6410 Initiating the Investigation

September 28, 2018

The purpose of initiation is to gather new and pertinent information regarding the allegations described in the intake report to:

  • collect additional information regarding the child’s safety; and
  • guide the next steps of the investigation.

The investigator determines the most appropriate method of initiation based on:

  1. the immediacy of the risk;
  2. severity of the possible harm to the child; and
  3. extent to which the method protects the integrity of the investigation.

6411 Defining What Constitutes an Initiation

September 28, 2018

"Initiation" is the first contact the investigator makes that yields new and pertinent information related to the allegations described in the intake report. 

Initiation is not necessarily the first contact the investigator makes. To qualify as the initiation of the investigation, the contact must result in the investigator obtaining new or pertinent information.

6412 Time Frames for Initiation

April 2021

The time frame for initiating an investigation varies, depending on the priority of the investigation and the type of operation.

See Appendix 6000-1 Time Frames for Investigations.

6412.1 Time Frame for Initiating a Priority 1 (P1) Investigation

April 2021

The investigator must initiate a Priority 1 investigation as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the time that SWI or the CCR office received the intake report.

6412.2 Time Frame for Initiating a Priority 2 (P2) Investigation for Residential Child Care Operations

April 2021

The investigator must initiate a Priority 2 investigation of a residential child care operation as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after SWI received the intake report.

6412.3 Time Frame for Initiating a Priority 2 (P2) Investigation for Child Day Care Operations

April 2021

The investigator must initiate a Priority 2 investigation of a child day care operation as soon as possible, but no later than five days after the day that SWI or the CCR office received the intake report.

6412.4 Time Frame for Initiating a Priority 3 (P3) Investigation

April 2021

An investigator must initiate a Priority 3 investigation as soon as possible, but no later than 15 days after the day that SWI or the CCR office received the intake report.

6412.5 Time Frame for Initiating a Priority 5 Investigation

April 2021

An investigator must initiate a Priority 5 investigation as soon as possible, but no later than five days after the day that SWI or the CCR office received the intake report.

6413 Methods of Initiation

September 28, 2018

6413.1 Initiating an Investigation Assigned a Priority 1, 2, or 3 

September 28, 2018

For a Priority 1, 2, or 3 investigation, the investigator may initiate the investigation by making:

  1. face-to-face contact with a child involved in the allegation (required for P1 and P2 investigations if the child is alleged to have a serious injury);
  2. face-to-face contact with an adult involved in the allegation;
  3. face-to-face contact with a significant collateral source; or
  4. an unannounced inspection.

The investigator must receive supervisory approval to initiate the investigation by any other manner. The approved method of initiation must be documented in the investigation.

See 6414 Documenting the Initiation

6413.2 Initiating an Investigation Assigned a Priority 1 or 2 Involving an Allegation of a Child with a Serious Injury

September 28, 2018

If a Priority 1 or Priority 2 intake report alleges that a child involved in the allegation has a serious injury, the investigator initiates the investigation by making a face-to-face contact with the child, adhering to the appropriate initiation time frame so that the child’s injuries (or lack of injuries) can be photographed in a timely fashion.

If the investigator is unable to photograph the injuries in a timely manner, the investigator: 

  1. notifies the supervisor; and
  2. documents the reason the injuries could not be photographed in a timely fashion as a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS.

6413.3 Initiating an Investigation Assigned a Priority 5

February 2020

For investigations assigned a Priority 5: Desk Review, the investigator may initiate the investigation with a phone call or email to the operation.

For investigations assigned a Priority 5: CPA Internal Investigation, the investigator initiates the investigation according to the procedures in 6511.1 Receiving and Assigning the Report.

For investigations assigned a Priority 5: Illegal Operations with no other allegations (day care only), the investigator initiates the investigation according to the procedures in 6533 Initiating the Investigation of an Unregulated Operation.

6414 Documenting the Initiation

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

The investigator documents the initiation under the Initiation of Investigation section on the Investigation Conclusion page in the CLASS investigation. The investigator must document the initiation by the following calendar day. 

Procedure

The investigator enters the following information in the Initiation of Investigation section on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS:

  1. the date of the initiation in the Date Initiated field;
  2. the method of initiation in the Initiation Type field; and
  3. the time of the initiation in the Initiation Time field for:
    • Priority 1 Investigations; and
    • Priority 2 Investigations of residential child care operations; and
  4. the role of the person with whom the initiation contact was made in the To/With field.

