Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

DFPS Statewide Intake receives and processes all reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. A person with cause to believe that an adult or child with a physical or intellectual disability, or mental illness receiving services from a provider is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation must report the information immediately to DFPS SWI.

To report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person receiving services contact DFPS SWI using the following methods:

For information regarding DFPS SWI, please refer to the Statewide Intake Handbook.

A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony.

PI keeps the name of the person making the report confidential.

PI does not reveal the identity of the reporter to the provider or other state agencies unless the allegation involves sexual exploitation of a person receiving services by a mental health services provider, as defined in Chapter 81 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code.

Time frames for investigating reports are based on the location of the incident and the intake priority. See intake priorities and investigation time frames in section 3500.

See related Human Resources Code §48.101

 

2100 Examples of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Allegations

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

The following sections are examples of allegations and do not represent a specific finding.

 

2110 Physical Abuse Allegations.

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

  • An employee attempted to apprehend a person receiving services during an unauthorized departure attempt and punched the person in the face, resulting in a fractured jaw.
  • A person receiving services was treated for third degree burns to the neck after an employee threw hot coffee on him.
  • An employee slapped a person receiving services after the person kicked the employee. The person receiving services had no visible injuries.
  • An employee taunted a person receiving services and as a result, the person became angry, hit a peer, and turned over a nearby table.

 

2120 Sexual Abuse Allegations

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

  • A person receiving services alleged sexual encounters with an employee during off-grounds excursions, describing in accurate detail the employee’s automobile and the location and interior of the employee’s apartment.
  • After a year of residency in a facility, a person receiving services was diagnosed as being pregnant by an unknown father.
  • An adult receiving services in the community alleged his direct provider imposed non-consensual sexual activity on him.
  • The spouse of a HCS foster care provider is alleged to have sexual relations with a person receiving services. The spouse is deemed an agent because of the accepted responsibility (formally or informally) for providing services.

 

2130 Verbal or Emotional Abuse Allegations

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

  • A state supported living center employee told a person receiving services, “You better act right or else.”
  • An ICF/IID group home staff member told a person receiving services, “I’m going to kill you man!” during a restraint.
  • A HCSSA employee told a person receiving services, “If you call and report this, I’m going to finish you!”
  • An HCS group home staff member told a person receiving services, “You are a liar, and that’s why your family doesn’t want you around!” As a direct result, the person threatened self-harm.

While verbal or emotional abuse may be more subjective than physical or sexual abuse, it can indicate a pattern of abuse committed by an alleged perpetrator. An allegation of verbal or emotional abuse may be the precursor for additional allegations of other types of abuse.

 

2140 Neglect Allegations

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

  • In a state hospital, a person receiving services who is on one-to-one observation for suicide precautions was left unattended for a short period.
  • A person receiving services in a SSLC was unattended in a building for several hours because staff did not arrange transportation for them or check the building before securing it for the evening.
  • In an ICF/IID home, a person receiving services was left with feces smeared on him for three hours when monitoring checks should have been conducted every hour.
  • A person receiving services living in an HCS group home took the medication of another person living in the same home because staff left the medication cabinet unlocked.
  • A person receiving services from a HCSSA attendant for repositioning and transfers, fell and hit his head on the wall during a transfer. Because of the fall, he sustained a three-inch laceration on his head.
  • A person receiving services from a HCSSA for Personal Assistance Services was badly burned by hot bathwater.

 

2150 Exploitation Allegations

Revision 19-1; Effective July 1, 2019

 

  • A staff member traded a pack of cigarettes for a $75.00 pair of boots from a person receiving services.
  • A person receiving services was coerced to shine a staff member’s boots without compensation.
  • A person receiving services handed her debit card to her provider, so the provider could grocery shop for her.  While at the store, the provider used the person’s debit card to purchase items for herself and her children without the person’s knowledge. 
  • A provider takes a person receiving services to the bank. While there, the provider has the person write a check, payable to cash from the person’s bank account for $580.00. The provider takes the money and uses the cash to pay the provider’s cell phone bill.