APS Online Reporting Tutorial - Texas Department of Family and

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A Tutorial for Online
Reporting of Abuse, Neglect,
and Financial Exploitation of
the Elderly and Adults with
Disabilities
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Navigation
To navigate this tutorial, use your mouse
or the arrows on your keyboard.
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Part One:
Who is eligible for Adult Protective
Services (APS) Assistance?
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Automatically eligible:
Any person age 65 years or older
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A person is not necessarily eligible
simply because they receive:
• Social Security (Retirement)
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
• Social Security Disability (SSD)
• Any other disability benefit (i.e.: VA
disability, private short term or long
term disability, etc.)
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Possibly eligible:
Any person between 18 and 64 years
of age with mental, physical, or
developmental disabilities that
substantially impair their ability to
live independently or provide their
own care and protect themselves.
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Substantially impaired means:
• The person is consistently or
frequently unable to perform the
activities of daily living necessary
for basic adult functioning in the
community; and
• The person has a poor prognosis for
improvement.
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Activities of daily living include, but
are not limited to:
• Walking
• Using the
bathroom
• Personal hygiene
• Eating
• Cooking
• Cleaning
• Shopping
• Managing money
• Taking
medications
• Obtaining support
services
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A person is not considered substantially
impaired if:
• The person is capable of protecting
themselves from abuse, neglect, or
financial exploitation;
• The person can consistently perform
activities of daily living or obtain services
necessary for basic adult functioning;
• The person has a good prognosis for
improvement.
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If you’re not sure whether a person
qualifies for APS assistance, please call
the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-2525400 for additional assistance.
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APS does not investigate chronic
substance or alcohol abuse issues.
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APS will investigate reports involving
chronic substance or alcohol abuse when
the abuse has progressed to a permanent
condition that causes substantial
impairment, such as organic brain
syndrome, kidney failure, cancer, etc.,
and there are other factors that meet the
definition of abuse, neglect, or financial
exploitation.
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Part Two:
How to Use the Online Reporting Website
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You can access the online reporting
website at
http://www.txabusehotline.org
Please note that online reporting is not
fully accessible at this time. If you need
accessibility accommodations when
making a report, please contact the Texas
Department of Family and Protective
Services by phone at 1-800-252-5400.
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During this tutorial, online reports are
referred to as E-Reports.
We will be referencing the interactions
captured in the video scenario about
Donna. If you have not viewed the
video, we highly recommend that you
view it now
(http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Training/A
PS_Reporting/reporting_how.asp#Donn
aVideo)
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If you recall, the video scenario about
Donna ended with the hospital social
worker ready to make an Adult
Protective Services report through the
Texas Abuse Hotline website.
In the tutorial that follows, you will
learn how a report is made and more
about reporting basics.
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Welcome to the main page
for the online reporting
site.
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To the left, there are
several login options from
which to choose.
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If this is your first time to
make an online report, you
can create an account or
login as a guest.
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If you already have an
account, use your existing
user name and password.
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You may choose to login as
a guest if you do not
already have and do not
want to setup an account.
If you choose to login as a
guest, your information will
not be stored for future
use.
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We recommend creating an
account.
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On the right, there is a link
to Frequently Asked
Questions about reporting.
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There is a Helpful Hints
link to assist in
troubleshooting problems
while reporting.
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Technical information about
the best computer settings
to use for the website is
located below the Helpful
Hints.
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It is important to note the E-Report
system should NOT be used in
emergency situations.
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If you believe your report is an
emergency, call 911 or local law
enforcement.
If the adult lives in a facility for
individuals with mental health
or intellectual disabilities, do
not use this online system.
These types of reports require
an immediate response from a
specialized APS division.
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If you are unsure whether your
report is an emergency or not, call
the hotline to make your report. They
will tell you if you should call 911 or
contact law enforcement.
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Create an
Account
Existing User
Login
To continue this tutorial,
select your login option
from the menu on the left.
Guest Login
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In order to create an account, you need to
create a user name and password.
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Provide a valid email address.
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We will send a notification to this email
address when the E-Report is received.
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Select a security question and provide the
answer to retrieve a lost or forgotten
password in the future.
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Enter your contact information. Use the
phone number and address where you can
easily be reached.
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Provide information on your place of
employment and the best days and times
to reach you.
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Once you successfully create your
account, you will be redirected back to
the home page.
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After you log in, you will be prompted
to review and update your profile
information before starting the online
report.
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If your information needs to be edited, use
the Update Profile button.
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If your information is correct, select Submit
a Report to begin.
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Read the statements and acknowledge
that your information does not require an
emergency response.