The investigator documents the following in the Narrative Summary of Information Obtained field:

  • the name of the person, operation or entity with whom the initiation contact was made; and
  • a summary of the information relevant to the investigation that was obtained during the initiation, including the new and pertinent information that was learned.

If the investigator initiated the investigation using a method that requires consultation and approval from a supervisor, regional director or program administrator, the investigator also documents in the Initiation of the Investigation section:

  1. the reason why the method of initiation was used;
  2. name of the approver; and
  3. date the approval was obtained.

See:

1311  Records for Investigations 
1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library 
6413.1  Initiating an Investigation Assigned a Priority 1, 2, or 3

6420 Conducting Interviews

Revision 22-5; Effective Nov. 4, 2022

During the investigation, the investigator must attempt to locate and interview:

  • all people identified as a principal in the intake report and during the investigation;
  • all people identified as a collateral in the intake report; and  
  • as many other collaterals identified during the investigation as necessary, depending on the nature and complexity of the investigation.

Procedure

The investigator documents a summary of each interview or attempted interview as a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS. If the investigator cannot locate a principal or collateral, the investigator documents all attempts to locate the person.

The investigator documents the contact as soon as possible, but no later than the day following the date of the interview or attempted contact.

6421 Observing and Interviewing Children

Revision 22-4; Effective Sept. 20, 2022

Whenever possible, the investigator must make face-to-face contact (observation or interview) with all alleged victims (principal children).

The investigator interviews as many other children (collaterals) as necessary depending on the nature and complexity of the investigation. If the investigation is at a foster home, the investigator attempts to observe or interview all children who reside in the household.

See: 6120 Principals and Collaterals

6421.1 Time Frames for Face-to-Face Contacts with Victims During Priority 1 and Priority 2 Investigations of Residential Child Care Operations

April 2021

Policy

The investigator makes face-to-face contact (observation or interview) with each alleged victim identified in the intake report within the following time frames:

  • P1: within 24 hours of SWI’s receipt of the intake report; or
  • P2: within 72 hours of SWI’s receipt of the intake report.

See: 6421.11 Exceptions to Meeting the Time Frame for Face-to-Face Contacts with Victims During Priority 1 and Priority 2 Investigations of Residential Child Care Operations

6421.11 Exceptions to Meeting the Time Frame for Face-to-Face Contacts with Victims During Priority 1 and Priority 2 Investigations of Residential Child Care Operations

May 2021

The investigator may exceed the time frame for face-to-face contacts with an alleged victim during a P1 or P2 investigation only in the following situations or if one of the exceptions in 6421.12 Exceptions to Completing Face-to-Face Contacts with Victims During Priority 1 and Priority 2 Investigations of Residential Child Care Operations applies:

  • The alleged victim’s whereabouts are unknown during the 24-hour (P1) or 72- hour (P2) initiation time frame; or
  • The alleged victim was identified after the required time frame to conduct face-to-face contact.

If one of these exceptions applies, the investigator must make face-to-face contact with the alleged victim within 24 hours (P1) or 72 hours (P2) after the alleged victim’s whereabouts become known or the alleged victim is identified.

See:

6723.1 Contact Types

6421.12 Exceptions to Completing Face-to-Face Contacts with Victims During Priority 1 and Priority 2 Investigations of Residential Child Care Operations

May 2021

The investigator may complete a P1 or P2 investigation without making a face-to-face contact only in the following situations:

  • The alleged victim’s whereabouts were unknown during the entire course of the investigation;
  • The alleged victim is deceased; or
  • The alleged victim no longer lives in Texas.

See:

6723.1 Contact Types

6421.2 Observing and Interviewing a Child Related to a Child Care Provider

September 28, 2018

Biological and adopted children include any children for whom providers may hold legal guardianship, temporary managing conservatorship, or permanent managing conservatorship at the time of the investigation.

The investigator may need to obtain written consent before interviewing the biological or adopted children of a provider.

