6200, Receiving, Assessing and Processing Intake Reports

December 2020

 

6210 Reports Received from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

December 2020

The Statewide Intake (SWI) division of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) receives and routes the following types of allegations regarding operations that are subject to regulation by Child Care Regulation (CCR):

  • All reports that allege abuse, neglect or exploitation of children in care to the Child Care Investigations (CCI) division of DFPS;
  • Some, but not all, reports that allege violations of CCR statute, administrative rules or minimum standards at child day care operations to CCR; and
  • All reports that allege violations of CCR statute, administrative rules or minimum standards at residential child care operations to CCR.

When CCI receives from SWI a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation that CCI staff  determine does not rise to the level of abuse, neglect or exploitation, CCI staff downgrade the intake and route it to CCR.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.042(c)
26 TAC §745.8407

Procedure

When SWI receives a report that does not involve an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation, but does involve an allegation of a violation of CCR statute, administrative rules or minimum standards at a child care operation, SWI staff:

  • process the report as an Information and Referral (I&R) for an alleged violation of statute, administrative rules or minimum standards in the IMPACT case management system; and
  • route the report to the appropriate HHSC router.

When CCI receives from SWI a report classified as abuse, neglect or exploitation that involves children or staff at a child care operation, but CCI determines the report does not involve an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation, CCI staff:

  • downgrade the intake report to a Priority None (PN) in the IMPACT case management system and close the intake in IMPACT; and
  • route the report to the appropriate HHSC router.

When routing intakes to CCR, both SWI and CCI staff do not assess whether the information violates CCR statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards or prioritize the report.  

After the I&R or downgraded intake report is routed to the CCR office, the report becomes an intake report for CCR.

 

6211 Transferring I&R Information from IMPACT to CLASS

April 2021

Procedure

When an Information and Referral (I&R) is transferred from Statewide Intake (SWI), CCR staff routing the intake ensures that the following information is documented in CLASS from the I&R in IMPACT (if available):

  1. Reporter’s name, address and phone number;
  2. Address of the operation that is the subject of the report or if the address is unknown, directions to the operation;
  3. Phone number for the operation;
  4. Allegations or a description of the concerns being reported; and
  5. The following information about each child involved in the report:
    1. Child’s name and date of birth or approximate age;
    2. Parent’s or guardian’s information, including phone numbers and address; and
    3. Names and numbers of collateral sources.

The CCR staff routing the intake assesses if the reporter should receive the results of the investigation. If the reporter meets any of the exceptions in 6640 Notifying the Reporter of the Results of the Investigation, CCR staff ensure that the Reporter Results box on the Intake Persons page in CLASS is not checked.

 

6212 Closing the Report in IMPACT

December 2020

Procedure

When an I&R is received, the supervisor or a designee verifies that the intake report associated with the I&R transferred is to CLASS.

Next, the supervisor, designee, or router closes the I&R in IMPACT, selecting Closed and Reclassified as the Reason Closed.

 

6220 Reports Received by CCR Offices

December 2020

CCR staff may take an intake report that involves a child day care operation, if the report does not involve abuse, neglect or exploitation or the death of a child.

CCR staff refer the following types of reports to Statewide Intake:

  • all reports related to a residential child care operation;
  • reports that include allegations of child abuse, neglect or exploitation for any operation type; and
  • reports involving a child death for any operation type.

 

6221 Entering an Intake Report in CLASS

December 2020

Procedure

When CCR staff receives a report that a child day care operation has violated the minimum standards, the staff records the information in CLASS by completing all required fields in the Intake Report located under the New Intake tab.

 

6221.1 Information to Obtain When CCR Staff Receive a Report at a Local Office

April 2021

Procedure

Staff at the local CCR office must obtain as much information as possible, including, but not limited to:

  1. the reporter’s name, address, and phone number;
  2. the address of the operation that is the subject of the report, or, if the address is unknown, directions to the operation;
  3. the phone number for the operation, if known to the reporter;
  4. the allegations or a description of the concern being reported;
  5. information regarding how the reporter has obtained knowledge of the allegations;
  6. the following information about each child involved in the report:
    1. whether the child’s parent or guardian has concerns, if known to the reporter;
    2. the child’s name and date of birth or approximate age, if known by the reporter; and
    3. the parent’s or guardian’s information; including phone numbers and address, if known by the reporter;
  7. the caregiver’s information, including name, address, phone number, and age, if known by the reporter;
  8. the names and numbers of collateral sources, if known by the reporter; and
  9. any other information relevant to the allegations that the intake worker considers important.

For information regarding how to document anonymous reports, self-reports, or reports that require special handing, see also: 6270 Special Types of Intake Reports.

