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2000 Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

This chapter addresses reports that SWI creates based on information received from the reporter.

2100 Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A reporter is anyone who contacts SWI by phone, internet, mail/fax, or walk-in. Reporters typically contact SWI to:

  • Report a concern of abuse, neglect, or exploitation about a child, disabled adult, or an adult older than 65.
  • Provide additional information about a previously made report.

2110 Information about the Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

For each reporter who calls SWI, the intake specialist gathers and documents the following information:

  • First and last name.
  • Relationship/Interest (Rel/Int) to the person he or she is concerned about.
  • Address and address type.
  • Phone number and phone type.
  • Secondary phone number and phone type.
  • Basis of Knowledge – The reporter’s basis of knowledge is how, when, and from whom the reporter learned about the information he or she is reporting. The intake specialist gathers a basis of knowledge for each reporter unless the reporter’s relationship or interest (Rel/Int) designation or other elements of the report reflect the basis of knowledge.

The intake specialist asks for the reporter’s name, address, and phone number at the beginning of the call in case the call disconnects.

Supporting Materials and Documentation

A reporter may indicate that he or she has materials such as websites, pictures, emails, videos, letters, or social media posts that he or she would like to include with the report. SWI cannot accept supporting materials or documentation.

If the reporter indicates that this material is available, the intake specialist documents the existence and availability of this information in the reporter’s person notes.

Notes about the Reporter Interaction

Sometimes, a reporter may have concerns about his or her safety, give contradictory information, make derogatory statements, reveal bias, or behave in ways that give the intake specialist concerns about the reporter interaction.

When this happens, the intake specialist documents what the reporter said or did in the reporter’s person notes. The intake specialist does not document his or her opinion; the intake specialist only documents facts. It is not appropriate for the intake specialist to document personal opinions in the report (in either the person notes or the narrative).

2111 Caller ID

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists’ phones are equipped with caller ID. When an intake specialist answers a call, the reporter’s phone number appears on a screen on the phone.

The intake specialist may only use the phone number from the caller ID when:

  • The situation is life-threatening.
  • The reporter is not anonymous, and he or she requests its use to obtain his or her phone number.

The intake specialist is not permitted to use caller ID when:

  • The call disconnects before the reporter provides a phone number.
  • The intake specialist forgets to ask for the reporter’s phone number during the call.
  • The reporter chooses to remain anonymous.

When a reporter asks whether SWI has caller ID, the intake specialist tells the reporter that SWI does have caller ID, and that it may only be used in life-threatening situations or when the reporter requests it to obtain his or her phone number.

If the intake specialist notices that the phone number on the caller ID is different from the number the reporter gave, he or she may ask the reporter to repeat the number. If there is a difference between the two numbers, the intake specialist does not question the number given by the reporter. Some calls may be routed through a switchboard or have another reason for having a different number than that given by the reporter.

Using Caller ID in Life-Threatening Situations

In a life-threatening situation, an intake specialist uses all possible tools to locate a client or family, including information from the caller ID, regardless of whether the reporter has chosen to remain anonymous.

In these situations, the number on the caller ID may be shared with law enforcement and field staff.

These situations may include:

  • A reporter who is suicidal or homicidal.
  • A reporter who is making a bomb threat to any public or private establishment.
  • A reporter indicates that a person is or has been severely abused or neglected, that person is in immediate danger or at risk of death, and all other attempts to locate the subject of the call are unsuccessful.

Intake specialists must get approval from a supervisor before documenting the caller ID information in a report.

2112 Speakerphone

The use of a speakerphone by a reporter is permissible. Intake specialists should not request that the reporter discontinue the use of a speakerphone unless the quality of the connection is so poor that it impedes the exchange of information.

2120 Types of Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The following types of reporters have additional requirements:

  • Professional reporters.
  • Anonymous reporters.
  • DFPS, Child Care Regulation (CCR), Provider Investigations (PI), and Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) reporters
  • Mail/Fax reporters
  • Chronic reporters.
  • Offensive or inappropriate reporters.
  • Suicidal reporters.
  • Reporters (and principals) who may be known to intake staff.

2121 Professional Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A professional reporter is anyone in certain fields of work who is making the report based on his or her training and expertise, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Medical facility staff
  • Social workers
  • School personnel
  • Law enforcement
  • Mental health professionals
  • Officers of the court
  • Day care providers

Employer and Job Title

For professional reporters, the intake specialist:

  • Gathers their employer and job title.
  • Documents that information in the reporter’s person notes.

Reporters who are Law Enforcement

For law enforcement reporters, the intake specialist:

  • Gathers the law enforcement incident or report number associated with the reported situation.
  • Documents this number in the narrative section.

2122 Anonymous Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An anonymous reporter is someone who does not provide a name (first, last or both) and contact information (telephone number, email address, mailing address, or physical address). When a reporter wants to remain anonymous, the intake specialist encourages the reporter to provide his or her information by explaining the following:

  • DFPS employees are required by law to keep the reporter’s identity confidential. If it is provided, the identity may be revealed to:
    • A judge.
    • Law enforcement in certain situations.
    • Other entities that investigate abuse or neglect.
    • Other people only when ordered by the court. See 1130 Confidentiality
  • The information allows field employees to contact the reporter if they need additional information.
  • Anonymous reporters do not receive a report ID for his or her records. See 2142 Report ID.

If the reporter still chooses to remain anonymous, the intake specialist does not pressure a reporter to provide his or her name or contact information. The intake specialist:

  • Selects Anonymous (AN) as the reporter’s relationship/interest (Rel/Int).
  • Asks the reporter for the county from which he or she is calling (used for statistical purposes only).
  • Asks the reporter for his or her basis of knowledge.

When an Anonymous Reporter Reveals Name or Relationship

If an anonymous reporter reveals his or her name, either deliberately or inadvertently, he or she is no longer considered anonymous. The intake specialist explains that the reporter cannot be anonymous because he or she revealed his or her name. The intake specialist documents the reporter’s name.

If an anonymous reporter’s relationship is disclosed, inadvertently revealed, or can be guessed from the information provided, the intake specialist documents that information in the reporter’s person notes. The reporter’s Rel/Int remains Anonymous (AN).

2123 Chronic Reporters (Chronic Callers)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

APS defines chronic callers as alleged victims who have established a pattern of self-reporting allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that are frivolous or untrue.

Some reporters may call SWI repeatedly, but intake specialists handle reports differently only if from people identified by APS as chronic callers.

See 5650 Chronic Callers.

2124 Offensive or Inappropriate Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A reporter may become inappropriate or obscene when sharing information. The intake specialist responds professionally, redirecting the reporter back to details about possible abuse or neglect.

If the reporter continues to use excessive inappropriate language or describe obscene actions, the intake specialist explains that the call may be disconnected if the behavior does not stop. The intake specialist can change this explanation to the specific situation as it is occurring.

If the reporter continues to be inappropriate or offensive, the intake specialist may end the call. If the intake specialist ends the call because the reporter was offensive or inappropriate, he or she documents the reason for doing so in the reporter’s person notes.

The intake specialist assesses the information provided by the reporter for allegations of abuse or neglect and completes the report according to standard procedures.

2125 Suicidal Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a reporter appears to be suicidal, the reporter’s immediate safety is the first concern. Determining whether the call meets the definitions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is secondary. The intake specialist never refers a suicidal reporter elsewhere, because the reporter may not make that subsequent call.

For instructions on handling suicidal threats from reporters residing in a state hospital, state supported living center, or the Rio Grande State Center, see 6770 Suicidal Callers in Certain Facilities.

The intake specialist assesses the suicidal reporter’s current status and takes any necessary actions to ensure the reporter’s safety, including calling law enforcement for a welfare check.

SWI takes the following actions while the reporter is on the phone:

  • The intake specialist keeps the reporter engaged in conversation and never puts the reporter on hold or transfers the call.
  • The intake specialist attempts to obtain the reporter’s name, telephone number, and a current location. The intake specialist also copies the phone number listed on the caller ID.
  • The intake specialist sends an instant message to the Floor Support Chat Room to request assistance. If supervisory assistance is not provided quickly, the intake specialist contacts any available staff member by instant message to ask for assistance in handling a suicidal reporter.
  • The supervisor or other staff member contacts law enforcement and requests a welfare check.
  • After the intake specialist confirms that law enforcement made contact with the reporter, he or she ends the call.

If the only issue presented was the reporter’s emotional state (suicidal), the intake specialist documents the information in an appropriate information and referral (I&R) type. If there were other issues, he or she assesses the information for abuse, neglect, or exploitation; and completes the report according to standard procedures

2126 Reporters (and Principals) Who May Be Known to Intake Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An intake specialist may answer a call or pull an e-report in which the intake specialist knows the reporter or principal(s).

  • If the reporter is someone that the intake specialist knows personally and is calling or making an e-report in a professional capacity about someone the intake specialist does not know, then it is acceptable to handle the interview or review the e-report and process the report.
  • If the reporter is calling about or making an e-report about a person the intake specialist knows personally, then it is not appropriate for the intake specialist to handle the interview or e-report. In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, the intake specialist should speak with a supervisor and pass the report to someone else.

2127 Reporters Who Decline an Interpreter

SWI Policy and Procedures April 2021

If a reporter declines to use an interpreter from the interpreter service, the intake specialist contacts the floor support chat room to request assistance from a supervisor.

2130 Whom to Designate as the Reporter

2131 DFPS, CCR, PI, and SSCC Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

How the intake specialist documents a reporter who works for DFPS, Child Care Regulation (CCR), Provider Investigations (PI), or a Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) depends on whether the reporter is:

  • Reporting in a professional capacity.
  • Reporting on behalf of someone else.
  • Reporting as a personal witness or participant.

Reporting in a Professional Capacity

If the DFPS employee learned about the situation while performing professional duties, the intake specialist documents FPS Staff as the relationship or interest (Rel/Int), the employee’s business address, and the employee’s business phone number.

Child Care Regulation (CCR), Provider Investigations (PI),or Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) employees are also documented as FPS Staff for the (Rel/Int) designation.

See 2820 Assessing Reports Made by Field Staff.

Reporting on Behalf of Someone Else

If the employee did not personally observe or learn about the situation but is making a report for someone who is unwilling or unable to do so, the employee is the caller, and the person for whom they are calling is the reporter.

The intake specialist documents the following for the caller:

  • Adds FPS Staff as the relationship or interest designation.
  • Adds the employee’s business address.
  • Lists the employee’s business phone number on the Report Information page.
  • Adds person for whom the employee is calling to the person list.
  • Designates that person as the reporter.

Reporting as a Personal Witness or Participant

If the employee was a witness to or participant in the situation, the intake specialist documents:

  • Employee’s personal relationship or interest to the situation.
  • An address.
  • A phone number.

The employee can provide any address and phone number that he or she prefers.

If, during the interview, or while processing an e-report , mail or fax, it becomes evident that the employee might be a principal or family member, or has a personal relationship with the victim or the perpetrator, the intake specialist consults (staffs) with a supervisor to determine if it is a sensitive report.

If it becomes evident that the employee is an SWI employee making a report in which he or she would be a principal or a family member, the intake specialist immediately consults with an SWI program administrator, if available.

See 2837 Sensitive Report Involving an SWI Employee.

2132 Mail or Fax Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When reviewing mail or faxes, it is important to distinguish between the sender and the reporter.

Identifying the Sender

Fax cover sheets include the name and email address of the person who forwarded the information to SWI. Information may also be found on the mail envelope. This person is the sender. However, he or she might not be the reporter. This is frequently the case when the sender is a field employee who is passing along information.

Identifying the Reporter

Review the mail or fax to determine the identity of the reporter. This information may be found in the “Notes” section of the cover sheet or within the rest of the mail or fax. The reporter’s information on a fax might contain only a name and an email address.

When the sender is not the reporter, the intake specialist documents who sent the report to SWI in the reporter’s person notes. For example, “OCR staff faxed the report to SWI.”

Protective Orders

The reporter is the attorney who signed the request for the protective order.

Email or Email Chain

SWI may receive emails or email chains via fax. This type of fax typically occurs when a reporter emails information to field employees instead of contacting SWI. After a field employee receives the email, he or she faxes the report to SWI.

These faxes contain a cover sheet and are accompanied by the email. The email contains details about the person who provided the abuse or neglect information to the field employee. That person is the reporter.

2133 E-Report Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When reviewing e-reports, the person submitting the report is typically the one whose person information has been entered into the designated reporter fields. The intake specialist uses information in the report to determine if the relationship or interest designation (Rel/Int) matches what the reporter chose. Discrepancies or additional information are noted in the person notes.

The intake specialist also determines whether a DFPS, Provider Investigation, Child Care Regulation, or SSCC employee is reporting in a professional capacity. If so, he or she ensures that the Rel/Int is FPS Staff.

2134 Walk-In Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

People who visit SWI in person to make a report are directed to a phone in the outer lobby. He or she may use that phone to call the toll-free hotline and report concerns.

2135 Multiple Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Sometimes, a report may involve more than one reporter. The intake specialist uses the following table to determine how to designate each reporter.

If:

Then:

Two callers are participating in the same call to report information.

Each caller is a reporter.

Two callers are participating in the same call to report information. One caller identifies himself or herself, but the other caller remains anonymous.

Only the identified caller is a reporter.

The intake specialist documents that a second caller chose to be anonymous in the reporter’s person notes.

One caller reports information received from someone else.

Only the caller is a reporter.

One professional caller reports information for another professional.

Only the professional caller who spoke with the intake specialist is a reporter.

A professional caller reports information for a group of people.

Only the professional caller who spoke with the intake specialist is a reporter.

One DFPS or HHSC field employee reports information received from someone in the community.

Only the person in the community who provided the information to the field employee is a reporter.

One DFPS or HHSC field employee reports information that he or she witnessed.

The field employee is a reporter.

Law enforcement reports information received by someone in the community or that he or she witnessed.

Only the law enforcement officer is the reporter.

One caller asks another person questions in the background and then tells the intake specialist the answers.

Only the caller who spoke with the intake specialist is a reporter.

Exception: If the person in the background is unable to communicate directly with the intake specialist, and the only reason the person on the phone is present is to facilitate the interview. The reporter would be the person in the background whose intent was to be the reporter (for example, Relay Texas or a language barrier). The intake specialist documents why the reporter is different from the person on the phone in the reporter’s person notes.

A mail or fax report names one writer, but another writer’s statement is attached.

If the mail/fax provides names for both, each writer is a reporter.