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Enter the characters from the security
picture, then select the button labeled
Report Adult Abuse.
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Regardless of whether you create an
account or login as a guest, you will be
asked for your contact information. If you
entered your personal information for your
profile, you can use that.
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Once you enter your information, you need
to choose your relationship to the adult
from the options in the drop-down menu.
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When finished,
select Next to
continue.
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Enter the information you have for the
adult. We need as much information as
possible.
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If there is something you do not know,
select the Unknown checkbox.
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As you move through the page, be sure to
enter information like language, race,
ethnicity, date of birth, and social security
number, when possible.
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This information helps us search for any prior
agency involvement with this individual.
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Select the type of facility from
the options available in the
drop-down menu.
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In the video, Donna lives in her
own home. This is the case for
most APS reports.
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As mentioned earlier, if the
adult lives in a facility for
individuals with mental health
or intellectual disabilities, do
not use this online system.
Call the Texas Abuse Hotline
at 1-800-252-5400.
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It can take up to 24 hours for
an E-Report to be processed.
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We need additional information if the adult has a
disability. Please provide as much specific
information about their disability as possible.
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If you have information about the adult’s
disability benefits, include that here, too.
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Next, tell us about the adult’s ability to care
for themselves. This information is
especially helpful when the adult is not 65
years old.
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If the adult is unable to care for
themselves, we need to know how in order
to determine if they are eligible for APS
assistance.
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Provide as much detail as possible when
explaining what help the adult needs to
accomplish specific tasks.
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In the video, Donna relies on her daughter
for help with cooking, cleaning, and
bathing.
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When you finish entering information about
the adult, select the Next button to
continue.
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Once you have entered all the
information you have about the adult,
you will be asked about the alleged
perpetrator.
The alleged perpetrator is the person
who you believe to be abusing,
neglecting, or financially exploiting the
adult.
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Sometimes, there
isn’t a separate
perpetrator, but the
adult lives in a state
of self-neglect.
If this is the
case, choose No
as the answer to
this question.
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In the video, Cheryl is Donna’s unpaid
caretaker, so Cheryl is responsible for
Donna’s care.
For this scenario, we will choose Yes
and select the Add Alleged
Perpetrator button.
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Enter as much information as you have
about the Alleged Perpetrator.
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If the alleged perpetrator lives in the home
with the adult, choose Yes to use the
information you already entered about the
residence.
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Select their relationship to the adult from
the drop-down menu.
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If you don’t know the alleged perpetrator’s
birthdate, you can estimate their age.
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Specify whether the alleged perpetrator is
a designated caretaker and if they are
paid for their caretaking services.
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A caretaker is someone whose actions
or words cause a reasonable person to
believe he or she has accepted
responsibility to provide and care for
the adult.
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A paid caretaker is an employee of an
agency who provides personal care
services to an adult.
A paid caretaker can also be an
individual or family member who was
privately hired and is paid to provide
personal care services to the adult.
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When you’re finished, select the Save
Alleged Perpetrator button.
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After you save the alleged perpetrator
information, the website will send you
back to the alleged perpetrator section.
Depending on the situation you are
reporting, you may need to add
information about another alleged
perpetrator.
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If you have another alleged perpetrator to
add, select the Add Alleged Perpetrator
button.
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In Donna’s scenario, Cheryl is the only
alleged perpetrator.
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Since there is no additional alleged
perpetrator, select Next to continue
making your report.
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You will now be asked if there is
anyone else who has knowledge of the
situation.
We like to have the name and contact
information for at least one other
person who knows about the abuse,
neglect, or financial exploitation.
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A caseworker may contact these
individuals to get information on their
perspective of the situation or to obtain
additional information.
These individuals can be critical to an
investigation if the adult does not have
the ability to communicate.
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Sometimes there is not another person
who has knowledge of the situation or you
may not know if there is anyone with such
knowledge.
If this is the case, choose No as the
answer to this question.
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In the video, the EMT had first-hand
knowledge of Donna’s home and physical
condition, so he’d be a great person to
contact for more information.
For this scenario, choose Yes and select
the Add Others With Knowledge
button.
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Enter as much information as possible for
the other person who has knowledge of
the situation.
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If there is any information you do not know the
answer to, select Unknown. Otherwise, you will
be prompted at some point to enter information
in all fields.
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Select the relationship of the person with
knowledge from the drop-down list.
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When finished, select Save Others With
Knowledge to continue.
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After you save the others with
knowledge, the website will send you
back to this section, since there may be
more than one other person with
knowledge of the situation.
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If there is another person with knowledge
to add, select the Add Others With
Knowledge button.