 

6221.2 Reports Received by a Licensing Office that Do Not Meet Criteria for Investigation

September 28, 2018

Procedure

When a local office receives a report directly from the operation and the information obtained clearly does not meet the criteria for an investigation, staff document the following in CLASS as a monitoring Chronology:

  • the name and work-related title of the person making the report; and
  • the information received in the report.

If the staff taking the report is unsure whether the information obtained meets the criteria for an investigation, the staff consults with a supervisor to determine whether an intake report is needed.

Staff document a report received from a source other than the operation as an intake report regardless if it meets criteria for investigation. Staff follow policy and procedures in 6231.3 Intake Reports to Be Closed Without an Investigation (Administrative Closure) for reports that meet the criteria for closure.

 

6221.3 Encouraging a Reporter to Disclose His or Her Identity

April 2021

Procedure

When receiving a report in a CCR office, staff encourage the reporter to disclose his or her identity. Staff reassure the reporter his/her identity remains confidential. If the reporter chooses to remain anonymous, staff must inform the reporter that:

  1. it may be more difficult to investigate the allegations without knowing the reporter’s identity, because the investigator must be able to determine whether the allegations have a factual basis;
  2. the investigator will not be able to contact the reporter if the investigator needs critical information that only the reporter can provide; and
  3. CCR will not be able to provide the reporter with the results of the investigation.

 

6221.4 Entering Reports of Unregulated Operations

February 2020

Procedure

When entering a report of a possible unregulated operation, Licensing staff must search to determine whether the operation already exists in CLASS by using the Operation Search (located on the Intake Report page) to search for open and closed operations. If staff finds that the operation is listed, registered, or licensed, and there are no concerns of violations of minimum standards, staff closes the intake report administratively. If staff cannot find an existing operation, staff selects New Operation from the Operation Search page and enters all available information.

Entering an Intake Report for an Operation with a History of Operating Without a Permit

If the operation has a history of operating without a permit, Licensing staff re-opens the former operation and enters the investigation under the previous operation number. If more than one prior operation exists, Licensing staff re-opens the most recent operation.

 

6221.41 Entering Reports for Unregulated Operations Identified by the Unregulated Operations Unit

February 2020

The Unregulated Operations Unit is responsible for identifying operations that are subject to regulation and operating without a permit. The unit identifies these operations by:

  • conducting searches to identify potential unregulated child care operations; and
  • gathering all available identifying information to enter a new intake report.

Government Code §531.0084

Procedure

Entering Reporter Information for Unregulated Operations Identified by Licensing Staff

Upon identifying an unregulated operation through a search, Licensing staff selects the CCL Search check box on the Reporter Information page to search for his or her name.

Documenting the Allegation Narrative for Unregulated Operations Identified by Licensing Staff

In addition to documenting the information outlined in 6222.1 Information to Obtain When Receiving a Report at a Local Licensing Office, Licensing staff entering an intake report for an illegal operation identified by Licensing staff must document the following in the Allegation Narrative the Intake Report in in CLASS:

  1. how Licensing staff identified the unregulated operation;
  2. a summary of the information obtained through the search, including any identifying information;
  3. which searches in 6531 Conducting Due Diligence Searches, the Licensing staff conducted and the outcome of those searches; and
  4. whether any information found through the search indicates an elevated risk to children.

See also:

6531 Conducting Due Diligence Searches

 

6222 Referring Reports Received in Licensing Offices to Statewide Intake

September 28, 2018

The Licensing office must forward the report to Statewide Intake (SWI) for entry in the IMPACT system if the report involves:

  • an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; or
  • a residential child care operation, except if the report is created to handle a match on the sex offender report.

Procedure

If the local Licensing office receives a report regarding an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or a residential operation, staff must encourage reporters to report to Statewide Intake by:

 

6230 Assessing an Intake Report

September 28, 2018

All intake reports require an evaluation to determine: 

  1. whether the information involves allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;
  2. whether the information involves possible violations of the statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards;
  3. the immediate safety of children;
  4. the degree of risk to children;
  5. whether the operation is subject to a Licensing investigation; and
  6. the appropriate priority.

 

6231 Assessing an Intake Report for Type of Investigation

September 28, 2018

Each intake report must be assessed to determine whether the report should be:

  1. assigned a priority and progressed to an investigation;
  2. referred to DFPS for an abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation; or
  3. closed without conducting an investigation.

 

6231.1 Intake Reports to Be Investigated by CCR

February 2020

CCR investigates the report if the report does not contain an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation or the death of a child, but does contain an allegation involving: 

  1. a violation of statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards;
  2. a person or operation that is subject to regulation providing care to children without the proper permit, unless the location of the operation is unknown; 
  3. an operation with a permit is providing care to more children than authorized by the permit; or
  4. an immediate risk of danger to the health or safety of children.