2140 Feedback to the Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist provides the reporter with appropriate feedback throughout the call. Feedback may include:

  • Explaining the call decision.
  • Providing the report ID, when appropriate.
  • Providing the intake specialist’s name and worker ID.
  • Providing referrals, when appropriate.
  • Recommending a law enforcement welfare check, when appropriate.
  • Explaining how the field employee notifies reporters of investigation results, if asked.

2141 Call Decision

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

For each call, the intake specialist provides the reporter with a call decision. Though it is not necessary to go into detail, the reporter should have a clear understanding of what is happening with the information he or she provided.

The specific feedback depends on the type of report the call generates. The intake specialist assesses the information and uses the table below to decide which feedback is appropriate.

If the report is:

Then the intake specialist tells the reporter:

P1-P4 Intake

The information meets the definitions of abuse or neglect, and he or she is sending a report to the local office recommending an investigation.

PN Intake

He or she is sending the report to the local office for review, and the local office will decide whether to open an investigation.

I&R to an existing case

The information does not meet definitions of abuse or neglect at this time. However, if the child, adult, or family has an open case, the information will be sent to the caseworker.

I&R Standards Compliance for DCL or RCCL

I&R Client Rights/Facility Admin Issues

The information does not meet definitions of abuse, neglect or exploitation at this time, however, he or she is sending this information to the local office for review by the appropriate staff.

I&Rs Referred Elsewhere

He or she is sending the report to another agency, and he or she provides the reporter with the name of that agency.

or

He or she refers the reporter to another agency and provides the name and contact information of that agency.

I&R Closed at SWI

The information does not meet definitions of abuse or neglect at this time, and he or she is not sending a report to the local office for investigation.

Case-related Special Request (CRSR)

He or she is sending the information as a request to the local office.

If an intake specialist needs help making an assessment to explain the call decision, he or she does the following:

  • Asks the reporter to stay on hold while this the intake specialist consults (staffs) with a supervisor
  • Tells reporter that he or she is unable to explain the call decision if the reporter is unwilling or unable to hold.
  • Consults (staffs) with a supervisor.
  • Explains the call decision after consultation.

Inappropriate Feedback

Intake specialists do not provide information about what actions the local office takes once they receive a report. Doing so can cause confusion or misunderstanding. The intake specialist can explain only what he or she is doing with the information the reporter provided.

The intake specialist does not tell the reporter when the local office will respond to a report they receive or provide a timeframe for response. Although field staff does have specific timeframes for a response that must be followed, factors may affect these timeframes. Intake specialists do not know when the local office will respond. If a reporter asks, the intake specialist says that the local office determines when and how to proceed once they receive the report.

The intake specialist does not tell a reporter to call SWI back for status updates.

2142 Report ID

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist gives the reporter a report ID number for each call only when the reporter provides both of the following:

  • A first or last name.
  • A means of contact or locating them, such as any of the following:
    • Personal phone
    • Business phone
    • Other designated phone (neighbor, relative, employment)
    • Residential address
    • Business address
    • School address
    • Mailing address
    • P.O. box number

The intake specialist may provide the report ID by phone or email. If the reporter is unable to document the report ID, the intake specialist offers to send it by email. This is done by completing the email address field in the report. The email only contains the report ID number and no other details about the report.

2143 Intake Specialist Name and Worker ID

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist provides his or her first name and worker ID (phone extension) to each reporter.

If the reporter asks why the intake specialist is not required to give his or her last name, the specialist explains that the worker ID is specific to the intake specialist. If a professional reporter who is not law enforcement requests the intake specialist’s last name, the intake specialist may provide it. However, if a law enforcement reporter requests the intake specialist’s last name, the intake specialist must provide it.

2144 Referrals

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist may provide the reporter with referrals to other state or community agencies, or to pertinent organizations, when appropriate.

SWI maintains a list of frequently provided referrals on the DFPS intranet, Referrals for Callers.

2145 Law Enforcement Welfare Check

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A welfare check occurs when law enforcement goes to a specific location to check on the safety or well-being of a person. People request welfare checks by calling law enforcement using 911 for emergencies or using the non-emergency number. In certain situations, intake specialists may suggest that a reporter contact local law enforcement to request a welfare check on a child, adult, or family.

When to Recommend a Welfare Check

A reporter can request a welfare check when any of the following occur:

  • A situation is occurring at the time of the call.
  • There is an immediate need for assistance.
  • The life and safety of an individual are believed to be in danger, even if it is not life-threatening.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • When children younger than 6 are home without supervision from a responsible teen or adult.
  • When a person age 65 or older has not been seen or contacted recently, and no family members, caretakers, or other people are available to check on the person.
  • When someone is sensitive to the heat, does not have air conditioning or fans, and the outside temperature is increasing.

If the reporter indicates he or she cannot or will not request a welfare check when one is appropriate, the intake specialist uses his or her professional judgment to decide whether he or she should request the welfare check.

When Not to Recommend a Welfare Check

The intake specialist does not recommend a welfare check when:

  • It is more appropriate to explain why he or she is not recommending a report for investigation.
  • The report does not support the need for immediate contact from the local office.

He or she does not refer a reporter to law enforcement as a means to “satisfy” the reporter and end the call.

A common example of when it is not appropriate to recommend a welfare check is when parents are engaged in a custody dispute, and child safety is not a concern.

2146 Notification about Investigation Results from the Local Office

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Reporters may ask what information or updates they will receive during an investigation, or after an investigation is complete.

Generally, the intake specialist explains that the following:

  • Details of an investigation are confidential.
  • SWI does not give information on investigation findings.
  • Each program has policy about what information they share with reporters.

If a reporter asks when they will be notified of the results of the investigation, the table below provides information regarding each program’s policy.

If the program is:

Then:

Child Protective Investigations (CPI)

In most instances, CPI provides oral or written notification to the reporter about the investigation results.

See the Child Protective Services Handbook, 2293 Notifying Clients of Investigation Findings.

Child Care Investigations (CCI) and Child Care Regulation (CCR)

Once the inspection or investigation is complete, CCI or CCR notifies the reporter of the outcome unless:

  • The reporter indicated to CCI or CCR that he or she does not want notification.
  • There is a reasonable likelihood that notification would jeopardize the reporter’s safety.
  • The reporter will receive notification in another capacity.
  • The reporter is anonymous.

See the Child Protective Services Handbook, 2293.1 Exceptions to Notifying Clients of Investigation Findings.

See the HHSC Child Care Licensing Handbook, 6633 Notifying the Reporter of Investigation Results.

Adult Protective Services (APS)

APS does not give the reporter case information unless he or she is otherwise entitled to records. APS only gives the reporter pertinent case information necessary to:

  • Confirm whether allegations will be accepted for investigation.
  • Collect evidence and gather relevant information related to allegations and the client’s overall situation and risk.
  • Arrange for protective services to reduce risk or alleviate abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

See the Adult Protective Services Handbook, 6123 Interviewing the Reporter.

Provider Investigations

Provider Investigations notifies the reporter within five business days of completing the investigation, stating the outcome of the investigation, and giving them information about the appeal process.

See the Provider Investigations Handbook, 3520 Investigation Status Report and Report Provision.

2150 Reporter Requests to Speak to a Specific Intake Specialist

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a reporter wants to talk with the intake specialist with whom he or she spoke previously, the intake specialist who receives the current call determines whether to transfer the call to the original intake specialist.

Acceptable to transfer

If the documentation and processing of the original call are not complete, the intake specialist speaking to the reporter contacts the requested intake specialist. If the requested intake specialist is available and accepts the call, the reporter is transferred. The current intake specialist speaks to the requested intake specialist on the phone first, before completing the transfer. Not doing so is known as a blind transfer. Blind transfers are not acceptable. If the original intake specialist is able to accept the transferred call, the intake specialist who makes the transfer documents an I&R Other Business Call.

Not acceptable to transfer

The current intake specialist does not transfer the call to the requested intake specialist when any of the following apply:

  • The report is in Closed status in the IMPACT case management system.
  • The report is no longer on the requested intake specialist’s workload.
  • The report has already been submitted to the Supervisor Approval workload, but it is still on the requested intake specialist’s workload.
  • The reporter was anonymous.
  • The requested intake specialist is unavailable or unable to take the call.
  • The requested intake specialist does not agree to take the call before the call is transferred (blind transfer).

In these situations, the current intake specialist completes the call and processes the information according to standard procedures.

2160 Calling Back a Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Sometimes, an intake specialist needs to call a reporter in order to complete a call. Reasons include:

  • Accidental disconnection.
  • Realization after the call that more information is needed.

The intake specialist does not need approval to call back a reporter, and no additional information and referral (I&R) is completed.

Intake specialists should not call reporters back if it is believed that doing so could compromise the reporter’s confidentiality or place the reporter in danger. In either case, the intake specialist asks for permission to call the reporter in case the call is disconnected. If the intake specialist does not reach or attempt to call the reporter, he or she completes the report based on available information.

The intake specialist uses the following guidelines when calling back a reporter.

If:

Then the intake specialist:

The reporter answers the phone.

 

  • Asks to speak to the reporter by name.

  • Gives his or her first name only.
  • Does not identify as being with SWI.
  • Explains what additional information is needed.
  • Documents the additional information in the narrative.

Someone other than the reporter answers the phone and the actual reporter is available to come to the phone

  • Asks to speak to the reporter by name.
  • Gives his or her first name only.
  • Does not identify as being with SWI.
  • When the reporter gets on the line, the intake specialist:

    • Explains what additional information is needed.
    • Documents the additional information in the narrative.

Someone other than the reporter answers the phone and the reporter is not available to come to the phone.

  • Asks to speak to the reporter by name.
  • Gives his or her first name only.
  • Does not identify as being with SWI.
  • Does not leave a message.
  • Ends the call.
  • Documents the attempt in the narrative.

The person believed to be the reporter denies having called SWI.

  • Asks to speak to the reporter by name.
  • Gives his or her first name only.
  • Does not identify as being with SWI.
  • Accepts the denial.
  • Ends the call.
  • Documents the attempt in the narrative.

The intake specialist reaches an answering machine or voicemail.

  • Does not leave a message.
  • Documents the attempt in the narrative.

2200 Person List

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist obtains and documents details about each person in the report.  The specific information the intake specialist gathers and where he or she documents the information depends on the principal’s or collateral’s involvement in the report. Principals (PRN) and collaterals (COL) have different requirements for what details must be obtained for each. The details required for each PRN include the following identifying and locating information:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Types
  • Roles
  • Relationship or interest (Rel/Int)
  • Demographics
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Person notes

For COLs, the intake specialist is only required to obtain names and contact information. 

The intake specialist organizes this information into a person list for all intakes, all case-related special requests (CRSRs), and some information and referral (I&R) reports.

For I&Rs, the intake specialists may document the person list in either the Person section or the narrative section of the report. See

3200 I&R Person List

2241 Principal (PRN)

2242 Collateral (COL)

2210 Names

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist gathers and documents a first and last name for each principal (PRN) and collateral (COL).

See:

2241 Principal (PRN)

2242 Collateral (COL)

The intake specialist documents only full, legal names. These may include special characters such as spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes when they are part of the person’s legal name.

The intake specialist never documents the following as names on the person list:

  • Initials or nicknames.
  • Suffixes or titles.
  • Names of facilities, hospitals, resources, building, and so on.
  • Description of person (such as “baby boy”, relationships, or role descriptors (such as “unk”).
  • Abbreviations documented by reporters in e-reports.

Instead, the intake specialist documents this information in the person notes.

If a person has more than one name, the intake specialist also documents the additional names in the person notes.

Documenting Partially Unknown Names

Sometimes, reporters may only have a partial name. If the reporter has only a first or last name for a person, the intake specialist documents only the part of the name known by the reporter.

Examples:

  • The reporter knows that the oldest victim’s name is Destiny but does not know her last name. The intake specialist documents “Destiny” for the first name and does not document anything for the middle and last name.
  • The reporter knows that the aunt’s name is Mrs. Smith but does not know her first name. The intake specialist documents “Smith” for the last name and does not document anything for the first and middle name.

Documenting Totally Unknown Names

If the reporter does not know a person’s name at all, but he or she can specifically identify the person by other means, the intake specialist:

  • Does not document anything for the first, middle, or last name.
  • Documents any available demographic information.
  • Documents any available identifying information in the person notes field.

Example:

  • The reporter knows that the oldest victim is 2 years old but does not know his name. The intake specialist documents “2” for the age and does not document anything for the first, middle, or last name.

When nothing is entered into any of the name fields of a person on the person list an “Unknown#” placeholder label is automatically assigned.  For example, “Unknown 1,” Unknown 2, to separately identify each unknown person.

Documenting a Named Collateral (COL) with no Contact Information

If the reporter knows the name of a collateral (COL) but does not have contact information, the intake specialist documents the name in the narrative only. The name is not entered on the person list.

See 2242 Collateral (COL).

2220 Addresses

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist gathers and documents an address for each principal (PRN). The address consists of:

  • Street address, apartment or suite number if appropriate.
  • City.
  • State.
  • ZIP code.

The address ensures that field staff can locate a family or client. If collaterals are available, the intake specialist gathers and documents their contact information. Contact information includes phone numbers or addresses. It is important to validate addresses while the reporter is on the phone. This validation allows the intake specialist to clarify with the reporter any address that does not validate.

See:

2241 Principal (PRN)

2242 Collateral (COL)

The intake specialist selects the address type as it relates to the person. For example:

  • The reporter may work at a residential facility, in which case the address type would be Business. The victim may live at that same address, but for him or her, the address type would be Fac Residence.
  • The reporter may be a counselor at a school, in which case the address type would be Business. The victim may be a student at that same address, but for him or her, the address type would be School. Although it is preferable to document the student’s home address as the primary address, there may be occasions when the school address is the only one available.

Intake specialists also document any other available addresses.

Partial Address

Partial addresses may be ones where the street address is incomplete or only the city or county is known.

When the intake specialist has only partial street addresses, such as Hwy 29, Apple Apts, or 24th & Cross, the information is documented in the Locating Information section of the narrative. Partial addresses are never entered into the address fields on the person list.

If the reporter provides only a city, a county, or both, the intake specialist documents that information in the City or County fields, as applicable.

Medicaid Addresses

The intake specialist never uses the address typeMedicaid Card. Instead, the intake specialist uses another appropriate address type, such as Residence or Facility Residence.

