce when needed.

Balancing the Workload

Workforce management staff monitors the following queues:

  •   Phone queues (English, Spanish, Law Enforcement, Community, and Administrative).

  •   Internet report queue (also known as the e-report queue).

  •   Correspondence (mail and fax) queue.

When calls or internet reports have been holding for extended periods of time, workforce management staff re-assigns intake specialists to other queues as needed in order to decrease hold times.

When re-assigning staff, factors that are considered are:

  •   How many staff are assigned to the various queues.

  •   How many phone calls are holding and the length of time the call has been on hold.

  •   How many e-reports have been submitted and the length of time the e-report has been waiting to be processed.

  •   How much correspondence has been received and how long the correspondence has been waiting to be processed.

Stacking Calls

In response to extended hold times on the phone queues, workforce management staff may ask intake specialists to stack a call. Stacking involves an intake specialist taking another call from the queue before completing the documentation on his or her current report.

Only intake specialists with one or more years of tenure may stack calls. Intake specialists do not stack calls if they are working on a call that requires immediate processing.

Reports that require immediate processing:

  •   Reports involving APS Provider Investigations.

  •   Priority one (P-1) intakes for any program.

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