See also:

6240 Assessing an Intake Report for Priority

6250 Assessing an Intake Report for Allegation Types in CLASS

6276 Reports Requiring Special Handling

 

6231.11 Reports Received for Listed Family Homes Caring for Related Children Only

May 2021

CCR investigates a report about a relative-only listed family home if the allegation involves:

  1. the caregiver administering medication in violation of Texas Human Resources Code §42.065;
  2. the caregiver providing care for unrelated children; or
  3. an immediate risk of danger to the health or safety of a child being cared for in the home.

Human Resources Code §42.065

 

6231.12 Reports Investigated by a Child-Placing Agency

September 28, 2018

At CCR’s request, the child-placing agency (CPA) investigates reports of violations of minimum standards in the CPA’s homes.

See 6510 Investigations Involving Homes Regulated by a Child-Placing Agency (CPA).

 

6231.2 Intake Reports to Be Investigated by DFPS as Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation

May 2021

CCR does not investigate reports that include allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation or incidents involving a child fatality. The CCR supervisor or designee refers a report to DFPS if CCR receives an intake report that contains the following:

  1. an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation;
  2. an allegation that a caregiver is sleeping when the caregiver is required to be awake to provide 24-hour awake-night supervision at a residential child care operation that serves children in DFPS conservatorship and that cares for seven or more children; or
  3. a child fatality.

Texas Family Code §261.001

 

6231.21 Upgrading an Intake Report to an Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Intake Report

September 28, 2018

A report may need to be referred to DFPS for investigation if:

  • the supervisor determines that the information in the intake report constitutes an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; or
  • after initiating the investigation, the investigator assigned to investigate the report learns additional information about the incident that constitutes an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Procedure

If a supervisor decides that the information in the report or the information gathered during an investigation constitutes an allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the investigator, supervisor, or designee must:

  • notify the appropriate DFPS supervisor that the investigation is being referred to DFPS for investigation;
  • call the worker line for SWI support staff and provide any new information that was obtained during the investigation; and
  • request that SWI enter the information in the IMPACT case management system as an intake report for abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

If the DFPS supervisor disagrees that the intake report should be upgraded to an abuse, neglect, or exploitation report, the Licensing supervisor or designee consults the DFPS Program Administrator or designee for a final decision.

Investigation Has Not Been Initiated

If the investigator has not yet initiated an investigation, the investigator follows the procedures in 6231.42 Administratively Closing an Intake Report in CLASS.

Investigation Has Been Initiated

If the investigator has initiated an investigation before determining that the investigation needs to be referred to DFPS, the investigator:

  1. documents all contacts and marks each minimum standard that the investigator chose to evaluate as Compliant on the Standards Details page in CLASS if an inspection has already been conducted;
  2. deletes the minimum standards if an inspection has not been conducted;
  3. sends the Investigation Letter (Form 2896) to the operation and informs the operation that the investigation is being referred to DFPS for an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;
  4. documents the investigation number of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation and the reason for closure in the Explanation of the Disposition box on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS; 
  5. closes the investigation in CLASS after ensuring that the intake report for abuse, neglect, or exploitation has been entered in IMPACT; and
  6. notifies the DFPS investigator of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation of any contacts made as part of the original investigation. 

 

6231.3 Intake Reports Identified by the Unregulated Operations Unit

May 2021

Procedure

CCR may investigate or administratively close an intake report regarding an unregulated operation identified by the Unregulated Operations Unit depending on the amount of information CCR staff finds about the operation.

CCR staff only investigates reports of unregulated operations with a known physical location or if there is information that is sufficient to identify the location.  

CCR staff administratively closes reports of potential unregulated operation if a physical location cannot be identified after following the procedures detailed in one of the following documents located on the CCR SharePoint page:

  • Unregulated Operation Search Process with Email ONLY; or
  • Unregulated Operation Search Process with Telephone ONLY.   

See also:

6221.4  Entering reports of Unregulated Operations

6231.42  Administratively Closing an Intake Report in CLASS

 

6231.4 Intake Reports to Be Closed Without an Investigation (Administrative Closure)

February 2020

Licensing administratively closes an investigation when the supervisor or designee determines the information in the report:

  1. clearly reflects that there is no violation of law or minimum standards to investigate, including:
    • some types of incidents that operations are required to self-report; and
    • anonymous reports determined not to have any factual basis;
  2. clearly reflects that another HHSC division, another state agency, or law enforcement has investigative jurisdiction;
  3. has already been investigated in a closed investigation (see 6273 Repeated Reports with No New Allegations); or
  4. contains information about an incident that occurred in the past (see 6274 Reports of Incidents that Occurred in the Past); or
  5. does not identify or provide information that is sufficient for Licensing to identify a location for an alleged unregulated operation (see 6231.3 Intake Reports Identified by the Unregulated Operations Unit).