6421.21 Obtaining a Child Care Provider’s Consent Before Interviewing a Child

April 2021

Procedure

If the child care provider is present during an inspection or investigation, the investigator must obtain written consent to interview any biological or adopted children of the provider who are in care at the operation. The investigator:

  1. obtains consent using Form 2898 Consent to Interview Children of Providers; and
  2. files the completed Form 2898 Consent to Interview Children of Providers in the operation’s file.

The investigator may interview the children of a provider in a school, neutral location, or a child care setting other than where the provider works without obtaining consent, unless the provider has previously refused to allow CCR staff to interview the provider’s children.

Following the interview, the investigator must notify the parent that the investigator interviewed the child.

If a provider instructs the investigator to stop interviewing the provider’s child, the investigator must comply. 

The provider may withdraw consent for interviews of the provider's biological or adopted children at any time, and the investigator must comply with any withdrawn consent. 

The investigator documents whether consent was granted, refused, or withdrawn as a contact in CLASS.

6421.22 Determining Whether to Seek a Court Order to Interview a Child of a Child Care Provider

April 2021

Procedure

The investigator must determine whether to seek a court order to conduct an interview, if:

  • a provider refuses to allow his or her biological or adopted child to be interviewed; and 
  • the child’s information could be necessary to determine the outcome of an investigation.

The supervisor includes staff from the Child Care Regulation Legal Division in the decision-making process when determining whether to obtain a court order to interview a child.

6421.23 Obtaining Separate Consent When Conducting Investigations with Other Entities

April 2021

Procedure

When conducting an investigation with another entity, such as law enforcement or DFPS, CCR must obtain consent separate from DFPS or law enforcement to gain entry to interview a child.

The investigator identifies himself or herself separately by:

  • presenting an HHSC-issued ID badge; and  
  • stating his or her specific role in the investigation.

If the parent or provider grants consent to DFPS or law enforcement, but does not grant consent to CCR, the investigator must not interview the child and continue conducting other investigation activities.

6421.3 Notifying a Parent of a Child Interviewed During an Investigation (Day Care Only)

April 2021

Procedure

An investigator must notify a child’s parent, guardian, or managing conservator that the investigator interviewed the child during an investigation at a child day care operation. The investigator notifies the parent by:

  1. mailing a notification letter (Form 2866) to the parent’s residential address;
  2. leaving a notification letter (Form 2866) for the parent at the operation;
  3. providing verbal notification to the parent via phone call, face-to-face contact, or by leaving a message on a voice mail service; or
  4. providing notification via email to the child’s CPS conservatorship (CVS) caseworker, if the child is in DFPS substitute care.

An investigator is not required to notify the parents of a child interviewed during an investigation at a residential child care operation.

6421.4 Age and Ability Requirements for Observing and Interviewing Children

April 2021

Observing Children with No Verbal Ability

Investigators must observe alleged victims who have no verbal ability as a result of the child’s:

  • chronological age; or
  • developmental level.

The investigator should observe children who are collateral contacts and who have no verbal ability as necessary to assess the care that the operation is providing to other children in care of the operation.

Procedure

The investigator must document observations of each child as a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS. The contact must include a brief statement describing the investigator’s observation of the child.

Interviewing Children with Limited Verbal Ability

Investigators must attempt to interview each identified alleged victim and collateral contact if the child:

  • is at least 3 years of age; and
  • has some verbal ability.

If a child is younger than 3 years of age and the investigator receives information that the child has some ability to communicate meaningful information, the investigator should attempt to interview the child and gather as much information as possible.

Procedure

The investigator adjusts the interview techniques as needed based on the age and ability of the child being interviewed.

If a child demonstrates that he or she is unable to communicate meaningful information to the investigator after the investigator attempts to build rapport with the child, the investigator may discontinue the interview. The investigator must document the attempted interview as a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS.

If the investigator is unable to communicate with any child because of language barriers, the investigator follows the procedures in 6425 Interviewing Persons with Limited English Proficiency.

6422 Interviewing Adults

September 28, 2018

During an investigation, the investigator must interview, whenever possible:

  1. all adults directly involved in the incident;
  2. other adults who may have witnessed the incident;
  3. other adults who may have knowledge of the incident;
  4. other adults who may be able to provide information regarding the type of care and supervision provided at the operation; and
  5. other adults who may be able to provide information regarding the behaviors, level of functioning, and emotional state of any children involved in the investigation.

