To encourage professionalism and consistency in the investigation
of reports of child abuse and neglect, as specified in the Texas Family
Code (TFC) §261.310, the Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services adopts the following standards for individuals who investigate
reports of child abuse and neglect:
(1) Each individual responsible for investigating reports
of child abuse and neglect, or for conducting interviews during investigations
of child abuse and neglect, must receive a minimum of 12 hours of
professional training every year.
(2) The professional training curriculum for individuals
who conduct investigations or investigation interviews must include
(A) Abuse and neglect as defined in TFC §261.001
including the distinction between:
(i) Physical injuries resulting from abuse; and
(ii) Ordinary childhood injuries;
(B) Abuse involving mental or emotional injury as defined
in TFC §261.001(1);
(C) Available treatment resources;
(D) The types of child abuse and neglect reported to
DFPS, including information about the receipt of false reports;
(E) Forensic interviewing and investigatory techniques
and the collection of physical evidence; and
(F) Federal child welfare laws.
(3) All investigatory interviews that are recorded
should be recorded:
(A) Accurately, without interruption; and without alteration;
(B) Should be made on equipment that is capable of
making an accurate recording; and
(C) Should be made by a person that is competent to
make the recording.
(4) In accordance with Subchapter E of Chapter 264,
Texas Family Code, investigators should:
(A) Utilize Children's Advocacy Centers when appropriate
and follow protocols to minimize the number of interviews with a child;
(B) Be thorough and exercise professional judgment
and expertise in determining the nature, extent, and number of interviews
and examinations of suspected child abuse victims.
(5) All documents generated during investigations must
be maintained according to the Investigations published records retention
schedule on the DFPS website, including:
(A) Original tape recordings of telephone intakes;
(B) Any recordings of interviews; and
(C) Worker case notes regarding the investigation.
(6) Investigators must make a reasonable effort to
locate and notify each parent of an alleged victim of the report of
abuse or neglect relating to the child victim.