 

6231.41 Incidents Self-Reported by Operations that May Not Require an Investigation

February 2020

Minimum standards require operations to report certain incidents, even though an investigation may not be required under certain circumstances.

Incidents that must be self-reported, but may not require investigation include:

  1. an employee or child at an operation contracts a communicable disease;
  2. a disaster or emergency causes an operation to close or renders part of the operation unsafe or unsanitary;
  3. a child in care of a residential operation is arrested or indicted for a crime;
  4. a child is absent from a residential operation; and
  5. a child in care is involved in a minor accident.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.063

26 TAC §743.201744.305746.305747.303748.303749.503

 

6231.42 Administratively Closing an Intake Report in CLASS

February 2020

Procedure

The investigator, supervisor, or designee closes the report in CLASS by entering the following information under the Intake Status section on the Intake Report page:

  1. the date of the administrative closure;
  2. the reason for closure; and
  3. the full name of the supervisor who approved the closure.

 

6231.43 CLASS Options for Closing an Intake Report

February 2020

An intake report may be administratively closed without choosing a priority. The chart below outlines the appropriate CLASS options used to close an intake report.

Reasons for Closing an Intake Report in CLASS

Reason Closed: Explanation 
Not subject to investigation The intake report is closed because the information in the intake report:
  • does not constitute a possible violation of minimum standards; or
  • is regarding an unregulated operation with insufficient information to identify a physical location.
Not subject to regulation The intake report is closed because it and the investigation are outside the jurisdiction of Licensing and must be handled either by another authorized entity, such as law enforcement; another state agency or department such as the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or Long-Term Care Regulatory, or by another state. 
Re-entered as A/N The intake report is closed because the information was reentered as an intake report for an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and the intake report is not able to be linked to the abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation.
Repeated reports The intake report is closed because there is an existing investigation in CLASS with the same allegations that has already been investigated and closed.

See also:

6230 Assessing an Intake Report

6231 Assessing an Intake Report for Type of Investigation

6271.1 Evaluating the Factual Basis of an Anonymous Intake Report

6273 Repeated Reports with No New Allegations

 

6240 Assessing an Intake Report for Priority

February 2020

For each intake report that warrants an investigation, the investigator must assess the intake report to determine the correct priority. This assessment must be completed quickly enough to meet requirements for time frames for initiating investigations.

All intake reports are assigned priorities based on:

  1. information available at the time of intake;
  2. the presence of current threats to the child’s immediate safety;
  3. degree of harm the child has sustained or may sustain in the next 12 months; and
  4. the allegation that presents the greatest risk to the child, if multiple allegations are reported.

Prioritizing an Intake Report Involving an Unregulated Operation

An intake report involving an operation that is operating without a permit is prioritized according to the same policies as an intake report involving a regulated operation if there are allegations that children are at risk.

 

6241 Classifying the Priority of the Intake Report 

August 2020

The investigator, supervisor, or designee must select the correct CLASS priority from the dropdown list under the Priority section in the Intake Report.

The chart below outlines the appropriate CLASS options to prioritize intake reports. See the Definitions of Terms for the definitions of the following, which are used in the chart below:

  • Serious injury
  • Substantial harm
Intake Priority
CLASS Options
Explanation
Priority 1: Violation of the law or minimum standards that pose an immediate risk to children A report of a violation of a law or minimum standard places children in care at immediate risk of serious of substantial harm.
Priority 2: Injury or serious mistreatment of a child A report that a child in care is disciplined, punished, or physically restrained in a manner that is prohibited by minimum standards, including a report that a child in care sustained a serious injury as a result of discipline, punishment, physical restraint, or other type of mistreatment prohibited by minimum standards. 
Priority 2: Serious Accidental Injury A report that a child suffered a serious accidental injury (i.e., a serious injury that is the result of an accident) and the injury may be a result of a violation of minimum standards. 
Priority 2: Serious safety or health hazards

A report of a violation of the minimum standards related to safety or health that may pose a risk of substantial harm to children in care. 
OR
A report that a person who is present at the operation has criminal or Central Registry history that may expose children in care to risk of harm. This includes:

  • a person who has recent arrest history that poses a risk of harm to children and whose arrest has not gone through the justice system;
  • a person who has recent Central Registry history and the person has not gone through due process; and
  • a person on the sexual offender registry whose address is an exact match to the operation’s address.

