6100, Overview of Investigations

September 28, 2018

All reports that allege failure to comply with the law, administrative rules, or minimum standards require some degree of investigation, except when specific conditions exist as noted within policy. 

The investigator must complete an investigation of a report alleging possible risk to children promptly and thoroughly to ensure that children who are or will be in care at the operation are protected. This applies to child care operations that HHSC regulates or is responsible for regulating under Chapter 42, Texas Human Resources Code.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.044(c)

40 TAC 745.8405

 

6110 Types of Investigations

September 28, 2018

There are two types of intake reports:

Reports of Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation: The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) investigates reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that allege a child in care of an operation was or may be harmed because of an act or omission by a person working under the supervision of a child care operation. Such harm must meet the definitions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as described in the Texas Family Code and Texas Administrative Code. (DFPS also investigates reports of exploitation that allege a person working under the auspices of an operation engaged in illegal or improper use of a child or used a child’s resources for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain.) The operation where the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred may also be violating statutes, administrative rules, or minimum standards.

Within this policy, any investigation that includes an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is a "DFPS investigation."

Reports of Non-Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation: HHSC investigates reports that allege statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards have been or are in violation. No allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is involved.

Within this policy, an investigation that only includes an allegation of statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards, with no allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is an “investigation”.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.044(c)

Texas Family Code §261.001

40 TAC§§745.8401745.8403745.8405745.8407;

 

6120 Role of the Inspector

September 28, 2018

A licensing inspector who conducts an investigation becomes an investigator for purposes of Licensing policies and procedures and:

  1. responds to reports of possible violations of statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards that do not allege abuse, neglect, or exploitation (an investigation);
  2. receives information about possible deficiencies a DFPS investigator noted during an abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation (a DFPS investigation) and cites deficiencies when warranted; and 
  3. follow ups on deficiencies cited during investigations and DFPS investigations and completes entries related to the follow-up in the CLASS automated support system.

 

6130 Role of the Supervisor and the Supervisor’s Designee

September 28, 2018

Other staff involved in an investigation may include the licensing supervisor and the supervisor’s designees.

Licensing Supervisor 

The supervisor is responsible for all of the following:

  1. Coordinating the assignment of intakes to investigative staff
  2. Approving the administrative closure of intake reports
  3. Approving a change in priority for an investigation
  4. Approving intensified monitoring or surveillance
  5. Approving a recommended enforcement action 
  6. Approving requests for assistance from other HHSC divisions or government agencies when the expertise of Licensing staff is requested, such as providing guidance regarding when an unregulated entity may be subject to regulation
  7. Ensuring that a safety plan is implemented, when the circumstances call for taking immediate safety measures 
  8. Ensuring that investigators conduct and document investigations according to policies and procedures
  9. Arranging for other HHSC divisions or government agencies to review an investigation, as necessary
  10. Approving extensions of time to complete an investigation, in accordance with policies and procedures
  11. Evaluating the need to upgrade an investigation to a DFPS investigation.

Supervisor’s Designee

A supervisor may assign another supervisor or tenured inspector as a designee for the purposes of acting as a supervisor, including providing required supervisory approvals in the supervisor’s absence.

A supervisor may assign a router or inspector as a designee for the purposes of routing and processing intakes under the supervisor’s guidance.

See:

1220 Assigning a Designee in CLASS

1221 Maximum Number of Designees in CLASS