6422.1 Interviewing Adults Who are Principal and Collateral Sources

September 28, 2018

The investigator must interview all adults who were directly involved in the incident being investigated as well as other adults (collateral sources) who may have knowledge of the incident or of the children involved.

Principal and collateral sources include, but are not limited to:

  1. employees of the operation;
  2. household members;
  3. director, administrator, case manager, or other representative of the operation;
  4. neighbors;
  5. school personnel, medical personnel, law enforcement, first responders, therapists, or other professionals; and
  6. parents, guardians, or managing conservators of the victims or the children interviewed.

The investigator interviews as many collateral sources as is necessary depending on the nature and complexity of the investigation.

6423 Recording Interviews

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

Recording interviews during an investigation is not required, however, if the investigator chooses to record a face-to-face interview, the investigator informs the person of the recording at the beginning of the interview.

The recording of the interview must be accurate, unaltered and without interruption.

The investigator documents that the interview was recorded and a summary of the interview as a contact in the investigation. The investigator uploads the audio file to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

See: 

1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library

6423.1 Testing the Recording Equipment

September 28, 2018

Procedure

Before beginning the official interview, the investigator must test the audio recording device and software to ensure that the equipment is working and that all parties can be clearly heard on the recording. 

6423.2 Authenticating the Recording

September 28, 2018

Procedure

The investigator must authenticate the recording before beginning the structured interview. To authenticate the recording, the investigator must make the following statements at the beginning of each recorded interview:

  1. investigator’s first name, last name, and job title;
  2. month, day, year, and time of the interview;
  3. CLASS investigation number;
  4. location of the interview;
  5. first and last name and the role of any other person present during the interview; and
  6. a statement that the interview is being recorded.

The investigator asks the person being interviewed to state his or her:

  • first and last name;
  • identifying information, such as age or date of birth, depending on the age and ability of the person being interviewed.

At the conclusion of the interview, the investigator states the time that the interview ended.

6424 Requesting a Courtesy Interview

September 28, 2018

If any principal or collateral is located in a region other than where the investigator is located, the investigator makes a request through his or her supervisor for a Licensing investigator in the region where the person is located to conduct the interview. The investigator conducting the interview is a secondary investigator, and the interview is considered to be a courtesy interview.

Procedure

If a secondary investigator conducts a courtesy interview, the investigator:

  1. advises the secondary investigator of what information and questions to address in the courtesy interview;
  2. requests detailed information about the interview, including any recordings or interview notes after the courtesy interview has taken place;
  3. maintains contact with the secondary investigator until all information regarding the courtesy interview is received; and
  4. documents the interview as a contact in CLASS, including a statement of who conducted the interview.

The secondary investigator:

  • documents the interview in an email to the primary investigator who made the request; and
  • adheres to all required time frames for conducting the interview.

6425 Interviewing Persons with Limited English Proficiency

September 28, 2018

A person is identified as having limited English proficiency (LEP) if the person cannot read, write, speak, or understand English without assistive language services because the person:

  • does not speak English as their primary language; or
  • has a speech or hearing impairment.

During an investigation, the investigator must accommodate any person with LEP by making reasonable efforts to provide information and services in a language or medium that the person can understand through the use of interpreters, translators, readers, or other methods.

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI

Procedure

In order to ensure that a person with LEP is able to communicate with the investigator in his or her primary language or medium, district management must develop procedures for identifying the primary language needs within the district and for providing readily available access to interpreter services. The procedures must ensure that a person with LEP:

  • is able to communicate his or her knowledge of or role in the incident being investigated;
  • has the information necessary for the person to be able to understand the investigation process, the outcome, and due process rights, if applicable.

6425.1 Using an Interpreter to Conduct an Interview

September 28, 2018

Procedure

An investigator who is unable to communicate with a person with LEP must:

  • make arrangements for an interpreter to be present during the scheduled interview; or
  • contact an approved interpreter service available through HHSC Communication Services.

If the investigator arranges for an interpreter to be present during the interview, the investigator must choose an interpreter who does not have a conflict of interest with the investigation and who is:

  • professionally trained as an interpreter; or
  • an HHSC staff person who is fluent in the person’s primary language.

The investigator must explain to the interpreter that the investigation information must be kept confidential.