OR
A report that an alleged unregulated operation: 

  • meets any of the criteria above;
  • has a history of being investigated for operating without a permit;
  • was previously listed, licensed, or registered and closed voluntarily or by adverse action; or
  • is caring for more than 12 unrelated and related children.
Priority 2: Serious supervision problems A report of a violation of the minimum standards related to supervision that may pose a risk of substantial harm to children in care. 
Priority 3: Illegal operations with no other allegations (RC only) A report that care is being provided to children by a residential care operation that does not have a permit, may be subject to regulation, and there are no other allegations. 
Priority 3: Minor violation of the law or minimum standards that involve low risk to children

A report of a violation of a law or minimum standard that poses low risk of harm to the health or safety of children in care.
OR
Risk factors exist that indicate children may be at risk of harm. Risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • minor injuries that are accidental in nature and may indicate supervision problems; and
  • a pattern of incidents that normally do not require an investigation (such as repeated runaways).

OR
A report of a serious injury or medical incident that:

  • contains information in the intake report that the parent or guardian has concerns regarding supervision or safety; and
  • is not a self-report; and 
  • does not indicate the serious injury or medical incident is the result of a minimum standards violation. 
Priority 5: CPA internal investigation A report that is assigned to the child placing agency as an internal investigation. 
Priority 5: Illegal operations with no other allegations (DC only) A report that care is being provided to children by a day care operation that does not have a permit but may be subject to regulation, and there are no other allegations.
Priority 5: Desk review

A self-report of a minor violation of minimum standards that:

  • does not contain information in the intake report that the parent or guardian has concerns regarding supervision or safety; and
  • may be investigated without an inspection. 

OR
A self-report of a serious injury that:

  • does not contain information in the intake report that the parent or guardian has concerns regarding supervision or safety;
  • does not indicate that the serious injury is the result of a minimum standards violation; and
  • may be investigated without an inspection.

 

6242 Changing the Priority of an Investigation in CLASS

September 28, 2018

If necessary, the CLASS priority can be changed once the report has been progressed to an investigation in CLASS. The supervisor or designee changes the priority by making the following changes in the Priority Change section on the Investigation Main page in CLASS:

  1. entering the date the priority is changed in the Priority Date Change field;
  2. selecting the new priority from the Priority drop-down list; and
  3. documenting the reason for the priority change and the full name of the supervisor who approved the change in the Reason narrative box.

For changing the priority of an investigation assigned a Priority 5, see 6243 Re-Classifying a Priority 5 Investigation, below.

 

6243 Re-Classifying a Priority 5 Investigation

February 2020

A Priority 5 investigation is re-classified as a Priority 4 investigation in CLASS when one of the following types of investigations requires an inspection:

  1. an unregulated operation with no other allegations (DC only);
  2. a CPA internal investigation; or
  3. a desk review.

 

6250 Assessing an Intake Report for Allegation Types in CLASS

May 2020

The investigator, supervisor, or designee must review each report and select the appropriate allegation types on the Intake Report or Investigation Main page in CLASS, depending on when staff becomes aware of the allegation.

Procedure

Regardless of the priority or whether an intake report is assigned for investigation, the Allegation Type check boxes must accurately reflect the allegations contained in the intake report. If additional allegations arise during the investigation, CCR staff check any additional boxes related to those allegations on the Investigation Main page. The chart below outlines the allegations of violations of minimum standards in CLASS:

Allegation Types in CLASS  Explanation
Standard/Law Violation Allegation of a violation of a law, administrative rule, or minimum standard.
Illegal Operation Allegation that care is being provided to children by an operation that does not have a permit and the operation may be subject to regulation.
Suicide Attempt (RC only) Allegation that a child attempted suicide while in care at a residential operation.
Child Death (DFPS only) A child dies while in the care of an operation or an operation that is subject to regulation.
Serious Harm/Injury Any physical injury to a child that requires medical treatment and resulted or may result in impairment to the child's overall health or well-being. 
Near Fatal injury Near fatal injuries (previously known as critical injuries) are a subset of serious injuries in which the child would likely have died as a result of the injury or medical condition if the child did not get medical attention. In most circumstances, medical intervention includes admittance to an intensive care unit.
Child Arrest (RC only) A child in care of a residential operation is arrested.
Illness Requiring Hospitalization A child in care of an operation has an illness requiring hospitalization.
Child Run Away (RC only)  A child in care of a residential operation runs away from the residential operation. 
Caregiver Drug Abuse (RC only)  Allegation that a caregiver in a residential operation is using drugs. 
Domestic Violence (RC only) Report from law enforcement that law enforcement responded to a domestic violence call at a foster home.  
Endangering Person Allegation that a sex offender's address listed in the sex offender database matches a child care operation.
Child Sexual Aggression (DFPS only) Allegation of sexual behavior in which a child takes advantage of a younger or less powerful child through seduction, coercion, or force. Must document the number of children involved.
Child on Child Physical Abuse (DFPS only) Allegation of a child-to-child behavior that results in a child sustaining observable substantial harm requiring medical treatment. Must document the number of children involved.