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In Donna’s scenario, the EMT is the only
other known person with knowledge, so
select Next to continue with the report.
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Now it’s time to report the details of
the incident. Tell us what happened.
Tell us everything you know.
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Even with such a short video, there are
plenty of details to report about
Donna’s situation.
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The social worker did a great job telling
Donna’s story. He included all the details.
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Also, note the use of names throughout
the story. Using names prevents
confusion. It is easier to understand who
did what when names are used.
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When you are finished entering
information on this page, select Next to
continue.
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You will now be asked to provide any
information you have about the adult's
emotional state.
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If you select Yes, you have concerns
about the client’s emotional state,
additional questions will appear. Answer
them the best you can.
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In this example, the social worker was not
concerned about Donna’s emotional state,
so he selected No.
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When you are done entering information
on this page, select Next to continue.
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The information you are asked to enter
next depends on the answers to these two
questions.
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Donna’s social worker selected Yes for
both questions.
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The social worker provided details about
the specific medical treatment Donna
received.
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He also told us about Donna’s medications.
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When you are done entering information
on this page, select Next to continue.
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This screen is for information about
medical treatment received by the adult.
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The information you are asked to enter
depends on the responses selected for
these three questions.
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Donna’s social worker had concerns about
her living conditions, so he selected Yes
for the first question.
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He selected Other Concerns from the list
of choices, then provided details.
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Donna’s social worker didn’t know if Donna
needed help paying her bills, so he
selected Unknown.
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He also didn’t know about alcohol and
drug abuse or domestic violence in the
home, so he selected Unknown.
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Then he detailed Donna’s support system
and the refusal of outside help by both the
adult and the caregiver.
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When you are done entering information
on this page, select Next to continue.
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Next is the Discovery section of online
reporting. This is where you tell us how
you know about the situation you are
reporting.
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Just like previous sections, the information
you are asked to enter depends on your
answers to these two questions.
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Donna’s social worker did an excellent job
explaining how he knows about the
situation.
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Since the social worker has spoken to
Donna about what happened, he selected
Yes for the second question.
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Then he gave details about Donna’s
response.
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Since the social worker had also spoken
to Cheryl about the situation, he selected
Yes for the third question as well.
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Then, he gave details about Cheryl’s
response and explained his concerns about
Cheryl’s stress level.
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When you are done entering information
on this page, select Next to continue.
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The Other Information screen provides an
opportunity for you to tell us any other
information you think might be important or
helpful.
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This also provides an opportunity for you
to tell us if you’re concerned about
another adult in the home or facility.
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The next step in the reporting process
depends on the answer selected for this
question.
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If you choose Yes, you have concerns
about another adult in the home or
facility, the next step is to enter
information about that adult.
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Since Donna’s social worker did not have
concerns for another adult, he chose No.
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When you are done entering information
on this page, select Next to continue.
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The last step in the reporting process is
the Summary Page.
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The Summary Page provides an
opportunity for you to review all the
information you have provided and check
the accuracy of your reporting.
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If you need to edit any information, select
from the links on the left side of the page
to return to a particular section. You can
then make your changes.
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If you doubt the content or accuracy of
your report, call the hotline at 1-800252-5400.
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If all the information is correct, select
Finish to submit your report.
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And you’re done!
At this point, you can choose to enter
another report, or log out of the online
reporting system.
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After submitting an E-Report, you will
receive a confirmation email at the
address you provided.
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The email you are sent will contain a
seven-digit confirmation number.
Please save this number for your
records.
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This email is only to notify you that
we’ve received your E-Report.
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Once we receive your E-Report, it can
take up to 24 hours to be processed.
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Once your E-Report is processed, you will
receive another email with an eight-digit
call identification number.
This email will tell you one of two things:
1. Your information was referred to the
local office for investigation; or
2. The information was entered into the
database and no further action is
planned at this time.
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If the email says no further action is
planned, this means we were unable to
recommend an investigation based on
the information provided.
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This happens when the information
provided does not appear to meet the
legal definition of abuse, neglect, or
financial exploitation.
It is also possible that the situation is not
one that DFPS has the authority to
investigate. We may refer it to another
agency.
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If you continue to have concerns, call the
hotline at 1-800-252-5400 for a more
immediate assessment.
An Intake Specialist will talk to you about
your concerns, gather the necessary
information, and, if possible, recommend
an investigation or refer you to other
available resources.
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You have reached the end of this online
tutorial. We sincerely hope that it has
helped you learn about the E-Reporting
process.
Thank you for helping us protect the
unprotected.
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The End
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