Letter From the Department of Family and Protective Services – November 18, 2009

VIA EMAIL

Wed, November 18, 2009

Mr. Lambert,

Thank you again for visiting with the Commissioner and me yesterday. We appreciate your taking the time to keep us and Katherine posted on THSC and related issues.

You requested the CPS policy related to home school waiver requests. It is available on our public website.

Per our discussion about reports of abuse/neglect and how they are not assigned to investigation stage unless they meet the statutory definition of abuse and neglect, Intake workers follow the legal definitions of abuse and neglect in Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code when assessing reports made to Statewide Intake (SWI) about possible abuse or neglect of children.

And, the SWI handbook (section 4491) , also available on our website, has specific information about assessment of reports regarding home schooling:

Calls involving home-schooled children are assessed based on the same criteria and intake guidelines as any other CPS report. Home schools are considered private schools in Texas. They are not subject to inspection, monitoring, or regulation by CPS, by the Texas Education Agency, or by local school districts. A caller with concerns about truancy or compulsory attendance issues is referred to the local school district in which the child lives.

Also for your information, please find attached a recent letter sent to residential and adoption contract providers regarding educational services and resources, including home school waiver requests.

Thank you for sharing the letter you recently sent to a caseworker in Athens. I assure you that we take the confidentiality of our cases very seriously and we will be looking into this matter further. You should not have been contacted about this case.

As mentioned in our meeting, Commissioner is happy to personally review any waiver requests and/or look into any concerns your members may have. She would rather personally receive those types of concerns than for you to respond caseworkers, etc.  We also look forward to hearing back from you on writing an article for your next quarterly magazine. Please let me know your deadline.

Thank you,

Katie Olse

 

Katie Renner Olse Director, Center for Consumer & External Affairs Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)