 

6251 Allegation Involving a Child Under the Age of 6 (Child-Placing Agency Only)

September 28, 2018

For an investigation of an agency home, it is required that the investigator, supervisor, or designee indicate whether or not the report involves a child under the age of 6 by selecting the appropriate radio button on the Intake Report or Investigation Main page in CLASS.

Procedure

Staff select Yes if a child is:

  1. in care of the child-placing agency (excluding a biological child);
  2. is directly involved in the incident or allegation being investigated; and
  3. is younger than age 6.

Staff select No in all other instances.

Human Resources Code §42.044

 

6260 Identifying New Reporters During an Investigation

December 2020

During an investigation, a person is identified as a new reporter if the person provides the investigator with information regarding new allegations that are not being investigated in the current investigation. These new allegations may involve:

  1. abuse or neglect; or
  2. a minimum standard violation unrelated to the allegations currently being investigated.

Procedure

The chart below details what CCR staff do when learning of a new allegation during in investigation.

If the new allegation is related to… Then the investigator…
abuse or neglect, contacts SWI to enter;
a minimum standards violation at a child day care operation, enters the information and a new Intake Report in CLASS;
a minimum standards violation at a residential child care operation, contacts SWI to enter the information as in I&R.

Linking the New Allegations to an Existing Investigation

After the new allegations are entered into a new intake and routed to CCR staff, CCR staff follow guidance in 6272 Multiple Intake Reports Received for the Same Operation when determining if the new intake should be linked to the existing investigation.

 

6261 Confidentiality of the Reporter’s Identity

September 28, 2018

The name of the person who made the report is confidential and may not be revealed. If multiple reporters report the same or similar information, each reporter has the right to confidentiality.

A person who supplies new allegations during an investigation is also a reporter who has the right to confidentiality.

Texas Human Resource Code §40.005

Texas Government Code, Title 5, Ch. 552, Texas Public Information Act

40 TAC §745.8483

 

6262 Responding to Requests for the Reporter’s Identity

September 28, 2018

Procedure

If an operation’s director, administrator, or staff members know or suspect a reporter’s identity, the investigator does not confirm or deny the identity of the reporter. Under law, the reporter’s name and any identifying information about the reporter are protected.

If any employee of an operation requests the identity of the reporter, the investigator refers the employee to the Attorney General’s Opinion, Open Records Decision No. 176 PDF Document.

 

6263 Protecting a Reporter’s Confidentiality During an Investigation

September 28, 2018

Procedure

While visiting an operation, an investigator must ensure that individuals who are not employed by HHSC do not have access to any confidential information that is contained on a state-issued cell phone, tablet PC, in the intake report, or in handwritten notes. 

External documentation that identifies a person as a reporter, such as an intake report, may not be taken to the operation.

 

6270 Special Types of Intake Reports

September 28, 2018

 

6271 Anonymous Intake Reports

September 28, 2018

An intake report is “anonymous” if the reporter does not provide a name or contact information.

 

6271.1 Evaluating the Factual Basis of an Anonymous Intake Report

September 28, 2018

If a reporter of an intake report decides to remain anonymous and the intake report does not contain allegations that the health or safety of children is at risk, the investigator evaluates if there is any factual basis to the intake report by:

  • evaluating the operation’s compliance history for similar allegations and deficiencies; and
  • contacting the operation and collateral sources.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.042(c)

40 TAC §745.8421745.8423

Procedure

If the investigator is able to determine that there is no factual basis for the allegations in the intake report, the investigator consults with the supervisor to determine the appropriateness of administratively closing the intake report.

See 6231.3 Intake Reports to Be Closed Without an Investigation (Administrative Closure).

 

6271.2 Processing an Anonymous Intake Report in CLASS

September 28, 2018

An anonymous intake report may not be published on the CCL website if there are no findings of violations (deficiencies).

Texas Human Resources Code §42.042(c)

40 TAC §745.8423

Procedure

Licensing investigators must investigate an anonymous intake report separately from intake reports where a reporter’s identity is known and confidential. Moreover, Licensing staff must not link the anonymous report in CLASS to an intake report in which the reporter’s identity is known and confidential.

To prevent publication online, Licensing staff must check the Anonymous checkbox on both the Intake Persons page in the Intake Report and the Investigation Persons page within the investigation in CLASS.