6425.2 Documenting the Use of Interpretation Services

September 28, 2018

Procedure

If an interview was conducted with a person with LEP, the investigator must document any interpreter services that the investigator used. The contact must include:

  1. any offer the investigator made to provide an interpreter;
  2. acceptance or refusal of interpreter services by person with LEP;
  3. use of an interpreter;
  4. interpreter’s name;
  5. interpreter’s relationship (if any) to the person;
  6. interpreter’s professional affiliation;
  7. use of communication aids (such as a communication board and pictures); and 
  8. investigator’s ability to communicate in the person’s primary language.

If an interpreter was not used, the reason must be documented.

6430 Conducting Inspections

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

The investigator must conduct an unannounced inspection for all investigations assigned a Priority 1, 2, 3, or 4.

When conducting an inspection, the investigator must always assess the safety of children and evaluate statutes, administrative rules and minimum standards described in 4140 Preparing for Inspections.

26 TAC Sections 745.8401; 745.8403; 745.8405

6431 Requirements for Conducting Unannounced Inspections

September 28, 2018

6431.1 Inspection Time Frame Priority 1 or Priority 2 Investigations

September 28, 2018

For all investigations assigned a Priority 1 or Priority 2, the investigator must conduct an unannounced inspection at the operation that is the subject of the investigation as soon as possible and no later than 15 days following the date that SWI or the Licensing office received the intake report. Shorter time frames may be necessary to assess risk.

If subsequent inspections are necessary, the inspections may be announced or unannounced, as appropriate.

6431.2 Inspection Time Frame for Priority 3 Investigations

September 28, 2018

For investigations assigned a Priority 3, the investigator must conduct an unannounced inspection at the operation that is the subject of the investigation as soon as possible and no later than 30 days following the date that SWI or the Licensing office received  the intake report.

If subsequent inspections are necessary, the inspections may be announced or unannounced, as appropriate. 

6431.3 Inspection Time Frame for Priority 4 Investigations

February 2020

CPA Internal Investigations Reassigned to a Priority 4

For all investigations involving an agency home that are re-assigned to a Priority 4, the investigator must conduct an unannounced inspection at the operation that is the subject of the investigation as soon as possible and no later than 45 days following the date that SWI or the Licensing office received the initial intake report. 

Unregulated Operations and Desk Review Investigations Reassigned to a Priority 4

For all other investigations that are re-assigned to a Priority 4, the investigator must conduct an unannounced inspection as soon as possible and no later than 30 days following the date that SWI or the Licensing office received the initial intake report.

If subsequent inspections are necessary, the inspections may be announced or unannounced, as appropriate.

6431.4 Inspection Not Required for Priority 5 Investigations

Revision 23-1, Effective Apr. 21, 2023

For all investigations assigned a Priority 5, the investigator does not conduct an inspection at the operation that is the subject of the investigation. 

If the investigator determines that an inspection is necessary, the investigator changes the priority to a Priority 4 as soon as possible during the investigation. 

See:

4210 Assessment Types 
4211 Citing a Deficiency with a Monitoring Assessment 
6511.4 Reclassifying an Investigation of an Agency Home as Priority 4 
6534.2 Conducting an Investigation of an Alleged Unregulated Operation Assigned a Priority 5 (DC Only) 
6540.2 Reclassifying a Desk Review Investigation as a Priority 4

6432 Documenting the Observations Made During the Inspection

September 28, 2018

Procedure

In addition to documenting the results of the inspection in the CLASS Child Care Facility Inspection Form 2936, the investigator must document the observations made during the unannounced inspection in the narrative box Observations Made During Inspection on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS.

For every inspection conducted during the investigation, the documentation in the narrative box must include:

  1. the date the inspection was conducted;
  2. whether the inspection was announced or unannounced; and
  3. specific observations of the operation and specific area in which the incident being investigated occurred; 

6440 Collecting Evidence

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

During the investigation, the investigator must collect evidence to support or refute the allegations of minimum standard violations.

The collection of evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  1. interviews with principal and collateral sources;
  2. digital audio or video recordings of interviews;
  3. written statements;
  4. original and computer generated notes;
  5. photographs;
  6. medical records;
  7. law enforcement records; 
  8. operation records; and
  9. any other physical evidence or document relevant to the allegation.

