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RULE §700.106Retention and Destruction of Case Information

(a) The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) retains Child Protective Services case information after case closure in order to document services provided to clients, and to meet state and federal accountability requirements. A complete listing of the types of records maintained by DFPS may be found in the DFPS Records Retention Schedule, available on the DFPS public website.

(b) When the retention period has elapsed, DFPS permanently removes the case information from the Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas (IMPACT) database and destroys the paper case record in a manner that protects confidentiality.

(c) Texas Family Code, §264.408(d) describes who owns a videotape of a child made at a child advocacy center. If the owner of the videotape is an entity other than DFPS (e.g. criminal prosecuting attorney, or county or district attorney representing DFPS), then the other owner is responsible for the retention and destruction of the videotapes.

(d) Information in IMPACT on persons who are referenced in DFPS cases is retained until the last case in which the person is referenced is purged or destroyed in accordance with the DFPS Records Retention Schedule.

(e) The IMPACT system classifies cases for retention and destruction purposes according to the criteria in this section at the time the cases are closed. If a closed case on a family is re-opened for subsequent action by DFPS, such as another intake, investigation, services, or a casework-related special request, staff merge the open and closed cases into one. Staff may also merge cases while both are closed or open. When the merged case is closed it is reclassified and retained for the length of the reclassified retention period. Reclassification is based on the contents of the entire merged case or related cases and the case(s) is given the retention classification highest in the hierarchy.

(f) DFPS may extend the retention period for a case for the following purposes:

  (1) If an activity such as a fiscal or program audit, release notice or hearing, as specified in §700.601 of this title (relating to Definitions), fair hearing, lawsuit or appeal involving the case is in process, staff must extend the retention. The case information is retained as long as required by the auditor, administrative law judge, or attorney representing DFPS.

  (2) If a person is in more than one case, but the cases are not merged, the IMPACT system relates the cases to the person. When the related cases are closed, staff may extend the retention of each of the related cases when necessary to assess risk of abuse/neglect of children and when it is necessary to retain the case information online. When it is not necessary to retain the information online, staff include the information in the paper case record.

(g) The regional director or the Assistant Commissioner of Child Protective Services or either's designee must approve the extension of the retention period for a case. The retention period may be extended as long as needed. The reason for the longer retention and the approval must be documented on the records retention window in IMPACT.

Source Note: The provisions of this §700.106 adopted to be effective August 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 3213; amended to be effective June 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 2669

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