 

6272 Multiple Intake Reports Received for the Same Operation

September 28, 2018

Licensing investigators may investigate multiple intake reports received for the same operation as one investigation by linking the investigations when:

  1. two or more intake reports are about the same incident, unless the second intake report also contains new allegations that cannot be adequately investigated within the required time frames of the first intake report;
    Example 1: Both the operation and the parent report that a child broke his arm, and the reports are received within a day of each other. The two reports must be investigated as one investigation.
    Example 2: The operation reports that a child broke his arm. Twenty days later, the parent reports that the child broke his arm and the playscape he was playing on is in disrepair. The two reports may be investigated as separate investigations if the investigator does not have enough time to adequately address the allegations of broken equipment within the remaining time of the investigation.
  2. two or more intake reports are received before Licensing conducts an inspection on the first intake report and the allegations are related to the same standards, same group of children, or same staff member; 
    Example 1: Two incidents happen on separate days but both involve injuries to children, so the same standards are evaluated.
    Example 2: One report states that the preschool room has too many children and the second states the preschool room is dirty.
    Example 3: One report states that the staff person in the infant room does not change diapers when needed, and the second report states that the same staff person in the infant room leaves the infants in the cribs all day.

Licensing must base the initiation date and other required time frames for the investigation on the intake report with the earliest intake date and time.

Exception

Licensing investigators must always investigate an intake report in which the reporter chooses to remain anonymous separately from an intake report that is received with the reporter known and confidential.

See 6271.2 Processing an Anonymous Intake Report in CLASS.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.042(c)

 

6272.1 Linking Investigations in CLASS

September 28, 2018

Prior to linking two or more intake reports in CLASS, Licensing staff must ensure that:

  1. the intake report with the earliest date and time has been progressed to an investigation in CLASS (considered to be the active investigation); and
  2. all subsequent intake reports involved in the linking must be completed according to policy and remain as an intake report in CLASS.

Procedure

Once these steps have been conducted, Licensing staff links the subsequent intake reports to the active investigation by:

  1. selecting the check box by Intake Complete on the Intake Report;
  2. selecting the check box by Link to Active Investigation on the Intake Report and clicking Save; and
  3. click on the Date Received for the active investigation.

The priority of the active investigation should reflect the greatest risk in each of the linked intake reports.

 

6273 Repeated Reports with No New Allegations

September 28, 2018

Licensing does not investigate repeated reports. A repeated report is an intake report that:

  • contains allegations that have previously been investigated; and
  • does not contain new allegations that have not previously been reported or investigated.

Procedure

If Licensing receives a repeated report, the investigator consults with the supervisor to determine whether to take one of the following actions:

  • If the reporter is the same as the original reporter, the investigator contacts the reporter to obtain information regarding his or her previous report and explores the reporter’s reason for calling again.
  • If the reporter did not previously report the allegation, the investigator contacts the reporter and explains that the allegation has previously been reported and investigated.

If the investigator determines that there is no basis for an investigation, the investigator:

  • consults with the supervisor to obtain approval to administratively close the intake report with no investigation; and
  • documents the supervisory approval and reason for closure in the CLASS system according to the policies and procedures in 6231.42 Administratively Closing an Intake Report in CLASS.

Notifying the Reporter of the Results

If the investigator obtains supervisory approval to close the intake report without investigation and the reporter has requested to be notified about the outcome of the report, the investigator:

  • notifies the reporter that because the allegations have already been investigated, another investigation will not be conducted; and
  • refers the reporter to the previous investigation on the CCL website.

 

6274 Report of Incidents that Occurred in the Past 

September 28, 2018

If an investigator receives information about an incident that happened in the past, the investigator gathers as much information as possible to assess the need for investigation.

Procedure

In deciding whether to investigate, the investigator considers the following questions:

  1. How long ago did the incident occur?
  2. What motivated the reporter to report now?
  3. Are current staff at the operation the same staff who were present at the time of the incident?
  4. Is the child who was involved in the incident still being cared for at the operation?
  5. Did other persons witness the incident?
  6. Is other information or evidence (such as photographs) available to help determine whether the violation occurred?
  7. Is there a current risk to other children in care?
  8. Were there any subsequent problems?

The investigator must consult with a supervisor to determine whether an investigation is required. All consultation with the supervisor must be documented in CLASS.

If it is determined that an investigation is not required, the intake report is closed without an investigation.

See also: 6231.3 Intake Reports to Be Closed Without an Investigation (Administrative Closure

 

6275 Incidents Reported by an Operation (Self-Reports)

April 2021

An intake report is identified as a Self Report if the director, administrator, or other representative of the operation reports an incident that occurred at the operation.

The CCR staff who processes the intake report must identify the report as a Self Report in CLASS to ensure that the intake report is identified as a Self Report on the CCR website.

Procedure

In CLASS, the staff identifies an intake report as a self-report by checking the Self Report check box on:

  • the Intake Report page; and
  • the Investigation Main page.