2230 Phone Numbers

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist obtains and documents a phone number for each adult principal (PRN) and collateral (COL). Phone numbers ensure that field staff can contact a person, family, or adult victim. It is not necessary to obtain phone numbers for principals who are children.

See:

2241 Principal (PRN)

2242 Collateral (COL)

The intake specialist selects the phone type as it relates to the person. For example:

  • The reporter provides a cell phone number for the mother, in which case the phone type would Residence-cell. If the reporter also provides a phone number for where the mother works, then the phone type would be Business.
  • The mother has a cell phone, in which case the phone type for her would be Residence-cell. The father may also use this cell phone, but for him, the phone type would Family/Relative because it is not his personal phone.

The intake specialist also documents any additional phone numbers.

2240 Types

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist identifies each person on the person list with an appropriate type. A person can be a principal (PRN) or collateral (COL).

2241 Principal (PRN)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

In most cases, a principal is any person who has some involvement in the reported situation. Each program has specific requirements for determining whether a person should be a principal.

For intakes and CRSRs, the intake specialist documents principals in the Person section in IMPACT.

2242 Collateral (COL)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A collateral is any person who can provide additional information about the reported situation.

The intake specialist attempts to obtain the name and contact information for at least one collateral for all intakes. He or she may document the collateral’s information in the Person section or the narrative in IMPACT. The intake specialist is not required to gather this information for CRSRs or information and referral (I&R) reports.

2250 Roles

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist assigns each person on the person list a role according to the situation and the program involved. It is important to assign roles correctly, because field staff is unable to change an assigned role.  This means that if a person is incorrectly associated with an allegation in the case record, the error cannot be corrected. Principals (PRN) may be assigned any of the following roles, depending upon the program:

  • Alleged victim (VC)
  • Alleged perpetrator (AP)
  • Victim perpetrator (VP)
  • Unknown (UK)
  • No role (NO)

Collaterals (COL) are always assigned the role of No role (NO).

2251 Alleged Victim (VC)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An alleged victim is a person who was reported to be abused, neglected, or exploited. Each program has specific requirements for who can be an alleged victim.

There must be at least one alleged victim on the person list for intakes, even if there is limited or no information about the identity of the alleged victim.

2252 Alleged Perpetrator (AP)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An alleged perpetrator is a person reported to be responsible for the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Each program has specific requirements for who can be an alleged perpetrator.

When the identity of an alleged perpetrator is unknown, the intake specialist may or may not add him or her to theperson list, depending on the program.

2253 Victim Perpetrator (VP)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A victim perpetrator is a person who is both an alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator. Only CPI and APS use this role.

2254 Unknown (UK)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A person is assigned the role of Unknown (UK) when there is not sufficient information to determine whether a person is an alleged victim or alleged perpetrator. Only Child Protective Investigations (CPI) and Residential Child Care Investigations (RCCI) use this role. CPI and RCCI have specific requirements for who can be assigned the Unknown (UK) role.

2255 No Role (NO)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

If the person clearly is not involved as an alleged victim, alleged perpetrator, or victim perpetrator, the intake specialist lists him or her as No Role (NO).

2260 Relationship or Interest (Rel/Int)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist identifies each person on the person list in any intake, information and referral (I&R), or case-related special request (CRSR) with a relationship or interest (Rel/Int) designation that best describes his or her relationship to the oldest victim, adult victim, or person of concern.

Any time intake specialists use a vague Rel/Int, such as Unrelated Household Member (UH), he or she documents an explanation of the relationship in the person notes or narrative.

2270 Demographics

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist obtains and documents the following demographic information for each principal:

  • Date of birth (DOB)
  • Age or approximate age, if DOB is unknown
  • Date of death (DOD), when applicable
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Language

The intake specialist does not gather this information for collaterals.

Date of Birth (DOB) and Age Fields

If the reporter is not able to provide a date of birth, the intake specialist requests an age,  approximate age or age range.

  • If the report is for CPI, DCI, or RCCI, use the lower age of the range as the age.
  • If the report is for APS and Provider Investigations, use the upper age of the range as the age.

The intake specialist also documents that the reporter could not provide the exact date of birth or age in the person notes and includes the age range provided.

Date of Death (DOD)

The intake specialist:

  • Documents the deceased person on the person list only if he or she is pertinent to the report.
  • Documents the date of death (DOD), if known.

See 5360 Death Caused by Abuse or Neglect.

Language

It is important for the intake specialist to obtain a language spoken for each person and not make assumptions based on:

  • A person’s name
  • The reporter’s language
  • The language of other family members

When a person speaks a language other than English, the intake specialist asks if he or she needs an interpreter.

2280 Race and Ethnicity

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist gathers and documents the race and ethnicity for each principal. He or she does not gather this information for collaterals.

2290 Person Notes

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist documents the following additional information about a person in his or her person notes:

  • Basis of knowledge.
  • Place of employment.
  • Work hours (days and times).
  • Sources used for obtaining information about a person other than the reporter or case history.
  • Conflicts between the information about a person provided by the reporter and information found in case history.
  • Availability of supporting materials and documentation that may be pertinent to the report, such as internet links, pictures, emails, videos, letters, social media posts, and so on.
  • Explanations of vague or unclear relationships.

The intake specialist does not document that information was obtained from a person record in case history.

2300 Narratives

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The narrative contains information the intake specialist gathered from the reporter about the situation. He or she documents a narrative for all intakes, all case-related special requests (CRSRs) and most information and referral (I&R) reports.

2310 Narrative Structure

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists document narratives according to the Narrative Instructions document on the DFPS intranet. Consistent documentation ensures that intake specialists communicate information more effectively. These instructions explain what to document and how to organize the narrative based on the type of report completed.

The narrative has three sections:

  • General Information/Description
  • Conclusions
  • Locating Information

2311 General Information/ Description Section

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The General Information/Description section contains most of the information the intake specialist obtained from the reporter about the situation. The intake specialist typically documents the following for this section:

  • Open case history.
  • Information about the people involved in the report.
  • Information about special needs, medical conditions, or disabilities.
  • Information about the allegations present in the report. Each program defines abuse, neglect, or exploitation differently, which means the information the intake specialist documents varies. However, for all programs, the intake specialist documents all information the reporter gives about the allegation.
  • Other relevant information the reporter provides that does not pertain to any allegation.
  • Intake specialist’s name and title.
  • Consultation (staffing) information, as needed. See 2570 Consulting (Staffing).
  • Call-out information, as needed. See 2686 Documenting the Call-Out.

For documentation requirements on writing intake narratives for each program or information and referrals (I&Rs), see Narrative Instructions.

If the reporter cannot provide answers to questions asked, the intake specialist documents what is not known. This includes when reporters are unable to provide collaterals. This documentation indicates to field staff that the intake specialist conducted a thorough interview and helps he or she proceed efficiently. The intake specialist does not use generalized statements such as “No other information available” in the narrative.

2312 Conclusions Section

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The Conclusions section contains the program, allegations, and priority for intakes. It also contains the appropriate closed-case history. The intake specialist may also explain the assessment if necessary. For example, Unable to Complete (UTC) P1s, an assessment based on IMPACT history, or when the narrative does not support the assessment.

See Narrative Instructions.

2313 Locating Information Section

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The Locating Information section contains any additional information to help locate the people involved in the report. This information may include:

  • Directions to a home
  • School information
  • Day care information
  • Employment information
  • License plate information

2320 Clear and Professional Writing

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists write a clear and professional narrative. This eliminates confusion and ensures that critical information is effectively communicated. The intake specialist:

  • Writes in complete sentences.
  • Uses paragraphs.
  • Uses proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Uses approved terms and abbreviations throughout the narrative.
  • Refers to people in the same manner consistently throughout the narrative.
  • Proofreads the narrative.

2330 Reporter’s Confidentiality in the Narrative

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Regardless of the reporter’s personal or professional involvement in a reported situation, an intake specialist always writes the narrative to protect the reporter’s identity. Someone reading the narrative should not be able to determine who reported the information. The reporter’s identity is confidential by state law. See 1130 Confidentiality.

The intake specialist can reduce the possibility that the narrative may reveal the reporter’s identity in different ways, such as:

  • Writing the narrative in the third person to make it seem like an “outsider looking in” provided the details.
  • Removing the terms “reporter” and “caller” from the narrative. It is understood that the reporter gave the information.

2340 Information from Previous Narratives

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist does not copy text from narratives in any previous case history into the current narrative.

Exception: Intake specialists copy text from previous narratives when completing re-entries, Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL) reports, and Unable to Complete (UTC) reports.

See 2865 Completing a Re-Entry.

2350 Narratives for Internet Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures April 2021

For internet reports, IMPACT automatically fills in the Narrative page with the questions and responses as entered by the reporter. The intake specialist does not change the information entered or remove information that identifies the reporter. He or she completes the narrative the same way as other reports.

Exception: If the narrative contains a complaint about field staff from the public, and the report needs to go to the local office, the intake specialist removes certain information. See 2844 SWI Complaint about SWI Staff.

Narratives in a Language Other Than English

When an intake specialist receives an internet, mail, or fax report that is submitted in a language other than English, he or she contacts the floor support chat room to request assistance from a supervisor.

2360 Narratives for Mail or Fax Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures April 2021

For mail or fax reports, the intake specialist creates a detailed summary of the mail or fax in the narrative according to Narrative Instructions.

Written Reports in a Language Other Than English

When an intake specialist receives an internet, mail, or fax report submitted in a language other than English, he or she contacts the floor support chat room to request assistance from a supervisor.

2400 Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist performs several kinds of searches, depending on the information needed. He or she can use IMPACT to search for people, staff, case history, case events, and resources. He or she can also use other agency databases or the internet to find information needed to complete reports.

2410 IMPACT Person Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists can use person searches to determine whether a person in the current report has any case history.

Performing Person Searches

For intakes and case-related special requests, the intake specialist performs person searches on all principals but not collaterals.

For information and referral reports, the intake specialist performs person searches only for certain people. See 3310 Person Search.

Exception: The intake specialist does not need to perform searches when the principal is an “Unknown” on the person listunless that principal’s address is known. Other unknown principals with same address do not require a search.

Relating Person Search Matches

Relating (or relate) is the term for connecting a person in the current case to a matching person in case history. A relate is not necessary if the report type is an information and referral (I&R).

The intake specialist scans person search results to find a match for the current person in the report. He or she compares names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers to determine whether the person in the current report has a person identification number (PID or Person ID number)in IMPACT. A case history search may also be necessary.

After the intake specialist views person search results and finds a match, he or she relates the person in the current report to a person already in IMPACT. The goal is for each person to have a unique Person ID number to ensureIMPACT contains an accurate history for each person in all reports.

The intake specialist does not make a relate if a match isn’t clear match or is to a staff record (indicated by a blue diamond icon next to the name). Instead, he or she documents the Person ID number as a possible match or match to an employee in the individual’s person notes.

Marking Potential Duplicates

A person can be related to only one match in IMPACT. If the intake specialist finds multiple matches, he or she marks the additional matches as “potential duplicates.”

When deciding whether to mark a person search result as a potential duplicate, the intake specialist uses the above criteria to decide whether to relate.

If a potential duplicate was not marked during the relate process, the intake specialist manually enters the Person ID number in the Potential Duplicate sectionon the related person’s Report Person Detail page.

Editing Names, Contact Information, and Demographics after Relating

A person’s name is always attached to a Person ID number in IMPACT. His or her Person ID number appears in the first case and in any cases to which the first case is related. An intake specialist should never change a person’s name after a relate as doing so changes the name in all cases connected to that Person ID number.

If the intake specialist makes a mistake in a person’s name, contact information, or demographic, she or she:

  • Unrelates the person.
  • Corrects the mistake.
  • Relates the person again.

2420 IMPACT Case History Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

For intakes and case-related special requests (CRSRs), the intake specialist searches for case history for each principal. For information and referral reports (I&R), the intake specialist searches for case history only for certain people. See 3310 Person Search.

After finding matches through a person search, the intake specialist reviews the case history to determine if it affects the assessment, special handling of the report, or both.

He or she also searches case history when Texas law enforcement, out-of-state agencies, or foreign agencies make appropriate requests for case history information.

See 3420 Requests for Case History.

2430 IMPACT Resource Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist uses resource searches to learn more about facilities and operations. This helps in assessing reports, determining jurisdiction, or completing certain reports. He or she can learn which agency or program has investigational jurisdiction, the facility type, and the correct name or address

The intake specialist can search the resource directory for many things, including:

  • Mental health facilities
  • Facilities for people with intellectual disabilities
  • Residential child-care operations
  • Day care operations
  • Home and Community Service (HCS) group homes
  • Home and Community Support Services Agencies (HCSSAs)
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Service providers
  • Schools

See 2640 Resource Section.

2440 IMPACT Staff Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Staff searches provide additional details about employees and external staff, current and former.

The intake specialist most commonly uses staff searches to:

  • Confirm the identity of staff requesting record checks.
  • Find a phone number of an employee in specific circumstances.
  • Find the name of a particular employee’s supervisor.
  • Find the termination date for a particular employee.

2450 IMPACT Event Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Event searches provide information about all events on a case or report. SWI staff typically performs event searches while doing re-entries or performing quality assurance.

2460 Internet Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist can use the internet to find details for a report.

Common examples include:

He or she documents what information came from an internet search in the person notes.

2470 Social Media Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A reporter may indicate that information is on social media (for example, a Facebook page). The intake specialist should first ask the reporter for a description of the information. He or she completes this type of search only when the information necessary to assess or complete a report is unavailable through other means.

The intake specialist:

  • Searches for the information without logging into his or her personal social media account. Generally, searching this way is successful only when the subject of the search has no privacy settings. Therefore, these searches may produce few viewable results.
  • Views any posts that are open to public viewing. If the posts are not open to the public, the intake specialist does not sign in to his or her account to get the information.
  • Documents the source of any information in the reporter’s person notes.

See the DFPS Human Resources Manual, Chapter 4, Employee Conduct (C. Social Media).

2480 Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

TIERS is a statewide data system with information about people who applied for or are receiving state assistance, such as Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SWI uses TIERS to find names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and addresses when the information is vital to the report. The intake specialist requests TIERS searches when information that is necessary for the assessment or processing of a report is unavailable.