Procedure

The investigator conducts interviews, reviews all necessary records and documentation, and obtains copies of all documentation that is relevant to refuting or supporting the allegations. Documentation obtained is summarized in a contact narrative on the Investigation Conclusion page. The investigator uploads digital records supporting CCR activities to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

See: 

1311  Records for Investigations 
1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library

6441 Collecting Evidence Related to Interviews

September 28, 2018

6441.1 Obtaining Written Statements

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

The investigator or supervisor may request a written statement in conjunction with an interview of any principal or collateral source. 

Procedure

The investigator uses Form 7275 Child Care Facility Investigations Statement available on the CCR SharePoint site to obtain a written statement. If a person with knowledge of the incident has already prepared a written statement, the investigator may accept that statement in the form in which it was written. The investigator then:

  • compares the written statement to the information provided during the interview for consistency; and
  • asks additional questions or conducts a follow-up interview to address any inconsistencies that the investigator has found.

The investigator files the written statement in the operation’s record and:

  • documents that a written statement was obtained as a contact in the investigation; and
  • includes a summary of the written statement in the narrative.

The investigator converts the written document to a PDF file and uploads it to CLASS Document Library according to 1430 Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital files.

See:

1311 Records for Investigations

6441.2 Maintaining Investigation Notes

September 28, 2018

Investigation notes, whether handwritten notes that the investigator originally recorded on paper or on a computer or state issued iPhone, include:

  1. interview notes;
  2. drawings, diagrams, or timelines;
  3. notes written on any document related to the investigation, such as a staffing form or intake report.

Notes for an investigation may be destroyed, except when a subpoena or any other legal directive requiring the retention of the notes is received before the notes are destroyed.

Procedure

An investigator may make diagrams, drawings, and timelines to aid in determining the finding. A diagram, either hand-drawn or generated on a computer, is a drawing that shows arrangement and relation. For example, the drawing may be of the area where the incident occurred with placement of furnishings, equipment, children, and staff. Drawings may also show the location of a bruise or other injury on a child’s body. Timelines may show who the child was with during the time when the incident or injury occurred.

6442 Taking Photographs as Evidence 

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

The investigator must always carry a state issued iPhone to all inspections and interviews. Investigators must take, document and store photographs of a child’s injury, the incident scene and any other photographs of the operation according to the policies and procedures outlined in 1400 State-Issued Equipment, Photographs, Video, Audio and Digital Files. Photographs uploaded to CLASS Document Library are documented according to 1430 Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files.

6443 Obtaining Written Documents as Evidence

September 28, 2018

The investigator reviews or obtains written documentation if this information is necessary to make a decision regarding the outcome of the investigation, including, but not limited to:

  1. Medical records
  2. Law enforcement reports
  3. DFPS records
  4. Records from the operation
  5. Correspondence

6443.1 Obtaining Medical Records

September 28, 2018

Procedure

Depending on the allegations that are the subject of the investigation, the investigator may request a parent or managing conservator release the following types of medical records if they are necessary for the investigator to make a decision regarding the outcome of the investigation:

  1. Records from emergency medical services (EMS)
  2. Emergency room and other hospital records
  3. Records from the child’s primary care physician
  4. Records from a specialist who provides care or treatment to a child
  5. Star Health records

6443.2 Obtaining Reports From Law Enforcement as Evidence

September 28, 2018

The investigator may request documentation from law enforcement during any investigation in which law enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation of the allegations.

Procedure

Depending on the allegations being investigated, the investigator may need to request copies of the following types of law enforcement records:

  1. Police report
  2. Photographs taken by law enforcement
  3. Recording or transcript of interview
  4. 911 call
  5. Any other document related to a criminal investigation

If law enforcement is unable to release copies of documents pertaining to the criminal investigation, the investigator requests an opportunity to review the documents. After reviewing the records, the investigator documents a summary of the records in the investigation contacts. 

6443.3 Reviewing Documents From DFPS

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

Procedure

The investigator may need to review documentation located in IMPACT if:

  • the investigation involves a child in conservatorship of CPS; or
  • the investigator is conducting a joint or concurrent investigation with DFPS.