 

6276 Reports Requiring Special Handling

September 28, 2018

The following check boxes must be selected either in the intake report or in the investigation in CLASS, as appropriate:

  1. Sensitive
  2. Media Attention
  3. Disaster Relief
  4. H1N1

 

6276.1 Processing Sensitive Intake Reports

September 28, 2018

An intake report or investigation is considered sensitive when:

  1. The situation involves a high profile individual such as a judge, legislator, or district attorney;
  2. The situation has significant media interest or coverage; or
  3. A DFPS or HHSC employee is a principal in the situation.

Processing Sensitive Intake Reports in IMPACT

Procedure

SWI staff is responsible for identifying a report (an I&R) in IMPACT as containing sensitive information by selecting the Sensitive Case check box in the I&R.

Processing Sensitive Intake Reports in CLASS

Procedure

A report of violations of statute, administrative rules, or minimum standards may be identified as containing sensitive allegations in CLASS.

If the SWI staff selects the Sensitive Case check box in the intake report or I&R in IMPACT, the Sensitive check box is automatically checked in the Intake Report in CLASS.

If the SWI staff did not select the Sensitive Case check box in IMPACT, the investigator may identify the report in CLASS as sensitive by selecting the Sensitive check box in the Intake Report or on the Investigation Main page in CLASS, depending on when the investigator becomes aware of the sensitive information.

 

6276.2 Processing Intake Reports Receiving Media Attention

September 28, 2018

The Media Attention check box is used to indicate when an investigation has received or may receive attention from the media.

Processing Intake Reports Receiving Media Attention in IMPACT

Procedure

SWI staff is responsible for identifying a report (an I&R) in IMPACT as receiving media attention by selecting the Sensitive Case check box in the I&R.

Processing Intake Reports Receiving Media Attention in CLASS

Procedure

A report of may be identified as containing allegations receiving media attention in CLASS by selecting the Media Attention check box on the Intake Report or on the Investigation Main page in CLASS, depending on when the investigator becomes aware of the media attention.

 

6276.3 Processing Intake Reports Involving Disaster Relief

September 28, 2018

The Disaster Relief indicators are used to identify intake reports or investigations involving a disaster, such as a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Processing Intake Reports Involving Disaster Relief in IMPACT

Procedure

SWI staff is responsible for identifying a report (an I&R) in IMPACT as involving a disaster by selecting the appropriate Disaster Relief option in the I&R.

Processing Intake Reports Involving Disaster Relief in CLASS

Procedure

A report may be identified as involving a disaster in CLASS by completing the following fields on either the Intake Report page or the Investigation Main page in CLASS depending on when the investigator becomes aware that the report involves a disaster:

  1. Disaster Relief check box
  2. Disaster Type drop-down box
  3. Disaster Name field

 

6276.4 Processing Intake Reports Involving H1N1

September 28, 2018

The H1N1 check box is used to indicate when an intake report contains information that either an employee of, or a child in care of, a child care operation has contracted the H1N1 virus. 

Procedure

The Licensing staff may identify that the intake report involves the H1N1 virus by selecting the H1N1 check box on the Intake Report page or on the Investigation Main page in CLASS, depending on when the investigator becomes aware that the report involves the H1N1 virus.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.063

 

6280 Referring a Report of Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation for Investigation When New Allegations are Received During an Investigation

September 28, 2018

A Licensing investigator must immediately refer allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation or death of a child to the DFPS Statewide Intake (SWI) division or to another responsible agency when the investigator becomes aware of the allegations, and determines that the allegations have not previously been reported.

The allegations must be reported regardless of if the child is in care of a regulated operation and if the alleged perpetrator is under the auspices of an operation.

Texas Family Code §261.001

15 TAC §351.503(g)

40 TAC §700.479

Procedure

A Licensing investigator may become aware of new allegations of abuse or neglect of a child through:

  1. an inspection of the operation; 
  2. an investigation of a violation of minimum standards;
  3. a media outlet; or
  4. a call to the Licensing office.

The following chart shows which investigating agency to refer a report of abuse or neglect of a child, depending on the relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the child. 

If the person alleged to have abused or neglected the child is: Refer to:
A person working under the auspices of an operation, including a foster parent who is providing care to a related child in care;
A person who does not have a familial relationship, but lives in the same household as the child;
A caregiver related to the child through either a biological or adoptive relationship, according to HRC 42.002(16); or
A person employed by a school, including a school located on the same campus as a regulated operation.
SWI (DFPS)
A person who does not work under the auspices of an operation, does not live in the same household as the child, does not have a familial relationship with the child, and is not an employee of a school. Law enforcement
A person employed by a hospital or nursing home, including an acute unit located on the same campus as a regulated operation. HHSC Long-Term Care
A person employed at a home or operation regulated by another state agency. The state agency which regulates the operation

Texas Human Resources Code §42.002(16)