When a TIERS Search Is Necessary

Information such as ages, physical addresses, and nature and degree of disabilities may affect eligibility for services, investigative jurisdiction, risk assessment, ability to locate an alleged victim, and so on. For example:

  • The reporter does not know the ages of the children in the home, and that information is necessary.
  • The reporter knows that an adult, who was abused, is close to 65 but does not know the person’s exact age.
  • The police find a person age 65 or older wandering alone. The person can give his or her name but not his or her address.
  • The reporter has a post office box for a client or family but does not know the physical address or directions.
  • The reporter does not know the client’s or family’s address.

The intake specialist requests a TIERS search to obtain locating information necessary to complete an intake for CPI, APS, and Provider Investigations.

TIERS searches add to report processing time, which is why their use is limited. An intake specialist who needs a TIERS search sends an instant message to SWI support staff.

2490 License Plate Searches

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

On occasion, the only information a reporter can provide is the license plate number of the vehicle in which he or she saw the child or client. If the intake specialist obtains a license plate number, he or she sends an instant message to SWI support staff to request a license plate search.

Results Found

If the search returns a result matching the license plate number, the intake specialist documents that information in the Locating Information section of the narrative. This information may include:

  • Name of the person associated with the license plate number.
  • Address associated with the license plate number.
  • License plate number.
  • Description of the vehicle.

The intake specialist documents the county where the incident occurred as the address for each principal. He or she also documents other available identifying or locating information from the reporter. For example, the reporter may have observed the gender or race/ethnicity of a person(s) involved.

The intake specialist assigns the report to the county where the incident occurred.

No Results Found

If the license plate search does not return results, the intake specialist assesses the report based on the available information.

2500 Assessment

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist assesses each report for abuse, neglect, or exploitation by applying state statutes and program-specific policy.

2510 Report Types

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A report is documentation of a contact in IMPACT that reflects the information provided by a reporter. The intake specialist assesses each report as one of the following types:

  • Intake
  • Case-Related Special Request (CRSR)
  • Information and Referral (I&R)

Intake

An intake is a report that involves allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Intake specialists use relevant state statutes, program policy, and program guidelines to determine the appropriate program, allegations, and priority for each intake.

Case-Related Special Request (CRSR)

A CRSR is a request for help that does not allege abuse, neglect, or exploitation; but does require some casework. The intake specialist only completes CRSRs for CPI and APS.

Information and Referral (I&R)

An I&R is a report that does not meet the definition of either an intake or a CRSR. These include:

  • Supplemental reports sent to the local office.
  • Reports sent to another program or agency.
  • Reports that are documented and closed at SWI.

See 3000 Information and Referral (I&R) Reports.

2520 Programs

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists assess reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation for all DFPS programs. The DFPS programs are:

  • Adult Protective Services (APS)
  • Child Protective Investigations (CPI)
  • Child Care Investigations (CCI)
    • Day Care Investigations (DCI)
    • Residential Child Care Investigations (RCCI)

Intake specialists also assess reports for some programs under the Health and Human Services Commission. These include reports of:

  • Standards compliance issues in facilities licensed by Child Care Regulation (CCR)
    • Day Care Regulation (DCR)
    • Residential Child Care Regulation (RCCR)
  • Abuse, neglect, or exploitation for Provider Investigations
  • Client rights or facility administrative issues in a facility setting under the jurisdiction of Provider Investigations.

2530 Allegations

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An allegation is an assertion that an alleged victim is in a state of or at risk of harm due to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Each program has its own set of allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

2540 Determination Factors

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Determination factors are descriptive phrases that support the assessment of an intake. The intake specialist chooses the factors that are most appropriate to the reported situation for all intakes.

See IMPACT Determination Factors on the DFPS intranet.

2550 Determination Descriptors

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Determination descriptors are phrases that reflect information frequently associated with a particular allegation. The intake specialist selects the descriptors that are most appropriate to the reported situation only for CPI, DCI, and RCCI intakes.

See IMPACT Determination Descriptors on the DFPS intranet.

2560 Priorities

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists classify intakes as a Priority 1, Priority 2, Priority 3, Priority 4, and Priority N (no priority), based on the immediacy of the risk and the severity of the possible harm to the victim. Not all programs use all these priorities. Each program has its own definition of what situations constitute a particular priority, and each priority has its own time-frame for a response by field staff.

2570 Consulting (Staffing)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Consulting (staffing) is a meeting between an intake specialist and a supervisor, acting supervisor, or worker V. An intake specialist consults (staff) to get help assessing reports.

Additionally, an intake specialist must consult (staff) with a supervisor or Worker V in the following situations:

  • The intake specialist assesses the information to be sensitive. See 2830 Sensitive Reports.
  • The intake specialist finds sensitive history when completing a case history search.

The intake specialist must consult (staff) with a supervisor, Worker V, or acting supervisor in any report involving the death of a child. Exception: Intake specialists, who are also acting supervisors, are not required to consult (staff) in reports involving the death of a child.

The intake specialist initiates a consultation by calling the staffing queue. Intake supervisors, acting supervisor, and worker Vs monitor this queue.

Sometimes, a supervisor, worker V, or acting supervisor may not be available when a consultation is necessary. The intake specialist then consults (staffs) with the on-call supervisor. If that person is not available, the intake specialist consults (staffs) with the on-call program or division administrator.

Documenting a Consultation

The intake specialist documents a consultation in the narrative below his or her name and title, including the name and title of the person with whom he or she consults (staffs). For example, “Consulted (Staffed) with John Smith, Supervisor.”

If the intake specialist consults (staffs) with more than one supervisor, he or she only documents the name of the supervisor whose instructions were followed.

If the intake specialist consults (staffs) with a supervisor about only a specific aspect of a report, the intake specialist specifies the aspect discussed.

For example, “Consulted (staffed) with John Smith, Supervisor, for sensitive handling only.”

2600 Processing

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists complete specific portions of a report or perform specific tasks to do the following:

  • Track certain types of reports
  • Route all reports (intakes, CRSR, and I&Rs)
  • Notify law enforcement, when appropriate
  • Alert field staff of reports requiring special handling or worker safety concerns.

Processing includes:

  • Disaster relief codes
  • Case names and In Regards To
  • County
  • Resource section
  • Worker safety issues
  • Special handling
  • Law enforcement notification
  • Call-outs and routing

2610 Disaster Relief Codes

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist uses disaster relief codes to track specific events. Some codes are ongoing, and others are introduced, then later removed, as the event occurs and resolves (such as hurricanes).

The ongoing codes are:

  • Bank: This code tracks the number of reports SWI receives from financial institutions about concerns that include or are limited to exploitation that intake specialists assess as an information and referral (I&R) report. SWI does not use this code for intakes or case-related special requests (CRSRs). See 5620 Reports from the Fraud Units of Financial Institutions.
  • Child Safety Check Alert List (CSCAL): This code tracks the number of reports SWI receives from law enforcement about a person listed on the Child Safety Check Alert List. See 4612.2 CSCAL Discovered During Routine History Search.
  • Unaccompanied Child Crossing Border (Unaccomp Child Xing Border): This code tracks the number of reports SWI receives in which a reporter mentions an unaccompanied alien child (UAC). See 4712 Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC).

2620 Case Name and In Regards To

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist selects a case name for all intakes and (case-related special requests (CRSRs). Each program has different guidelines for selecting the appropriate case name. The case name and In Regards To fields should match for intakes and CRSRs.

Information and referral (I&R) reports do not use case names. Instead, the intake specialist documents an In Regards To. Each I&R type has different guidelines for documenting the In Regards To.

See 3330 In Regards To.

2630 County

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist assigns each intake and case-related special request (CRSR) a county so it routes to the correct location. IMPACT automatically assigns a county based on the case name, though the intake specialist can manually change it if needed.

Each program has different guidelines for determining to which county a report is sent. The intake specialist assigns a county only for some information and referral (I&R) reports.

2640 Resource Section

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The Resource section is used to enter details about a facility, foster home, or operation information. Intake specialists only complete this section for Provider Investigations (PI), Day Care Investigations (DCI), and RCCI (Residential Child Care Investigations) intakes. Operations for these programs are listed in the IMPACT resource directory in different ways.

Sometimes, intake specialists cannot find the operation in the IMPACT resources directory to complete the Resource section, for the following reasons:

  • There is limited information about the operation.
  • The operation is unknown.
  • The operation is not in the resource directory.

If the intake specialist cannot find the operation, he or she manually enters the correct operation information into the Resource section. This frequently happens with unlicensed day cares, illegal day cares, or certain providers.

2650 Worker Safety Issues

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A thorough interview includes assessing the safety and well-being of field staff, as well as the safety of victims. Intake specialists explore any potential worker safety issues during a call with a reporter if such issues arise. This does not mean that the intake specialist must ask about worker safety on every call. He or she only asks follow-up questions when there is an indication of potential worker safety issues.

Intake specialists consider all factors and use their judgment to determine if there is a worker safety issue. Principals and collaterals both can pose a threat to worker safety. Awareness is key.

Documenting Worker Safety Issues

When an interview, e-report, or mail/fax report reveals potential threats to field staff, the intake specialist documents the concerns in the Worker Safety Issues Comments box and in the narrative.

For the information to display correctly, the intake specialist documents the concerns in the Worker Safety Issues Comments box in a specific manner. The intake specialist begins the documentation with the appropriate label from the list below, followed by an explanation of the threat. The explanation is brief, simple, and to the point.

Worker Safety Options and Examples

  • Gang-related hazard: Explain the person’s affiliation or association with the gang, including the gang name.
  • Weapons-related hazard: Explain how the weapons pose a threat to worker safety. Example: The family or client threatens family or visitors with weapons that are accessible; or a person is known to answer the door with a loaded weapon.
  • Drug-related hazard: Explain how current or past drug presence threatens worker safety, such as a methamphetamine (meth) lab in or around the home.
  • Threat/Assault/Serious Aggression: Explain how the person’s current or past aggressive or threatening behaviors pose a danger to a worker. Example: a person has a history of threatening, trapping, locking, or blocking field staff.
  • Dangerous Animal: Explain what makes the animal a threat to a worker, such as aggressive dogs who are likely to bite, or goats who are likely to head-butt visitors to the home or on the property.
  • Purple Paint/No Trespassing: Purple-painted property fence and tree lines are “no trespassing” markers. Explain the location of purple markers and that workers need to take caution when approaching these properties.
  • Mental Health Issue: Explain how the person’s past or current mental health issues pose a threat to a worker. For example, the client has delusions of persecution that result in aggressive behavior toward government officials. A mental health diagnosis alone does not indicate a worker safety issue.
  • Hoarding, other Housing Hazard: Explain what makes the housing situation dangerous to a worker, such as:
    • An accumulation of belongings that inhibits safe movement through the home
    • An infestation of rodents and potential airborne illness
    • An accumulation of books that threatens the structural integrity of the home
    • Raw sewage and fecal contamination inside the home.
  • Possible Infection: Explain what infectious disease the person has and any precautions a worker needs to take when around the person. This explanation could include Ebola, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, or any other potentially life-threatening, highly contagious disease.

When information is entered into the Worker Safety Issues Comment box, an alert appears on the case summary and field staff’s workload, and is documented in a printed copy of the intake report. The purpose of the alerts is to draw attention to worker safety issues.

2660 Special Handling

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Some situations require field staff to handle a report differently. SWI identifies these circumstances with one of the following special handling reasons:

  • Active military
  • Law enforcement
  • Native Amer/Reserve
  • OAG-ACP (Office of Attorney General – Address Confidentiality Program)
  • Retired Military
  • Suspected Manufacturing of Methamphetamines
  • Sensitive Case

2661 Active Military

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the Active Military reason for special handling when a principal is active military or resides on a military installation.

The intake specialist obtains and documents the name of the service member, branch of the military, and duty location in the special handling comments.

2662 Law Enforcement

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the Law Enforcement reason for special handling when a principal works for the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating any crime related to the report.

The intake specialist documents the principal’s name and employer in the special handling comments.

CPI and CCI Intakes Involving a Principal Employed by Law Enforcement

If a principal in a CPI or CCI intake works for the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to investigate, SWI does not complete a law enforcement notification. Instead, the intake specialist selects the “To be done locally” option for the law enforcement notification. Field staff is responsible for sending the notification.

I&R Involving Someone Employed by Law Enforcement

If a law enforcement official is in a report that is not sent to CPI, CCI, CCR, APS, or PI, and the appropriate agency to notify is his or her employer, the intake specialist does the following:

  • Completes an I&R Matter Referred On.
  • Selects Law Enforcement as the special handling reason.
  • Consults (staffs) the call with a supervisor or worker V.
  • Submits the information and referral (I&R) report to the Supervisor Approval workload. The staffing supervisor reviews the report and calls the law enforcement agency for processing instructions.

2663 Native American Reservation

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the Native American Reservation reason for special handling when any principal resides in a Native American Nation or the abuse or neglect occurred in a Native American Nation.

The intake specialist documents the name of the person who is of Native American descent and the name of the reservation in the special handling comments.

2664 OAG-ACP (Address Confidentiality Program)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the OAG-ACP reason for special handling when a person involved in the report is a participant in the Texas Address Confidentiality Program (ACP). The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) administers the ACP for victims of family violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

If a reporter states that a person involved in the report is an ACP participant, the report is designated as sensitive.

The intake specialist asks for the participant’s ACP number, if known. The intake specialist follows the procedures for completing a report involving an ACP participant even if number is unknown.

Documenting ACP Information

The intake specialist ensures that the participant’s address remains confidential. The intake specialist does the following:

  • Documents the ACP post office box (P.O. Box 12108 MC068, Austin, TX 78711-2108) as the primary Residence-Mail address for each ACP participant, regardless of where they live in Texas. To document this in the address fields in IMPACT, the intake specialist:
    • Enters “P.O. Box 12108 MC068” in the Address Line 1 field.
    • Enters “Austin” as the city and “78711-2108” as the ZIP code.
    • Presses the Validate button.
    • Selects the Entered Address radio button.
    • Presses Use Selected Address.
  • Selects OAG-ACP as the special handling reason.
  • Documents the names of the ACP participants and current physical addresses for the residence, school, work, or any other locating information on the participant or family only in the special handling comments. The special handling comments are the only part of the report where he or she documents the client’s or family’s actual locating information.
  • Designates the report as sensitive.
  • Documents “OAG-ACP” and who the ACP participants are in the sensitive case comments.
  • Consults (staff) with a supervisor.
  • Submits to the Supervisor Approval workload.

Handling Person Search Matches for ACP Participants

The intake specialist does not relate person search matches to ACP participants. Instead, the intake specialist documents the person identifier (PID) number in the participant’s person notes. He or she documents any relevant history found in the narrative, following standard procedures.