The investigator may need to review the following types of CPS documentation located in IMPACT related to the investigation (INV), substitute care (SUB), or adoption (ADO) stages of service:

  1. Person Detail information
  2. Contact narratives
  3. Legal Actions
  4. Child’s Service Plan
  5. Placement information 
  6. Common Application
  7. Family Tree

If a CPS case is marked Sensitive, the investigator requests assistance from the assigned CPS caseworker to obtain access to the information.

The investigator does not upload documents reviewed in IMPACT to CLASS Document Library.

6443.4 Obtaining Documents From the Operation

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

Procedure

CCR has the authority to review and obtain copies of any documentation found at the operation. This documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. a child’s record, including the service plan;
  2. an employee’s record; 
  3. a foster home’s record, including the home screening and Form 2954 Child Care Licensing Family Violence Calls Disclosure;
  4. training curriculum; 
  5. operational policy;  
  6. incident reports; and
  7. audio or video recordings, including video surveillance. 

The investigator reviews all necessary records and documentation and obtains copies of all documentation that is relevant to refuting or supporting the allegations. The investigator summarizes the documentation in a contact narrative on the Investigation Conclusion page and files the documentation in the external investigation file.

26 TAC Section 745.8413

6443.5 Maintaining Records of Correspondence

September 28, 2018

In the process of conducting an investigation, the investigator may receive or create correspondence through email, written correspondence, or the telephone.

6443.51 Documenting and Maintaining Email Correspondence

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

Procedure

The investigator summarizes the contents of the email in a contact narrative on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS, using professional and objective language.

If the email exchange is between the investigator and an external resource, the investigator prints a copy and files the copy in the operation’s file or uploads the email(s) to the CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page. Emails related to an investigation of a residential child care operation must be uploaded to the CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

The investigator follows any legal directive requiring that emails be retained (and not deleted), according to 1330 Records Retention. If there is no relevant directive, the investigator deletes the email exchange after documenting a summary in the investigation and uploading the email to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

See: 

1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library

6443.52 Documenting and Maintaining Written Correspondence

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

Procedure

The investigator may generate written correspondence in CLASS or outside of CLASS. The investigator may also receive written correspondence during an investigation.

The investigator handles written correspondence in the following manner:

  • The investigator does not print any written correspondence that is generated or stored in CLASS and does not file the correspondence in the hard copy record or upload the correspondence to CLASS Document Library.
  • For all written correspondence located outside of CLASS, the investigator documents a summary of the correspondence in a contact narrative on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS and uploads the correspondence to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

6443.53 Documenting and Maintaining Voicemails and Texts

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

Procedure

The investigator may receive voicemails and texts during an investigation. When a voicemail or text message is received, the investigator converts the voicemail or text message to a digital file and uploads it to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page. When uploading files to CLASS Document Library the investigator includes the following information in the Description field of the Document Details:

  1. the name and title of the person providing the voicemail or text message;
  2. the date voicemail or text message was received; and
  3. a brief summary of voicemail or text message.

See:

1400  State-Issued Equipment, Photographs, and Video, Audio and Digital Files 
1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library

6450 Conducting Surveillance (Day Care Only)

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

An investigator or supervisor may determine that surveillance is necessary to determine whether:

  1. a program or caregiver is subject to regulation;
  2. an operation is complying with a safety plan that requires the operation to cease operating;
  3. an operation is providing care to more children than the permit allows; or 
  4. allegations of violations of minimum standards have a factual basis.

Procedure

An investigator receives supervisory approval to conduct surveillance. The investigator documents all decisions regarding conducting surveillance as a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS.

Upon receiving the necessary approval, the investigator may conduct surveillance at the location of the operation or at other locations where children in care are transported by the operation. The investigator should take photographs or video recordings as necessary during the surveillance to support violations or a lack of violations. The investigator uploads all photographs, video, or other documentation to CLASS Document Library from the applicable CLASS page.

See:

1400  State-Issued Equipment, Photographs, and Video, Audio and Digital Files 
1430  Documenting and Storing Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1431  Documenting Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files 
1432  Storage of Photographs, Video, Audio, Scanned Documents and Other Digital Files in CLASS Document Library

6460 Handling Obstruction of an Investigation

September 28, 2018

6461 Interference by the Operation

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

Procedure

If operation staff refuse, delay or interfere with investigation attempts after being told the purpose of the investigation, the investigator informs the person in charge that the investigator has authority to investigate under applicable laws.

