DFPS just issued a 2nd policy update for May relating to changes in removal policy. For the first time since AEovrT began, we are seeing policies for handling a Non-emergency Removal.
This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on May 8, 2018.
CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy email box for the general public: CPSPolicyQuestions@dfps.state.tx.us. Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.
For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Relations at 1-800-720-7777.
Safe Sleep for FBSS and CVS (PATS 10817)
Removal Procedures (PATS 10822)
FBSS Safety Assessment (PATS 10867)
Safe Sleep for Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) and Conservatorship (CVS) (PATS 10817)
Family Based Safety Services (FBSS)
The policy below is added to policy to address safe sleep and other safety related issues in FBSS cases. Caseworkers are required to address safe sleep and the other items on the Keeping Children Safe Wherever You Go! document, as well as view the sleeping arrangements for all children at every home visit. Any concerns must be addressed, including providing the family with information or assisting with bedding and staffing with the supervisor as appropriate. All of these discussions and actions must be documented in case contacts.
2531 Safe Sleep and Other Safety Related Issues (new item)
The item below is revised to include policy about safe sleep. If the child is under 12 months, the child must not sleep with any adults or children. If the child is in a verified foster home, the child must not sleep in the same bed with an adult caregiver at any time. CVS caseworkers must view the sleeping arrangements for all children at every home visit. Any concerns must be addressed, including providing the family with information or assisting with bedding and staffing with the supervisor as appropriate. All of these discussions and actions must be documented in case contacts.
6414.7 Conducting the Monthly Visit
The items below are revised to reflect the following:
Once the caseworker determines that an emergency removal supported by a court order is necessary and the caseworker receives program director approval, the caseworker immediately asks the attorney representing DFPS to file a petition seeking relief and requesting an emergency hearing. The caseworker must submit legal documents to the attorney within 24 hours or on the first business day after the legal staffing.
Once a caseworker determines that a nonemergency removal is necessary and obtains program director approval, the caseworker asks the attorney representing DFPS to file a petition seeking relief and requesting a hearing. The caseworker must submit legal documents to the attorney by the deadline the supervisor sets or within three business days after the legal staffing, whichever is sooner.
Removal is Unnecessary
If after obtaining program director approval, the caseworker and supervisor determine the emergency or nonemergency removal is unnecessary, the program director must approve the decision to not proceed. The decision not to pursue removal and the reasons why must be documented in IMPACT.
3221 Initiating a Removal
3221.1 Required Approvals
3221.2 Exigent Removal Without a Court Order
3221.3 Required Actions to Rescind Decision for Emergency or Nonemergency Removal
3221.4 Documents That Must be Provided to Parents in Exigent Circumstances
3221.5 Explaining the Process to Parents and Caregivers
3221.6 Gathering Information From Parents and Caregivers
3221.7 Explaining the Removal to the Child
5411.2 Basic Process for Obtaining a Court Order Before Conducting an Emergency Removal
5413.2 Basic Process When Conducting a Nonemergency Removal
5412.2 Basic Process for Conducting an Emergency Removal Before Obtaining a Court Order and for Filing a Petition After an Emergency Removal
5415 Rescinding the Decision for Emergency or Nonemergency Removal
The item below is added to include policy that if there are indications that a child is in danger, and the parent has failed to participate in services for the two previous consecutive months, the caseworker and supervisor must determine whether to request a court order for services or removal.
If the decision is made to pursue legal intervention and the parent’s whereabouts are known, the attorney representing DFPS should also be consulted.
2545 Legal Staffing Due to a Family’s Lack of Participation (new item)
2545 Caseworker Monthly Review of Progress
2546 Supervisor Monthly Review
The item below is revised to clarify the purpose of completing the Safety Assessment tool in FBSS. FBSS workers must complete the tool:
• when circumstances suggest that the child’s safety may be jeopardized;
• when changing safety interventions on an existing safety plan;
• before closing a FBSS case with at least one child in the home;
• when considering unsupervised contact;
• before returning a child from a PCSP; or
• when closing the case and the child is living in a PCSP.
2512 Safety Assessment