2665 Retired Military

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the Retired Military reason for special handling when any principal is retired from the military. The intake specialist documents only the term "retired military" in the special handling comments.

2666 Suspected Manufacturing of Methamphetamines

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI uses the Suspected Manufacturing of Methamphetamines reason for special handling when any household member is suspected of manufacturing methamphetamines in the home or surrounding area.

The intake specialist documents details about the concerns, such as the location of the manufacturing, in the special handling comments.

2667 Sensitive Case

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Some intakes, case-related special requests and information and referral reports may need to be designated as sensitive. The intake specialist uses the Sensitive Case checkbox in the Special Handling section to restrict access to such reports.

Checking the Sensitive Case box activates text prompts in the Comments box. The intake specialist documents requested information, as well as other information related to the report’s sensitivity. Prompts include the employee name, person ID, and relationship to the victim. If the prompts do not apply, the intake specialist deletes them and enters the relevant details.

See 2830 Sensitive Reports.

2670 Law Enforcement Notification

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI is responsible for notifying local law enforcement for all Child Protective Investigation, Day Care Investigations, and Residential Child Care Investigations intakes.

SWI is responsible for notifying local law enforcement for all Child Protective Investigations (CPI), Day Care Investigations (DCI), and Residential Child Care Investigation (RCCI) intakes. SWI also notifies law enforcement about situations that involve criminal matters not under DFPS jurisdiction (I&R - Non-FPS Criminal Matter Referred to Law.)

Adult Protective Services (APS), Child Care Regulation (CCR), and Provider Investigations are responsible for notifying local law enforcement when necessary.

SWI is not required to notify law enforcement of any subsequent contact regarding an existing case.

CPI and CCI are responsible for notifying law enforcement when they receive an I&R to an existing case that includes information about criminal activity.

Exception: SWI does not complete the law enforcement notification for CPI and CCI intakes designated as sensitive or when any of the principals are employed by the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to investigate. That is the responsibility of the local office.

See:

2662 Law Enforcement

2834 Completing the Law Enforcement Notification for a Sensitive Report

Intake specialists ask the reporter where the incident occurred and document that information in the narrative. The law enforcement agency in charge of the location of the abuse or neglect investigates that report regardless of where the victim lives.

When the Location of the Incident is Known

Depending on the type of report, IMPACT calculates the jurisdiction if the reporter provides the address for the incident.

For all intakes, the law enforcement jurisdiction defaults to the address for the person or resource selected as the Case Name. If the abuse occurred elsewhere, the intake specialist must add the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction of where the abuse occurred and if needed, remove the default agency.

If the incident occurred on a military installation, the military police department has jurisdiction. The IMPACT law enforcement database contains military police departments.

When the Location of the Incident Is Not Specific

The reporter may know only the general area where the incident occurred. For example, the reporter may know the incident occurred in Travis County but not the exact address. The intake specialist then clarifies law enforcement jurisdiction with the reporter. The intake specialist can try asking:

  • Which law enforcement agency responds to the area where the incident occurred: the police department, or the sheriff’s office?
  • If you (the reporter) were calling law enforcement from the victim’s house, would you call the police department or the sheriff’s office?

After clarifying the jurisdiction, the intake specialist manually searches for and selects the correct law enforcement agency.

When the Location of the Incident Is Unknown

If the reporter does not know where an incident occurred, the law enforcement agency where the child or person of concern resides is considered the agency with jurisdiction. If the address is a post office box or rural route and the reporter does not know whether the residence is inside city limits, the county sheriff’s office is considered the agency with jurisdiction.

Multiple Jurisdictions

If incidents occurred in more than one law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction, the intake specialist adds as many agencies as necessary. IMPACT sends the law enforcement notification to each of those agencies.

When the Location of the Incident is Out-of-State

If the incident occurred out-of-state, law enforcement notification is sent to the agency with jurisdiction over the location where the incident occurred. Out-of-state law enforcement agencies are not listed in IMPACT. The intake specialist manually enters the city and state where the incident occurred by selecting the Address radio button in the Add Jurisdiction section.

See IMPACT User Guide, in the section titled Law Jurisdiction Section, Adding a Law Enforcement Jurisdiction Manually, by Address

For instances where incidents occurred both in and out of state, the intake specialist enters the Texas jurisdiction per usual procedure and adds the out of state jurisdiction as outlined above.

When the Incident Involves Human Trafficking

For CPI, DCI, RCCI, or an I&R Non-FPS Criminal Matter Referred to Law that involves any human trafficking, the intake specialist chooses both the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction and the Texas Department of Public Safety - Joint Crimes Information Center (JCIC) for notification.

2680 Call-Outs and Routing

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The following subsections provide general information about on-call schedules, call-outs, and routing.

2681 On-Call Schedules

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An on-call schedule is a list of field staff SWI uses to route and call out reports. It includes names, titles, phone numbers, and the order in which field staff should be contacted.

2682 Changing an On-Call Schedule

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff is responsible for:

  • Maintaining on-call schedules.
  • Ensuring contact numbers are current.
  • Ensuring schedules show correct staff.
  • Ensuring all hours are covered.

When SWI Can Make Changes the On-Call Schedule

SWI changes the on-call schedule only under the following circumstances:

  • It is an emergency, and field staff cannot complete an update.
  • Field staff is calling in a requested change away from the office, and it is not during normal business hours or days for field staff.

If field staff is requesting a change to an on-call schedule, the intake specialist transfers him or her to SWI support staff. If SWI must make the change, an authorized support staff member makes those changes. In the absence of SWI support staff, an intake supervisor updates the schedule to reflect the change. The change is made for only 24 hours.

2683 Problem with an On-Call Schedule

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI support staff review the on-call schedule weekly for each program, region, and county to ensure that the information is available to intake specialists and for routing.

If an intake specialist has a problem with an incorrect or absent on-call schedule, he or she contacts the floor support chat room for resolution. The intake specialist does not document the problem in the narrative.

2684 Call-Outs

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A call-out happens when SWI staff calls field staff to relay the details of a report before sending the report via IMPACT. A call-out can be made at any time of day and includes routine and emergency situations.

  • During business hours, SWI calls the routing coordinator (RC) identified in the IMPACT on-call schedule. For skeleton crew days, SWI follows regular open office procedures, as local offices are required to have office coverage.
  • After hours and on holidays, SWI calls the on-call staff listed in IMPACT in order of preference established by the Contact Order (CO) field in the on-call schedule.

Some CPI offices have extended business hours. This information is available in the CPI section of the Assignment Charts on the DFPS intranet. For these offices, call-outs are made to the routing coordinator and not on-call field staff during the extended hours.

Under most circumstances, SWI support staff completes call-outs. An intake specialist always performs a call-out in the following situations:

  • For all Provider Investigations – Facility intakes. He or she makes these call-outs within 40 minutes of beginning the call, e-report, or mail/fax report.
  • For all I&Rs from the Office of Inspector General regarding State Supported Living Centers. He or she makes these call-outs within 40 minutes of beginning the call, e-report, or mail or fax report.
  • For emergencies or situations that cannot wait for the report to be completed in IMPACT and sent to SWI support staff to call out.
  • When law enforcement requests immediate assistance or reports a CSCAL.
  • When directed to do so by a supervisor.
  • When SWI support staff is not available, and call-out is required.

An intake specialist may perform call-outs for other situations as warranted.

2685 Contacting On-Call Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When calling out an intake, information and referral report (I&R), or case-related special request (CRSR), SWI staff follows the procedures below.

Determine Which On-Call Staff to Contact

SWI staff uses the on-call schedule to determine whom to contact. The call order (CO) lists the appropriate on-call staff to call first, second, third, and so on.

Call the Person Identified as #1 in Preference

  • SWI staff calls the on-call phone number for the staff listed as #1 (first in preference).
  • If the on-call staff does not answer, SWI staff leaves a voicemail that includes the following:
    • His or her name.
    • The date of the call.
    • The time of the call.
    • A request for the on-call staff to return his or her call at 1-800-252-3223 with his or her extension.
  • SWI staff immediately calls the on-call worker’s home number, if listed. If there is no answer on the home number, another voicemail is left.
  • If the on-call staff has another number listed, SWI staff immediately calls that number. If there is no answer, another voicemail is left.
  • SWI staff waits five minutes for the on-call worker to call back. If he or she does not , then SWI staff calls all available numbers again.
  • SWI staff spends no more than a total of 10 minutes attempting to contact the on-call worker before moving on to the on-call worker listed as next in preference.

Some situations of a more urgent nature may require a shorter wait time before calling the on-call number again or moving on to the next on-call person.

Call the Person Identified as #2 in Preference

If SWI staff is unsuccessful in reaching the on-call staff worker listed as #1 in preference, he or she calls the on-call staff worker listed as #2 in preference, following the process above.

If the on-call staff worker listed as #2 does not respond, SWI staff repeats the procedure by calling the next on-call staff worker listed in the on-call schedule, in the numerical order indicated.

Exception: SWI staff never contacts a routing coordinator (RC) for call-outs to offices outside business hours. The RC is listed in the on-call schedule for routing purposes only during these times.

Consult (Staff) with an SWI Supervisor, Worker V, or Acting Supervisor

When SWI staff is unable to reach an on-call staff in a timely manner, he or she consults with a supervisor, worker V, or acting supervisor.

The staffing supervisor may decide that another field supervisor or a higher-level field manager may need to be contacted at home so that the report can be processed efficiently. The staffing supervisor documents this in an email to SWI Program Improvement (PI) at QAUNIT@dfps.texas.gov.

2686 Documenting the Call-Out

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist documents the call-out in the narrative below his or her name and title.

The call-out documentation contains the following:

  • Full name of the field worker contacted
  • Date of contact
  • Time of contact

For example, “Called out to John Smith on 12/1/2018 at 2:43 pm.”

If the intake specialist made multiple call-out attempts, he or she documents only the successful call-out. No additional information and referrals (I&Rs) are completed to document the unsuccessful call-outs. The intake specialist never documents the specific phone number that he or she called.

2687 Routing

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Routing is the process of moving a report (intake, CRSR, or I&R) between workloads, either within SWI or from SWI to a local office.

After the intake specialist completes a report, he or she routes it via IMPACT either automatically or manually. The intake specialist can route a report in one of three ways:

  • Assign: This removes the report from the intake specialist’s workload and sends it to a designated workload.
  • Submit: This removes the report from the intake specialist’s workload and sends it to a designated SWI workload for supervisor review.
  • Close: This removes the report from the intake specialist’s workload but does not send it to another workload. Reports are closed when they do not need to be sent outside SWI.

SWI support staff completes the routing when either of the following occurs:

  • The report was assigned to a designated SWI workload.
  • An error occurs in IMPACT during the automatic assignment process.

Time of Transmission

The time of transmission is the date and time the intake specialist completes the report and selects Assign, Submit, or Close to route the report.

Automatic Routing

IMPACT automatically routes reports to the appropriate workload according to business rules related to the report type, priority, and time of transmission through the Auto Assign function. The Auto Assign function does not activate when business rules are not supported.

If the Auto Assign function is active and appropriate for the report, the intake specialist clicks Assign or Submit to auto-route the report.

Manual Assignment

When auto-assignment is not appropriate, the intake specialist manually routes the report according to the report type, program, priority, and time of transmission using the Assignment Charts on the DFPS intranet.

2700 Special Topics, Part 1

2710 Subsequent Contact from Reporters

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Sometimes, reporters make subsequent contact with SWI about an existing report. The following subsections explain how the intake specialist handles such contact from:

  • The original reporter of a report.
  • A reporter who is not the person who made the original report.
  • A professional reporter who discloses knowledge of an open case that was previously reported by a different professional reporter.
  • A law enforcement reporter in certain situations.

2711 Subsequent Contact from the Original Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The original reporter may make subsequent contact with SWI to provide more information to a report.

Original Reporter Provides the Same or Additional Information

If the original reporter provides the same information he or she previously reported or new information that does not meet the legal definitions for abuse, neglect, or exploitation, then the intake specialist completes an information and referral (I&R) report.

  • If the case is still open, he or she completes an I&R to the existing case. See 3120 I&R to Existing Case.
  • If the case is closed, he or she completes an appropriate I&R type.

Original Reporter Provides a New Incident of Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation

If the original reporter provides information about a new incident that meets legal definitions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the intake specialist completes a new intake, even if either of these are true:

  • The original case is still open.
  • The allegation type in the open case is the same as the new allegation type.

Example:

Assessment:

A neighbor made a report last week about a mother leaving injuries on a 3-year-old after she spanked the child with a stick. There is an open case for PHAB. A new call comes in from the same neighbor alleging the 3-year-old told her today that his mother bit him last night. He has bruising and multiple puncture wounds on his arm.

Although there is already an open PHAB case against the mother, a new incident that meets legal definitions has occurred. The intake specialist processes a new intake for PHAB.

An 82-year-old client contacted SWI last month to ask for help because she could not afford her medication. There is an open APS investigation for PHNG. The same client calls again because she just got a termination notice from her utility company. The client cannot afford to pay the bill. She is worried that she will not be able to run her oxygen machine without electricity.

Although an open case exists with the same allegation type made by the same reporter, the new incident meets legal definitions and is assessed independently of the open case. The intake specialist processes a new intake for PHNG.

2712 Subsequent Contact from a Different Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A reporter who is different from the original reporter may make subsequent contact with SWI.

In most cases, subsequent contact from a different reporter results in a new intake if the information provided meets legal definitions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, regardless of existing cases alleging the same concerns. When a new reporter provides information that does not meet these legal definitions and there is an open case, the intake specialist completes an I&R to existing case. If there is no open case, the intake specialist completes an appropriate I&R type.

Exceptions: There may be an exception if the subsequent contact is from a professional reporter. See 2713 Subsequent Contact from a Professional Reporter.

2713 Subsequent Contact from a Professional Reporter

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Multiple agencies may provide services to the same victim. As a result, a professional reporter may disclose knowledge of an open case reported by a different professional. For example, EMS calls SWI about a 70-year-old who has fallen. The EMS worker informs the hospital that he or she already reported the concerns to SWI. Later, a hospital nurse calls SWI to report X-ray results.

When knowledge of an open case is disclosed in this manner, the intake specialist asks the reporter whether his or her intention is to make a new report of abuse or neglect or to add information to an existing case. Unless the new professional reporter mentions a new incident or allegation, the intake specialist uses information provided to determine the reporter’s intent. The intake specialist must obtain enough information to search for the previously reported case while the reporter is still on the phone. The specialist may obtain the previous Report ID and use it to find an existing case.

