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RULE §702.205How long does the Department of Family and Protective Services retain confidential case records?

(a) Physical case records and case records and information in DFPS's electronic case management system entitled Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas (IMPACT) and other electronic systems are generally retained and destroyed in accordance with the Department of Family and Protective Services' (DFPS) Records Retention Schedule. The Schedule can be found on DFPS's public website. The retention period of a record is calculated from the time the case is closed. When the retention period has expired, DFPS permanently removes the case information from any electronic storage, including IMPACT, and destroys any paper case record in a manner that protects confidentiality.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the retention period for a DFPS record may be extended for the following reasons:

  (1) Pursuant to Texas Government Code §441.187, if a litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, open records request, administrative review, or other action involving the record is initiated before the retention period for the record expires, DFPS may not destroy the record until the completion of the action and resolution of all issues that arise from the action, even if the retention period for the record expires during that period. If an action or activity involving the record is initiated, the retention period for that record is extended for the amount of time that the action or activity is in process.

  (2) If DFPS opens a new case on a party to an older closed case that has not been destroyed pursuant to DFPS's retention schedule, DFPS may merge or relate the cases. Merged cases may be reclassified and extended to coincide with the retention period of the case with the latest retention period. For purposes of this section, merge means combining two or more separate cases into one case.

(c) If the retention period for a case record is extended as provided in subsection (b) of this section, DFPS may use the information in the case record as necessary to make case related decisions, assess risk of abuse or neglect, or for any other purpose for as long as DFPS retains the case record.

Source Note: The provisions of this §702.205 adopted to be effective September 8, 2021; 46 TexReg 5593

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