The operation must allow the investigator access to all children in care, staff, any other person at the operation, any records, the physical plant, any other areas of the building, home, or grounds of the operation, and any other information needed to conduct the investigation.

26 TAC Sections 745.8401; 745.8411; 745.8413

Human Resources Code Section 42.04412 

If anyone at the operation refuses, prevents or delays the inspection or investigation, CCR may:

  • issue a deficiency;
  • seek to impose an enforcement action against the operation; or 
  • seek a court order granting CCR access to the operation and records.

See:
7000  Voluntary Actions and Enforcement Actions
26 TAC Section 745.8411(c) 

6462 Obstruction by Regulated Operations

August 2018

Procedure

If a regulated operation obstructs the investigation, the investigator leaves an Inspection Form (Form 2936) citing HRC Section 42.04412(a) for obstruction of an investigation and violation of Licensing rules allowing inspection and explains the possible consequences of the violation.

6463 Obstruction by Unregulated Operations

February 2020

The investigator notifies the person in charge of the unregulated operation of Licensing’s authority to investigate under the law. If the person remains uncooperative, the investigator leaves the operation. If known, the investigator documents:

  1. any evidence of violation of the Human Resources Code or Texas Administrative Code;
  2. any observed hazards to children or situations that would be a violation of standards if the operations were registered or licensed; and
  3. any child care practice that puts children at risk.

See:

6535.1 Obtaining Court Order to Gain Access

6470 Reviewing Background Check Records During Investigations

Revision 22-4; Effective Sept. 20, 2022

Procedure

During each investigation, CCR staff evaluate if the operation has complied with background check requirements for principals and collaterals involved in the investigation by verifying their names with information in the operation’s People List in CLASS.

When evaluating compliance, the investigator considers whether the operation:

  1. failed to submit any names of principals or collaterals timely (including renewal checks);
  2. is allowing a principal or collateral with a Pending employment status to be present at the operation, unless the subject is present for the sole purpose of attending orientation or preservice training and does not have contact with children in care; 
  3. is complying with conditions placed on a principal’s or collateral’s presence; and
  4. has allowed any principal or collateral with an eligibility determination of ineligible to be present at the operation.

See:

10120 Background Check Requests 
10121 Persons for Whom Operations Must Submit Requests for Background Checks 
10700 Determining Compliance with Background Check Requirements

6480 Conducting the 20-Day Investigation Conclusion Staffing (Residential Child Care Only)

Revision 23-3; Effective Sept. 22, 2023

For each P1 and P2 investigation, the supervisor and investigator complete a 20-day Investigation Conclusion Staffing no later than the 20th day after the receipt of the intake report. Before the staffing, the investigator ensures:

  • all investigation documentation is up to date in CLASS; and 
  • evidence is uploaded to the CLASS Document Library.  

The investigator and supervisor discuss the following topics during the 20-Day Investigation Conclusion Staffing:

  1. whether the investigator completed all tasks discussed during the Initial Investigation Staffing;
  2. if the investigator did not complete all tasks discussed during the Initial Investigation Staffing:
    • the reason each task was not completed;
    • whether it is no longer possible for the investigator to complete the tasks (for example, the contact refuses the interview request or cannot be located despite the investigator’s due diligence); and
    • for tasks the investigator must complete, the plans for completing those tasks;
  3. information and evidence obtained from all tasks the investigator completed;
  4. any additional tasks that the investigator needs to complete as part of the investigation; 
  5. possible deficiencies, including the evidence the investigator obtained that supports the deficiency; and
  6. any additional actions the investigator or CCR needs to take to mitigate risk.

Procedure

During the staffing, the supervisor documents the information listed above in the 20-Day Investigation Conclusion Staffing section of the Investigation Staffings Template located on the CCR SharePoint site.

Within one day of conducting the 20-Day Investigation Conclusion Staffing, the supervisor creates a contact on the Investigation Conclusion page in CLASS with the Source of Information as “Case Conclusion Staffing.” In the Entry Text field of the contact, the supervisor copies and pastes the information from the 20-Day Investigation Conclusion Staffing section of the Investigation Staffings Template.