The following table explains how the intake specialist assesses information from the new professional reporter.

If:

Then the intake specialist:

The new professional reporter wants to provide more information on the open case.

Assesses an I&R to existing case.

The new professional reporter wants to provide additional information to the open case but mentions the abuse or neglect from the original intake.

Example: A teacher states her principal filed a report earlier today regarding a 5-year-old with a bruise in the shape of a handprint on her face. The principal asked her to call SWI and provide the name of the day care that the child attends after school. The teacher has no other information.

Assesses an I&R to existing case.

Example: This would result in an I&R to existing CPS Case. Despite disclosing knowledge of abuse, the teacher’s intent is to provide information about the child’s day care. She did not wish to file another report. The intake specialist does not generate another intake unless he or she is unable to find the open case.

The new professional reporter mentions a new incident of abuse or neglect or a new allegation.

Example: A nurse calls to report that a 3-year-old, who was admitted last night after his father hit him in the head with a pan, has moved from ICU to room 242. The nurse does not need to make a report because the hospital social worker reported it last night. The nurse wanted CPS to know the child’s new location and provide an update on his condition. The nurse reports that his X-rays show multiple rib fractures in various stages of healing.

Assesses an intake.

Example: Despite the nurse’s intent to only add information to the case, this scenario would result in a new intake for PHAB, because the nurse has reported a new incident of abuse.

The new professional reporter wants to report the abuse or neglect from the original intake.

Assesses an intake.

The new professional reporter wants to provide additional information, but the intake specialist cannot find the open case.

Obtains all information the reporter knows and assesses according to standard procedures.

The new professional reporter wants to provide additional information, but the local office has closed the case.

Assesses an appropriate I&R type.

2714 Subsequent Contact from Law Enforcement

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Law enforcement may make subsequent contact with SWI about an existing report.

Duplicate Correspondence

Law enforcement occasionally reports information to SWI twice. The most common examples include:

  • Law enforcement faxes the same report to SWI twice.
  • Law enforcement calls in a report, then later faxes the written report to SWI.

When SWI receives a duplicate law enforcement report, the intake specialist completes an I&R to an existing case and closes the report.

Subsequent Call from a Second Officer Regarding the Same Incident

If an officer reports an incident already reported by another officer, see 2713 Subsequent Contact from a Professional Reporter.

Subsequent Contact Regarding a Law Enforcement Notification (LEN) sent by SWI

SWI is responsible for notifying the local law enforcement agency for all CPI and CCI intakes. These notifications sometimes result in subsequent calls from officers who have questions about the intake or who have followed up with the family and have additional information.

Notification Follow-Up Regarding Non-Reportable Information

When law enforcement follows up on an intake sent to SWI through the above notification process, the intake specialist completes an I&R to the existing case. Some examples of these follow-up calls include:

  • Asking a question about the intake.
  • Requesting a history check.
  • Providing the results of a welfare check.

The intake specialist must confirm the officer’s employment before acknowledging an open case or discussing any details.

See 3422 Texas Law Enforcement Requests Case History.

Notification Follow-up Regarding New Reportable Information

SWI sometimes discovers new information from a law enforcement follow-up, such as an AP who is not on the existing person list, or a new incident of abuse or neglect. The intake specialist assesses the new information independently of the open case and completes the appropriate report type.

2715 Subsequent Information on an Intake in Process

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI may get new information when the original intake is still being completed and has not yet been sent to the local office. The intake specialist follows the procedures appropriate for the various situations as described below.

Original Intake Specialist Still Has Intake

If the same reporter calls SWI to add information to an intake in progress, the intake specialist sends the original intake specialist an instant message to see if he or she can take the new information. If so, the reporter is transferred to the original intake specialist who updates the original report with the new information.

The intake specialist who transferred the call completes an I&R Other Business Call.

If the original intake specialist is not available, the intake specialist:

  • Obtains the new information.
  • Consults with a supervisor or worker V to coordinate getting the new information to the original intake specialist.
  • Completes an I&R Other Business Call unless directed otherwise by the staffing supervisor.

See 2150 Reporter Requests to Speak to a Specific Intake Specialist.

Intake Assigned to Immediate Call-Out Workload

If the intake has already been assigned to the Immediate Call-Out workload, the intake specialist receiving the new information:

  • Completes an I&R to an existing case and includes the original case number.
  • Assigns the I&R to the Immediate Call-Out workload.
  • Notifies support staff of the new I&R through instant message.

Sensitive Intake Submitted to Supervisor Approval Workload

Original Reporter

If the original reporter on an open intake of this type calls with new information, the intake specialist does the following, in order:

  • Consults with an intake supervisor or worker V.
  • Informs the staffing supervisor about the new information so he or she can add it to the sensitive intake.
  • Completes an I&R Other Business Call.
  • Documents the new information and name of the supervisor to whom the information was given in the narrative.
  • Designates the I&R as sensitive.
  • Provides the report ID for the I&R to the staffing supervisor.
  • Submits the I&R to the Supervisor Approval workload.

The supervisor transfers the information from the I&R to the intake, closes the I&R, and completes the processing of the sensitive intake.

New Reporter

If a new reporter provides more information and the intake specialist finds an open sensitive intake that has been submitted for supervisory review, the intake specialist consults with a supervisor or worker V and follows the staffing supervisor’s processing instructions.

2720 Reporter Requests to Speak to Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a reporter requests to speak with field staff, the intake specialist first must determine why the reporter is calling. If the reporter is law enforcement, see 2721 Law Enforcement Requests to Speak to Field Staff.

The intake specialist assesses the following:

  • If the reporter has a new report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the intake specialist completes the information as an intake and processes according to standard procedures. He or she informs the reporter that he or she is completing an intake.
  • If there is an open case, and the current reporter has additional information, the intake specialist completes an information and referral (I&R) to the existing case. The intake specialist assesses whether a call-out is warranted and, if so, follows call-out procedures.

If the reporter asks to speak to field staff for any other reason, the intake specialist refers the reporter to the local office and provides the local office’s phone number. He or she completes an I&R Other Business Call.

If the reporter wants to speak to field staff to make a complaint, see 2840 Complaints.

2721 Law Enforcement Requests to Speak to Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When law enforcement (which includes Border Patrol officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers) asks to speak with field staff, the intake specialist first determines if the reporter wants to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If so, the intake specialist conducts the interview and follows standard procedures. If a new intake is appropriate, the intake specialist prioritizes the intake based on standard procedures.

When the situation does not involve allegations of abuse or neglect, but law enforcement asks to speak to field staff, the intake specialist completes either a case-related special request (CRSR) or an information and referral (I&R) report. He or she completes an I&R to existing case if a case is open, or a CRSR Rqst Local Public Svc if not.

For all types of reports, if law enforcement wants immediate assistance from field staff, the intake specialist contacts either:

  • The routing coordinator, if the local office is open.
  • The on-call worker, if the local office is closed.

2730 Law Enforcement Dispatch Calls with Limited Information

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A law enforcement officer may have a dispatcher contact SWI on the officer’s behalf. The dispatcher often has little or no information to make a report, but is only providing contact information so that SWI can call the officer on the scene. When the officer at the scene is requesting assistance, the intake specialist does the following:

  • Gets contact information for the officer on the scene.
  • Calls the officer to get more information to determine what assistance the officer needs.
  • Completes the report according to standard procedure.

The intake specialist completes an I&R Other Business Call for the contact with the dispatcher.

2740 Limited Locating Information

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The reporter may have limited locating information for a report. How the intake specialist handles such a report depends on the program involved.

2750 Sole Basis of Knowledge from Media

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a reporter’s information comes solely from a media source (for example, the news or social media), the intake specialist:

  • Conducts a complete interview based on available information.
  • Obtains the source of knowledge.
  • Documents the source in the reporter’s person notes.
  • Searches for an open case.

If an open case exists, the intake specialist completes an I&R to the existing case.

If the information meets the definition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and a case does not exist, the intake specialist completes an intake.

These intakes and all subsequent I&Rs may require sensitive handling because of media interest.

See:

2470 Social Media Searches

2832 Consulting (Staffing) on a Sensitive Report

2760 Family or Adult Victim Moves During an Investigation: Transfer Cases

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Transfer Cases Within Texas

If field staff reports that a family or adult victim moved during an open investigation, and no new allegations are made, the intake specialist does not generate a new intake. The field worker should contact the local office where the family has relocated.

This policy applies to an open investigation that was either of the following:

  • Not completed before the adult victim or family moved.
  • Initiated in a county other than the family’s county of residence.

Transfer Cases From Out of State

If an out-of-state social services agency requests a transfer for a case on a family or an individual who has moved to Texas, the intake specialist:

  • Determines whether the situation meets the definition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • Processes the report according to standard procedures.

2770 System Downtime

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

There are times when the applications necessary to perform intake duties are not available to SWI staff. These applications include the IMPACT case management system, the internet, the DFPS computer system, and the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). Downtime is the term for the span of time when one or more of these applications are unavailable, and can be either of the following:

  • Planned downtimes are known in advance, as is the expected duration.
  • Unplanned downtimes have little or no warning, and the duration may be unknown.

Downtime requires specific steps to minimize disruption to intake activities.

A downtime lead, usually an on-site program administrator or their designee, is designated during downtime. The lead makes all decisions on intake activities and has the authority to delegate specific activities. The lead ensures that all calls are entered into IMPACT when it is back online.

2780 Stuck Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Sometimes, a report (intake, information and referral, or case-related special request) may have a technical error that prevents further action. This is known as a stuck report.

Common examples include:

  • An intake specialist cannot get a report off his or her workload.
  • Field staff is unable to progress a report to the next stage.

When an Intake Specialist Has a Stuck Report

An intake specialist consults with a supervisor or worker V, and then follows the provided instructions.

If the report cannot be fixed:

  • The intake specialist manually reproduces the stuck report without using the New Using function in IMPACT. Doing so would cause the new report also to be stuck.
  • The intake supervisor routes the stuck report to the Deletion workload.
  • SWI General Computer Services (GCS) deletes the stuck report.

When Field Staff Has a Stuck Report

Field staff does not ever assign an intake back to SWI. When field staff has a stuck intake, he or she requests a re-entry from SWI and submits a ticket to the Technology Assistance: Make Your Own Ticket page. Application Support within the Program Support division deletes the stuck report. SWI can delete only a report on a SWI workload.

2800 Special Topics, Part 2

2810 Multiple Reports from the Same Contact

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Sometimes, one contact (phone call, e-report, or mail/fax) generates more than report. The reports may be unrelated or companion reports.

Unrelated reports come from the same reporter but include different people. For example, a hospital social worker makes several reports about unrelated families during the same call.

Companion reports come from the same report and out of the same situation. Examples include:

  • A situation resulting in a CPI and APS intake for the same household.
  • A case in which an RCCI intake and an I&R to Existing CPS Case are required.
  • The abuse or neglect involves separate families living in one household, which requires two separate CPI intakes.
  • An elderly couple is living in unsanitary conditions, which requires an APS intake for each victim.

2811 Requesting Help with Multiple Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a reporter is making multiple reports, intake specialists typically take them all. However, sometimes it is appropriate to ask for help. Examples include:

  • A report requires immediate action by the intake specialist, but the reporter still needs to make more reports.
  • When the complexity or number of the reports is more than the intake specialist can handle, but the reporter still needs to make more reports.
  • An intake specialist with less than one-year of tenure receives a call that results in multiple reports.

If an intake specialist needs help, he or she consults with a supervisor or worker V. The supervisor decides on the appropriate action. If necessary, the supervisor finds an available intake specialist to take the remaining reports. The supervisor gives the initial intake specialist the name and extension of the available intake specialist.

The initial intake specialist transfers the call to the available specialist, not back to the queue.This process ensures that the reporter does not have to wait on hold again to complete their call.

2812 Duplicating a Report (New Using)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Using New Using in IMPACT allows intake specialists to duplicate a report without manually reproducing it. The intake specialist selects the sections of the report to duplicate, and IMPACT uses those sections to create a new report and assigns it a new report ID number. IMPACT also identifies all reports generated with the new using function.

Intake specialists use New Using to duplicate reports only when:

2813 Modifying a Companion Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

After completing the process above, the intake specialist modifies the new report to fit requirements. He or she typically modifies the following:

  • Date and time of the report
  • Person types, roles, and relationship/interests
  • Person notes
  • Report Type section
  • Intake Actions page
  • Narrative

Date and Time of the Report

IMPACT assigns the time and date to the new report when the intake specialist completes the New Using process. The intake specialist must manually change the time (and date if necessary) of any additional report to match the original report. It does not matter if the reports are unrelated or companion reports. All reports originating from the same call or e-report must reflect the same time and date as the original report.

People Not Involved in the Additional Reports

If someone on the person list is not relevant or required for the new report, the intake specialist removes him or her from the list.

For example, the intake specialist is completing two related reports: one for Child Protective Investigations (CPI) and one for Adult Protective Services (APS). The 2-year-old household member needs to be on the person list for a CPI intake but should be removed from the APS intake.

Additional Principal or Collateral

The intake specialist adds a principal or collateral to the person list if necessary. He or she does not modify an existing person on the person list, because that person is associated with a specific Person ID number.

Unnamed People

For principals or collaterals without a name on the person list, the intake specialist uses the same Person ID number for each unknown person when making changes to his or her Person Type, Role, or relationship or interest designation.

2820 Assessing Reports Made by Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff may contact SWI to make a report for their program or a different program.

This contact is different from a re-entry. If field staff is requesting a re-entry, see 2860 Re-Entry Requests from Field Staff.

2821 Field Staff Makes a Report for Their Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff may call in a professional capacity to make a report for his or her own program. For example, a CPI caseworker reports an incident of child abuse. Field staff may also file a report through the Texas Abuse Hotline Website in a professional capacity to make a report for his or her own program

2821.1 Determining the Date and Time of the Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Phone Reports

The intake specialist asks if the field employee needs to change the date and time of the report. The intake specialist only changes the date and time when field staff has initiated casework.

Example: The caseworker spoke to the family before making the report to SWI. The valid date and time of the report are when the caseworker spoke with the family, not when the caseworker made the report to SWI. The intake specialist changes the date and time of the report.

E-Reports

The e-report form has questions specific to re-entry requests. When the field employee completes the form, he or she answers the following:

  • Is this a re-entry?
  • Do you need the report to be back-dated?
  • What date and time did you initiate the investigation?

