Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
March 25, 2020
DFPS Issues Virtual Contact Guidelines for Caseworkers
The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has issued guidance related to face-to-face contact between its Conservatorship (CVS), Family Based Safety Services (FBSS), and Family Reunification caseworkers and the children and families being served during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the frequency of contact required by policy remains the same, DFPS is temporarily allowing the use of virtual contact for interactions with children and families. Virtual contact is also permissible for assessing or “touring” a home for safety concerns. The new guidance also addresses how to conduct face-to-face contact safely when it is necessary.

The DFPS Virtual Contact Guidelines for Conservatorship Workers include information about how the “3 in 30” exam, the 3-day medical exam, the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS), Texas Health Steps/Well Child Checks, and dental exams will be conducted during this time. Information regarding steps to take when a child is sick, has been tested for COVID-19, or has psychotropic medication needs is addressed. Additionally, information about how DFPS is handling home studies, Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) classes, Family Group Conferences and Team Meetings, Permanency Conferences, and PRIDE training is included.

The guidance is separated into two documents: one for CVS staff and another for FBSS and Family Reunification staff. Links to the DFPS Virtual Contact Guidelines for Conservatorship Workers and the DFPS Virtual Contact Guidelines for FBSS and Family Reunification Workers can be found on the Children’s Commission’s COVID-19 webpage .
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For a complete list of Jurist in Residence Letters, please visit the Children's Commission webpage . Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. The Children’s Commission website is not equipped to facilitate dialogue or conversation about matters related to the information in this communique. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our website .