3300, Evidence Collection

Revision 18-1; Effective September 1, 2018

PI uses preponderance as the standard of evidence for confirming abuse, neglect, and exploitation in an investigation. PI does the following for every allegation, except in certain circumstances where a case is rapidly closed without full investigation:

  • makes an initial contact with the alleged victim;
  • interviews the reporter, relevant witnesses, and alleged perpetrators;
  • obtains and reviews relevant demonstrative evidence such as photographs, diagrams, and video surveillance;
  • reviews and obtains copies relevant information from client records;
  • gathers and reviews relevant administrative forms (for example, incident reports, client injury reports, timesheets); and
  • analyzes all relevant evidence and documents the outcome in the final investigative report.

Physical evidence is any item or substance related to an allegation that can be seen or touched. PI does not collect and store physical evidence, but may document it by taking photographs of it in place and describing it in the case report. Law enforcement or other investigative agencies may collect and store physical evidence.

PI collects relevant evidence from multiple sources in order to determine a finding in the investigation. The finding is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence collected.

3310 Prior Case History

Revision 18-1; Effective September 1, 2018

At the initiation of each investigation, the investigator conducts a search of relevant prior case history of the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator in all provider settings. The results of the prior case history search may be used to inform the current investigation.

3320 Contacts

Revision 21-1; Effective April 26, 2021

Alleged Victim Contact

PI makes contact with the alleged victim as part of its investigation under 26 TAC §711.415.

PI may make a telephone contact with the alleged victim when the intake alleges:

  • exploitation, neglect, physical abuse, or verbal or emotional abuse; and
  • there is no physical or emotional injury to the alleged victim and no risk of physical or emotional injury or death to the alleged victim.

PI conducts a face-to-face contact with the alleged victim when:

  • the allegation involves an SSLC or state hospital; or
  • the intake alleges sexual abuse.

If during the course of an investigation PI determines a face-to-face contact with the alleged victim is necessary, PI conducts such contact within the timeline established by the priority of the case.

See Section 3120 Intake Priority for time frames.

Other Investigation Contacts

PI attempts to contact individuals with direct or circumstantial knowledge of the allegation. The contact may be conducted in person or by telephone with the following:

  • the reporter, if known, in all investigations;
  • the alleged perpetrator, when appropriate; and
  • collateral witnesses.