If the field employee answers “YES” and provides a date and time, then the intake specialist changes the date and time of the intake. Otherwise, the intake specialist leaves the current date and time on the intake.

Assessing the Report

If:

Then the intake specialist:

Field staff does not request a particular assessment.

Assesses and completes the report according to standard procedures.

Field requests a particular assessment, and the intake specialist agrees.

Completes the report according to standard procedures.

Field staff requests an information and referral (I&R) report, but the intake specialist assesses the information as an intake.

  • Consults (staffs) with a supervisor or worker V.
  • Completes the report according to the staffing supervisor’s instructions.

Field staff requests an intake by phone, but the intake specialist assesses the information as an I&R.

  • Consults (staffs) with a supervisor or worker V. If the staffing supervisor agrees that an intake is not appropriate, the intake specialist asks field staff if a program director (or higher) authorized the intake. The staff member making the report does not need to be the person giving the authorization. Another staff member may relay the authorization.
  • If a program director (or higher) authorized the intake: The intake specialist completes the intake with the requested allegations and priority. He or she also documents that the intake was completed as requested by field staff and includes the name of the program director (or higher) who approved the request in the Conclusions section of the narrative.
  • If a program director (or higher) did not authorize the intake: The intake specialist asks that the field staff obtain the necessary authorization. If the authorization is not obtained, he or she assesses and completes the report according to standard procedures.

Field staff requests an intake through an e-report, but the intake specialist assesses the information as an I&R.

  • Reviews the e-report to determine whether the staff member who made the report documented that a program director (or higher) authorized the intake.
  • If a program director (or higher) authorized the intake: The intake specialist completes the intake with the requested allegations and priority. He or she also documents that the intake was completed as requested by field staff and includes the name of the program director (or higher) who approved the request in the Conclusions section of the narrative.
  • If a program director (or higher) did not authorize the intake: The intake specialist consults (staffs) with a supervisor or worker V. If the staffing supervisor agrees that an intake is not appropriate, the intake specialist assesses and completes the report according to standard procedure. The staff member who made the report receives an automated email generated by the DFPS online reporting system which indicates what action was taken.

Field staff requests an intake, but the intake specialist assesses the information as an I&R. The assessment is borderline and open to interpretation.

  • Completes the intake with the requested allegations and priority.
  • Documents that the intake was completed as requested by field staff in the Conclusions section of the narrative.

Field staff requests something that has program director (or higher) approval but is clearly against policy.

  • Consults with a supervisor or worker V. The staffing supervisor consults with an SWI program administrator.
  • Completes the report according to the staffing supervisor’s instructions.
  • Documents the decision made and the names and titles of each person involved with the staffing in the Conclusions section of the narrative.

2822 Field Staff Makes a Report for a Different Program

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff from one program may make a report for a different program. For example, an APS caseworker reporting potential child abuse.

The intake specialist completes the report according to standard procedures. The intake specialist always uses the current date and time in this situation and does not change them.

2830 Sensitive Reports

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

DFPS staff may restrict access to specific reports in IMPACT by designating the report as “sensitive.”

IMPACT automatically displays a red exclamation point icon next to a sensitive case or report. For intakes and case-related special requests (CRSRs), the icon displays before the case number on the Case List and on the caseworker’s workload. For information and referral (I&R) reports, the icon displays before the reporter’s name on the Report Log Search Results List section of the Report Log page.

Completing sensitive reports is the same as other reports except that the intake specialist:

  • Consults (staff) on all sensitive or potentially sensitive reports.
  • Designates the report as sensitive.
  • Documents the reason for the designation and associated details, when appropriate.
  • Sets the law enforcement notification to be done locally for sensitive CPI or CCI intakes.
  • Follows additional instructions the staffing supervisor gives, when applicable.
  • Submits sensitive reports unless instructed otherwise by the staffing supervisor.

2831 Sensitive Reasons

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

DFPS designates a report as sensitive if at least one of the following applies:

  • An employee of DFPS, HHSC (PI and CCR only), or other specified employee with IMPACT access. See chart below for specific examples.

Someone in the report is any one of the following:

And he or she is also any one of the following:

  • A DFPS employee,
  • A HHSC Child Care Regulation employee (Child Day Care or Residential Child Care).
  • A HHSC Provider Investigations employee.
  • An external staff member with IMPACT access.
  • A single source continuum contractor (SSCC) employee.
  • A principal in an intake or case-related special request (CRSR).
  • A spouse, significant other, relative, or household member of the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake or a principal in a CRSR.
  • The subject of a complaint or concern in an information and referral (I&R) report.
  • The subject of a complaint or accused of misconduct in an e-report, and SWI closes the report without redacting the information from the narrative.
  • A non-DFPS employee who works in the same office as DFPS employees is an alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake.,
  • The situation has or is likely to have significant media interest.
  • A minor who is in a CPI intake has had or wants to have an abortion without telling the people in her family.
  • A participant in the Texas Address Confidentiality Program, which is managed by the Office of the Attorney General, who is involved in an intake, I&R, or CRSR See 2664 OAG-ACP (Address Confidentiality Program).
  • A high-profile individual. See chart below for specific examples.

Someone in the report is a high-profile person, which might include:

And he or she is also any one of the following:

  • Judge
  • Police chief.
  • Member of a child welfare board.
  • Court-appointed special advocate (CASA).
  • Court-appointed attorney.
  • Celebrity.
  • A principal in an intake or case-related special request (CRSR).
  • A spouse, significant other, or household member of the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator in an intake or a principal in a CRSR.
  • The subject of a complaint or concern in an information and referral (I&R) report.
  • The subject of a complaint or accused of misconduct in an e-report, and SWI closes the report without redacting the information from the narrative.

2832 Consulting (Staffing) on a Sensitive Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialists must consult on all sensitive or potentially sensitive reports with a supervisor or worker V. This includes the following situations:

  • The intake specialist finds sensitive history when completing history searches. This includes intakes, case-related special requests (CRSRs), and information and referral (I&R) reports.
  • The intake specialist finds a person search result for a current employee or external staff (identified by a blue diamond icon) that matches someone in the report.
  • The intake specialist recognizes that the report may need to be sensitive.

Only a supervisor or worker V can consult on (staff) sensitive or potentially sensitive reports. Acting supervisors are not authorized to do so.

The intake specialist documents the consultation beneath his or her signature in the narrative. For non-sensitive reports, the intake specialist documents this decision as part of the consulting information. If the staffing supervisor will be removing a previous sensitive designation, the intake specialist documents this removal as part of the consulting information in the narrative.

When a Person Search Result Matches a Staff Record

When an intake specialist performs a Person Search and finds a staff record result (indicated by a blue diamond icon) that matches someone in the report, he or she:

  • Clicks the Name link for the match. The Person Detail page opens and shows one of five possible Attention messages.
  • Reads the Attention message. This message is above the Person Name section on the Person Detail page.
  • Uses the table below to determine whether to consult with a supervisor about the report.

If the Attention message is:

Then:

This person is an employee. For more information, use staff search.

Consult (staff) with a supervisor, because the report needs to be sensitive.

This person is External Staff – with IMPACT access. For more information, use staff search.

Consult (staff) with a supervisor, because the report needs to be sensitive.

This person is External Staff – No IMPACT access. For more information, use staff search.

Consult (staff) with a supervisor, because the report may need to be sensitive or the supervisor may need to do more processing. For example, the person is a CASA worker.

This person is a former employee. For more information, use staff search.

It is not necessary to consult (staff) with a supervisor for sensitivity, unless another reason for sensitivity applies.

This person is a former external staff. For more information, use staff search.

It is not necessary to consult (staff) with a supervisor for sensitivity, unless another reason for sensitivity applies.

2833 Documenting a Sensitive Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When documenting a sensitive report, the intake specialist:

  • Designates the report as sensitive.
  • Documents the reason for sensitivity and associated details.
  • Documents the consultation with the supervisor or worker V.

Documenting the Sensitive Reason and Associated Details

The intake specialist or staffing supervisor documents information about the reason for a sensitive designation. These details may include:

  • The DFPS employee’s:
    • Name
    • Person ID number (PID)
    • Relationship to the victim
    • Program
    • Office location
    • City of employment
  • Details about the high-profile individual and his or her position. For example, if the person is a judge, details may include the type of judge and for what city, county, and court.
  • Reason the situation has or is likely to have significant media interest.
  • Information about a minor who wants or has had an abortion.
  • Information specified in section 2664 OAG-ACP (Address Confidentiality Program).

If the intake specialist knows the details behind the sensitive designation, he or she documents that information in the comments.

If only the staffing supervisor knows the sensitive information, he or she tells the intake specialist to document that the staffing supervisor will document the information. The staffing supervisor documents that information when he or she is reviewing the report.

2834 Law Enforcement Notification for a Sensitive Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI does not complete this notification for a sensitive CPI, DCI, or RCCI intake. Instead, the intake specialist selects the “To be done locally” option. In these instances, it is the responsibility of field staff to send the notification.

For a sensitive I&R Non-FPS Criminal Matter Referred to Law, SWI completes the law enforcement notification according to standard procedure. The intake specialist does not use the “To be done locally” option.

2835 Processing a Sensitive Report

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

For all sensitive intakes, sensitive case-related special requests (CRSRs), and most sensitive information and referral (I&R) reports, the intake specialist:

  • Completes the report according to procedure.
  • Consults (staffs) with a supervisor as required by policy.  If the staffing supervisor will not be the one who reviews the report, the intake specialist will be told whom to notify when the report is ready to submit.
  • Submits the report for supervisor review.
  • Sends an instant message to alert the identified supervisor that the sensitive report is ready to review.

The staffing supervisor arranges for another supervisor to do the review if he or she is not available.  The supervisor completing the review:

Sensitive I&Rs That Are Not Submitted

The staffing supervisor might decide that a particular sensitive information and referral (I&R) reports should not be submitted by the intake specialist. In those cases, the intake specialist processes the report according to instructions in the Assignment Charts.

The instructions explain whether to assign or close the sensitive I&R. They also instruct the intake specialist when to send an email notification and to whom it should be sent.

2836 Sensitive Report from an SWI employee

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An SWI employee who needs to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation that involves him or herself, a significant other, or a family or household member should contact a program administrator (PA). If a PA is not on duty, the employee should contact a supervisor.

The preferred method is for the employee to submit an e-report and immediately give the confirmation number to the PA (or supervisor) to process the sensitive report.

2837 Sensitive Report Involving an SWI employee

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI sometimes receives reports involving a SWI employee, his or her significant other, family member, or another household member. These are kept to the smallest circle of people needed to take and complete the report.

At the Beginning of the Phone Call

If an intake specialist learns of SWI employee involvement at this stage of the call, he or she:

  • Stops the interview.
  • Gets the reporter’s telephone number.
  • Tells the reporter that he or she needs to consult with management.
  • Asks the reporter to hold.
  • Consults with a program administrator if available. If not, he or she consults with a supervisor. The program administrator may request the call be transferred to him or her or arrange to call the reporter back.
  • Completes an I&R Other Business Call.
  • Does not document a narrative or In Regards To.

Late into the Phone Call

If an intake specialist learns the report involves an SWI employee at this stage, he or she may finish taking the report. When finished, he or she:

  • Consults (staff) with a program administrator or supervisor, if a program administrator is not available.
  • Documents the consultation.
  • Designates the report as sensitive.
  • Documents the sensitive reason.
  • Processes the report according to the program administrator’s instructions.

E-Report or Mail or Fax Reports

If an intake specialist learns that the e-report or mail/fax report involves an SWI employee, he or she immediately consults with a program administrator. If a program administrator is not on duty, the intake specialist consults with a supervisor.

The program administrator may:

  • Complete the report; or
  • Provide processing instructions so the intake specialist may complete the report.

2840 Complaints

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI receives complaints about SWI and field staff from different sources, including:

  • Field staff
  • SWI staff
  • The public

2841 Public Complaint about SWI

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Reporter may call with a complaint about a report SWI completed or the customer service provided. The intake specialist then:

  • Obtains the report ID.
  • Obtains the name and number of the person calling.
  • Obtains a brief explanation of the concern.
  • Confirms caller is the original reporter by searching in IMPACT.
  • Tells the original reporter that a supervisor will review the concern.
  • Sends an instant message to the floor support chat room for help.

If the caller is not the original reporter, the intake specialist:

  • Explains that they cannot share information.
  • Conducts an interview and assesses whether to take a new report.

The supervisor:

  • Returns the call, if necessary, as soon as the schedule permits.
  • Arranges for a re-entry immediately, if needed.
  • Forwards non-urgent complaints to the intake specialist’s supervisor, who reviews the concern and addresses it with employee, if necessary.

Completing the Report

If the call only contains information about the complaint, the intake specialist:

  • Completes an I&R Other Business Call.
  • Does not document information about the complaint in the report.

If the call contains information about both the complaint and other concerns, the intake specialist:

  • Documents and assesses other concerns according to standard procedures.
  • Does not document complaint information in the report. It is not appropriate to put complaint information in IMPACT.

2842 Complaint about Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

A member of the public may make a complaint about field staff regarding:

  • How he or she handled a case.
  • A serious concern that needs immediate attention.
2842.1 Public Complaint about Field Staff Regarding Handling of Case

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Procedures vary for public complaints given in the following ways:

Complaint Received by Phone

The intake specialist refers the reporter to the field staff’s chain of command and gives him or her the phone number to the local office.

A chain of command is the hierarchy of who is in charge of whom. The specific job titles in a chain of command vary depending on which program is involved.

The chain of command ends with the DFPS Office of Consumer Relations (OCR) or HHSC Ombudsman. If the reporter already called the local office or that option is not acceptable, the intake specialist provides the following numbers:

  • For complaints about DFPS employees: Provide the number to OCR at 800-720-7777. The intake specialist may transfer the call using extension 1090264 during business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays).
  • For complaints about Child Care Regulation or Provider Investigations employees: Provide the number to the HHSC Ombudsman at 877-787-8999.

The intake specialist does not take any other action.

Complaint Received by Mail , Fax, or through the Texas Abuse Hotline Website

The intake specialist completes the email template for the applicable complaint as follows:

  • For complaints about DFPS employees: Complete the OCR Complaint email template.
  • For complaints about Child Care Regulation or Provider Investigations employees: Complete the HHSC Ombudsman Complaint email template.
2842.2 Public Complaint about Field Staff That Requires Immediate Attention

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

If the intake specialist receives a serious complaint about field staff that he or she believes needs immediate attention, the intake specialist consults (staffs) with an intake supervisor or worker V. If one is not available, the intake specialist consults with a higher authority.

