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  88R22846 BDP-F
 
  By: Campos H.B. No. 1289
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to a training program for persons investigating suspected
  child abuse or neglect.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter D, Chapter 261, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 261.3105 to read as follows:
         Sec. 261.3105.  TRAINING PROGRAM FOR PERSONS INVESTIGATING
  SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT. (a)  The department shall develop
  a training program for each person who investigates any instance of
  suspected child abuse or neglect at the state or local level and the
  investigative supervisor of the person.
         (b)  The training program must include instruction on:
               (1)  the definitions of abuse and neglect under Section
  261.001;
               (2)  the option for an abbreviated investigation or
  administrative closure of certain reported cases under Section
  261.3018;
               (3)  the required notice to an alleged perpetrator of
  the right to record an interview under Section 261.3027;
               (4)  the required provision of information on
  investigation procedures and child placement resources under
  Section 261.307;
               (5)  the required notice of the right to request an
  administrative review of the department's findings under Section
  261.3091;
               (6)  the investigative standards established under
  Section 261.310, including case file documentation;
               (7)  the required assessment of certain proposed
  relative or other designated caregiver placements under Section
  264.754;
               (8)  the department's policies on investigation
  dispositions and risk findings appropriate to the type of
  investigation;
               (9)  the department's policy on identifying a potential
  relative placement before an adversary hearing;
               (10)  the department's policy on notifying a kinship
  provider of the appeal process for a denied home assessment for
  potential placement with the provider;
               (11)  the procedures for defining, identifying, and
  supporting protective capabilities of youths 13 years of age or
  older;
               (12)  the burdens of proof applied to the evaluation
  and production of evidence;
               (13)  the rights provided by the Fourth Amendment to
  the United States Constitution, the appropriate manner of informing
  an alleged perpetrator of those rights, and the search and seizure
  elements of those rights; and
               (14)  information on available community resources for
  a child's identified risk factors to avoid delay in referrals for
  services and to resources.
         (c)  The training program must also provide to department
  investigators advanced training on investigative techniques and
  protocols, including:
               (1)  techniques and protocols for conducting
  interviews with alleged perpetrators of and witnesses to alleged
  child abuse or neglect that ensure department investigators are
  able to provide accurate information to appropriate experts;
               (2)  techniques for searching for and identifying
  witnesses and collateral sources who may potentially provide
  information regarding an allegation of child abuse or neglect;
               (3)  protocols for accurately scaling alleged abuse or
  neglect markings and injuries that ensure department investigators
  are able to accurately and appropriately present information to
  medical experts;
               (4)  protocols for photographing alleged abuse or
  neglect markings and scenes;
               (5)  techniques for reconstructing events and
  statements using timelines;
               (6)  protocols for collecting and packaging evidence;
               (7)  protocols for using notes, photographs, and
  timelines to accurately represent an allegation of abuse or
  neglect;
               (8)  methods for analyzing and applying forensic
  evidence to the statutory definitions of abuse and neglect under
  Section 261.001 and to possible signs and symptoms of abuse and
  neglect; and
               (9)  procedures for analyzing and applying forensic
  evidence to statutory standards established in this chapter,
  including the burden of proof.
         (d)  The department shall administer to each investigator
  and investigative supervisor an examination to test the
  individual's knowledge and competency of the information provided
  in the training program.  An investigator or investigative
  supervisor may not be assigned to investigate or supervise the
  investigation of any case until the investigator or supervisor
  successfully completes the training program and passes the
  examination.
         (e)  In developing and implementing the training program,
  the department shall:
               (1)  encourage professionalism, procedural
  standardization, and investigative disposition accuracy in the
  investigations of suspected child abuse or neglect; and
               (2)  collaborate with:
                     (A)  appropriate Department of Public Safety
  personnel;
                     (B)  licensed attorneys;
                     (C)  forensic medical professionals;
                     (D)  appropriate law enforcement agency
  personnel; and
                     (E)  any other appropriate professionals.
         SECTION 2.  (a)  As soon as practicable after the effective
  date of this Act, the commissioner of the Department of Family and
  Protective Services shall adopt the rules necessary to implement
  the changes in law made by this Act.
         (b)  Section 261.3105(d), Family Code, as added by this Act,
  applies only to investigation of a case assigned to an investigator
  or investigative supervisor on or after January 1, 2025.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.