Complaint examples include:

  • Field staff is working while intoxicated.
  • Field staff is engaging in criminal conduct.

If the complaint needs immediate attention, the staffing supervisor calls the on-call program director and county where the staff member works. The staffing supervisor follows up with an email detailing the complaint and call to the program director he or she contacted

2842.3 Completing the Report for the Complaint

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist uses the following procedures to complete the report for the public complaint about field staff.

Complaint Received by Phone or Mail/Fax

If the call or mail/fax only contains information about the complaint, the intake specialist:

  • Completes an I&R Other Business Call.
  • Does not document complaint information in the report.

If the call or mail/fax contains both the complaint and other concerns, the intake specialist:

  • Documents and assesses those other concerns according to standard procedures.
  • Does not document complaint information in the report. It is not appropriate to document complaint information in IMPACT.

Complaint Received Through the Texas Abuse Hotline Website

The intake specialist:

  • Consults (staffs) with a supervisor or worker V because the report may need to be designated as sensitive.
  • Completes the report. If the narrative contains:
    • The complaint and no additional information that needs to be sent to the local office (that is, it can be closed), then the intake specialist:
      • Completes an information and referral Other Business Call.
      • Does not alter the narrative.
      • Marks the report sensitive.
      • Documents “Worker Complaint/Misconduct” as the sensitive reason.
      • Closes the I&R.
    • The complaint and information that needs to go to the local office: Then the intake specialist:
      • Does not make the report sensitive.
      • Deletes the statement at the beginning of the narrative that the e-report has not been altered.
      • Removes complaint information from the narrative.
      • Completes the appropriate type of report.
    • The complaint and information that needs to go to another agency: Then the intake specialist:
      • Makes the report sensitive
      • Documents “Worker Complaint/Misconduct” as the sensitive reason.
      • Does not alter the narrative.
      • Completes an I&R Matter Referred On, I&R Referred to DSHS, or I&R Referred to HHSC.

2843 Complaint from a Foster Child about His or Her Placement

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Intake specialist refers a child with such a complaint to the Foster Care Ombudsman at (844) 286-0769 during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday).

If the information meets the definitions of abuse, neglect or exploitation, an RCCI intake is completed; otherwise an I&R RCCL Standards Compliance is completed.

2844 SWI Complaint about SWI Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Occasionally, an intake specialist may have concerns about how another intake specialist handled a call or completed a report. The intake specialist consults with a supervisor or worker V.

If necessary, the staffing supervisor emails a description of the concern and the steps taken for resolution to the involved intake specialist’s supervisor.

2845 SWI Complaint about Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

If SWI staff has concerns about communication with field staff or field staff’s handling of a case, he or she documents the concern in an email to a SWI supervisor.

The supervisor reviews the issue. If warranted, the supervisor forwards the information to SWI Program Improvement (PI) at QAUNIT@dfps.texas.gov. PI notifies the appropriate regional contact. PI does not perform case reviews.

2846 Field Staff Complaint about SWI

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff should not call or email an intake specialist or supervisor directly with such a complaint.

When field staff has concerns about an SWI report , he or she contacts SWI according to the policy below. He or she should have the following information:

  • Report or case ID
  • Specific description of the concern

Concern That Needs Immediate Attention

A field supervisor level (or higher authority) does the following:

  • Calls SWI on the administrative line at 800-252-3223.
  • Identifies himself or herself by name and title.
  • Asks to speak to an intake supervisor or worker V.

Concern about Incorrect Assignment

If the concern is about a report SWI assessed correctly, but assigned to the incorrect workload, field staff should route the report appropriately. He or she does not close the report or assign it back to SWI.

Then, the field supervisor (or above) notifies SWI Program Improvement (PI) of the concern by emailing QAUNIT@dfps.texas.gov. PI may review the error and provide feedback to the intake specialist.

Other Concern about the Quality of an Intake

If the concern does not require immediate action, resolution, or re-entry, field staff supervisor (or above) may send an email to QAUNIT@dfps.texas.gov. Examples are:

  • An intake, I&R, or CRSR with incorrect documentation or missing or unclear information.
  • An intake with a significant error in priority assessment.
  • A complaint about SWI staff conduct when handling the report.
  • A call-out that went to the wrong on-call staff or was not made in a timely manner.

Re-Entry Requests

Field staff calls the re-entry queue at 800-252-3223 or 512-929-6920. See 2860 Re-Entry Requests from Field Staff.

2850 Re-Entering Reports (Re-Entry)

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When a report (intake, I&R, or CRSR) must be reproduced in IMPACT because of a technical problem or an error made by SWI or field staff, it is called a re-entry.

Field staff request a re-entry with SWI at (800) 252-3223 or (512) 929-6920.

SWI staff notifies an intake supervisor or worker V if SWI staff discovers a report that may require re-entry. The intake supervisor or worker V either:

  • Re-enters the report.
  • Assigns an intake specialist to re-enter the report.

2851 Reasons for a Re-Entry

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

SWI re-enters reports for any of the following reasons:

  • An intake was entered for one program but should have been classified as another program.
  • A related (companion) report is needed but was not completed when the original report was entered. The companion report may be for a different or the same program.
  • A report is for an incorrect report type.
  • A narrative is missing.
  • The date and time of a report need to be changed.
  • A report will not progress from the intake stage or to the Investigations stage.
  • An intake that hasn’t moved past intake (INT) stage but has been closed by field staff. For example, the report was downgraded to priority none (PN).
  • An intake was progressed to the Investigation (INV) stage but should have been progressed to the alternative response (A-R) stage
  • An intake was progressed to the alternative response (A-R) state but should have been progressed to the investigation (INV) stage.
  • A Child Care Investigations or Child Care Regulation report did not automatically populate in the CLASS application.
  • An information and referral (I&R) report was sent to an open APS or Provider Investigations case, but, even though the case still displays an open status, a disposition has been recorded. In such cases, no additional casework can be performed, and a new case must be entered.
  • One person’s information was inaccurately related to another person’s record in IMPACT.

2852 Changes That Do Not Require a Re-Entry

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff can make the following changes without a re-entry:

  • Change an intake’s priority.
  • Mark the checkbox so the intake can be screened.
  • Assign a report to a different county.
  • Assign a report to another workload or program outside SWI.
  • Designate a report as requiring a special handling status.
  • Add, modify, or remove sensitive details from a report.
  • Change the status of an APS intake that is in open status on the Intake Actions page.
  • Change a case name.
  • Change the Resource section in an intake for DCI, RCCI, or Provider Investigations.

2860 Re-Entry Requests from Field Staff

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

Field staff or staff from the Data Corrections Department may ask SWI to re-enter a report. A delay in this request may create a safety issue.

Field staff calls the re-entry queue at 800-252-3223 or 512-929-6920 to request a re-entry. A dedicated team of intake specialists monitors this queue and handles most re-entry requests. Field staff should not request a re-entry by mail, fax, through the internet, or via the QAUNIT mailbox.

If an intake specialist, not assigned to the re-entry queue, receives a phone request from field staff for a re-entry, he or she transfers the call to the re-entry queue.

An intake specialist consults (staffs) with a supervisor on requests that come from the internet, mail or fax.

Technical Problems with a Report in a Stage Other Than Intake (INT)

Field staff calls the Customer Service Center (CSC) Help Desk at 877-642-4777 for help when the report is not it the intake (INT) stage. A re-entry may not be necessary.

2861 Verifying the Requestor’s Employment

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist compares the following details from the requestor to the data in that person’s staff record in IMPACT:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Region and Unit Number
  • Supervisor’s Name (This will be needed to complete the template later.)
  • Call back number

If the information matches, it is considered verified and the re-entry request may be completed. If the details do not match, a re-entry cannot be completed.

2862 Obtaining Details about a Re-Entry Request

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist obtains the following details:

  • Requestor’s name.
  • Requestor’s phone number.
  • Requestor’s region and county.
  • Requestor’s program.
  • Case number or Report ID for re-entry.
  • Reason report needs to be re-entered.
  • Name and title of person authorizing the re-entry.
  • Name of the operation if the re-entry is related to Child Care Investigations, Child Care Regulation, or Provider Investigations.
  • Date and time for new report. Typically, it is the date and time of the original report, with the following exceptions:
    • If the program requesting the re-entry initiated the investigation, the intake specialist changes date and time as specified by the program.
    • If the re-entry involves a report for another program, the intake specialist uses date and time that re-entry request is made.

If a detail is unknown but needed to process the re-entry, the intake specialist asks the requestor to call back with the information.

2863 Evaluating a Re-Entry Request

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

An intake specialist evaluates whether the re-entry request is valid and verifies that a supervisor (or higher) authorized the re-entry. These requests may be made only by a staff member within the same program.

If the requestor calls for help deleting a report from a workload, the intake specialist tells the requestor to submit the request through Technology Assistance: Make Your Own Ticket. Application Support within the Program Support division handles the deletion.

Valid Request

See 2851 Reasons for a Re-Entry for what constitutes a valid request.

If the request is valid and a supervisor (or higher) from the same program authorized the re-entry, the intake specialist completes the re-entry.

The intake specialist duplicates the original report after validation and provides the requestor with the new report ID.

Invalid Request Received by Phone

If field staff can make the necessary changes themselves, the request is invalid and SWI does not complete a re-entry. See 2852 Changes That Do Not Require a Re-Entry.

If the reason for the request is not one of the valid reasons identified above or there is a disagreement about the assessment, the intake specialist asks the requestor if a program director (or higher) from the same program authorized the re-entry. The requestor does not need to be the person giving the authorization. Another staff member may relay the authorization.

  • If a program director (or higher) from the same program authorized the re-entry request, the intake specialist may complete the re-entry. If he or she still has questions about the validity of the re-entry, he or she consults with a supervisor or worker V.
  • If a program director (or higher) from the same program did not authorize the re-entry request, the intake specialist consults with a supervisor or worker V. If the staffing supervisor agrees that the request is invalid, the intake specialist asks the requestor to get the necessary authorization. If the requestor does not get the authorization, the intake specialist does not complete the re-entry.

Invalid Request Received through Mail/Fax or Internet

Field staff should not send a re-entry request by mail, by fax, or through the internet, but it may happen. If the requestor provides insufficient information or inadequate authorization, the intake specialist attempts to contact the requestor on the requestor’s business phone for clarification.

  • If contact is made and the information supports a re-entry, the intake specialist completes re-entry.
  • If contact is made but the information does not support a re-entry or the requestor disagrees with SWI’s decision, the intake specialist consults with a staffing supervisor. If the staffing supervisor agrees that the request is invalid, the intake specialist asks that the requestor get the necessary authorization. If the requestor does not get the authorization, the intake specialist does not complete the re-entry.
  • If no contact is made, the intake specialist leaves a voicemail for the requestor explaining why the request cannot be completed and asking the requestor to contact the re-entry queue. He or she completes an I&R Call Back for call-outs to field staff to get clarification and details on the request.

2864 Documenting a Re-Entry Request

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist documents each re-entry request as an information and referral (I&R) Other Business Call. If the request comes through mail/fax or the internet, the submitted e-report or mail/fax report becomes the I&R Other Business Call.

In the I&R Other Business Call, the intake specialist:

  • Documents the name, address, and phone number of the requestor as the reporter.
  • Documents the same information entered in the original case in the In Regards To field.
  • Documents the following in the narrative:
  • Program requesting the re-entry.
  • Reason for the re-entry request.
  • Report ID or case number of original report.
  • Date and time of report, whether it must match the original or be changed to date and time of request.
  • Name of the supervisor (or higher) requesting or authorizing the re-entry.
  • Reason the request was declined, if applicable.
  • Documents IDfor the new report.
  • Closes the report.

2865 Completing a Re-Entry

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

To complete an authorized and valid re-entry, the intake specialist takes the following steps, in order:

  • Duplicates the original report.
  • Changes the date and time to the date and time specified by the requestor, if applicable.
  • Designates the report as a re-entry.
  • Selects the applicable reason for the re-entry.
    • Backdating: Field staff requests a re-entry to correct the date and time so both coincide with the initiation of the investigation.
    • Child Safety Review: Child safety specialist requests the re-entry of a  case that should not have been closed.
    • Field Error: Field staff closes a case in error.
    • SWI Error: A report cannot be acted upon due to an error by SWI staff.
    • Technical Problems: IMPACT cannot process a report because of technical issue.
    • Other: A request that does not fit in one of these categories.
  • Documents the following statement at the beginning of the narrative, with the appropriate information included: Re-entry for Report ID XXXXXX at the request of (name, program, title) because of (reason for the re-entry).
  • Documents his or her name and title below the narrative of original report:
  • Adds his or her name and title.
  • Documents requestor’s special instructions, if any.
  • Updates other report elements according to requestor’s instructions, as needed.
  • Processes the report according to requestor’s special instructions, if applicable. If not applicable, the intake specialist processes the report according to standard procedures.

2866 Sending the Re-Entry Feedback Template

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

When an intake specialist assigned to the re-entry queue completes a re-entry that was needed due to SWI error, he or she also does the following:

  • Fills out the Re-Entry Feedback template.
  • Sends the completed template to the supervisor of the intake specialist who generated the original report.

2867 Deleting the Original Report from a Workload

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

After SWI re-enters a report in IMPACT, field staff submits a request to delete the original through the Technology Assistance: Make Your Own Ticket website on the DFPS intranet. Application Support within the Program Support division handles the deletion of the report. SWI does not have the ability to delete reports from the workloads of field staff.

2868 Re-Entry Requests Handled by a SWI Supervisor or Worker V

SWI Policy and Procedures October 2020

The intake specialist consults with a supervisor or worker V if either of the following are true:

  • Re-entry request involves a sensitive case.
  • It is necessary to listen to the call recording.

If the staffing supervisor determines the request is valid, and a field supervisor (or higher) authorizes the re-entry, the intake specialist:

  • Documents reason he or she gave the request to a supervisor or worker V.
  • Documents name of the supervisor or worker V completing the re-entry in the narrative of the I&R Other Business Call.
  • Provides the report ID for the I&R Other Business Call to the staffing supervisor.
  • Closes the report.

The staffing supervisor may complete the re-entry or give necessary details to the intake specialist so he or she can complete it.

See 2830 Sensitive Reports.

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