The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) publishes the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Standards for Providers (Standards) to specify the scope of work for providing the following contracted goods and services.
Community Rehabilitation Program services include
Providers of the above services are also required to comply with all the terms and conditions of their individual contracts.
Notices of open enrollment periods for Community Rehabilitation Program services, post-acute brain injury services, durable medical goods, and vehicle modifications are available on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Entities interested in providing any of these goods or services and who need more information may use the procedures detailed in 1-0080 below, or you may contact DARS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email your name, your company name, address, email address, Vendor Identification Number, phone number, and fax number.
DRS must receive true and accurate invoices. Invoices must be submitted to the address indicated on the DARS purchase order, must comply with the terms and conditions of the DARS Consumer Contract, and must include, at a minimum, the
*For outcome-based services, such as job placement and supported employment, the date of service is the date that the benchmark was achieved.
Additional documentation may be required to accompany invoices, subject to the program standards contained in other relevant chapters of this manual.
[This section reserved for future use.]
DARS DRS purchases services only from providers that are in compliance with the appropriate standards in this manual. Each provider is required to undergo an approval process, and periodic monitoring ensures continued compliance with these standards. These standards apply only to services purchased by DARS DRS.
The DARS DRS Standards for Providers manual is available on the Internet at http://www.dars.state.tx.us. Revisions to the DARS DRS standards are made periodically. Notice of upcoming changes is published on the Web site at least 30 days in advance of the effective date of the changes. A revision log noting all revisions since the DARS DRS Standards for Providers went online is available in the manual. Each provider is contractually responsible for maintaining compliance with the most recent DARS DRS standards.
The Web site is DARS DRS' preferred method of providing access to the DARS DRS standards and any revisions. Providers who require printed copies of revisions must make that request in writing to the following:
DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services
Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs)
4900 N. Lamar Blvd. MC 3038
Austin, Texas 78751-2399
Providers who have requested printed revisions receive a bill with each revision for printing and postage, including certified mail costs. Requests to be removed from the list of providers wanting printed revisions to the DARS DRS standards must be made in writing to the above address.
Community rehabilitation programs that operate from a fixed location are subject to all standards in this chapter. CRPs that are not facility-based (that is, that provide services only at locations not owned or operated by the CRP, such as the consumer’s jobsite) are exempt from certain standards, which are noted accordingly. All CRPs are subject to the program standards contained in other relevant chapters of this manual.
The DARS DRS regional director must propose exceptions to any of these standards up through the DARS DRS management chain, before being included in the contract with the CRP. The DARS DRS assistant commissioner is the final approval authority for any exceptions to standards. Before recommending that exceptions be approved, the regional director ensures that the exceptions are appropriate, are well documented and are expected to result in improved services to the consumers being served.
DARS DRS approves services for purchase by DARS DRS counselors. DARS DRS does not license, certify or register providers.
When a service provider is interested in providing community rehabilitation program (CRP) services, the following approval procedure is used:
The DARS3140, Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Information Sheet contains information about the CRP and the services it offers. The information captured on the form is entered into a database and made available to DARS DRS counselors and consumers who may use the information in choosing a CRP provider.
Existing CRPs must submit a completed DARS3140 to the regional CRP specialist no later than December 31, 2011.
New CRPs must submit a completed DARS3140 to the regional CRP specialist at the time of the original contract signature.
All CRPs must submit an updated DARS3140 to the regional CRP specialist annually, on the anniversary of their contract signature date.
In addition to the above, a CRP may update its DARS3140 at any time.
The CRP contract must list the physical location(s) (if applicable) and the services that have been determined to be in compliance with these standards. If there is any change in the physical locations, or if the CRP wishes to offer additional services, the regional CRP specialist must first determine that those changes comply with the relevant standards, and a contract amendment must be developed and signed by both parties before the initiation of new services, or services at a new location.
Entities that propose to provide room, board, and supervised living to DARS DRS consumers must be licensed by the appropriate state agency before requesting DARS DRS approval. Licensing agencies include, but are not limited to
A copy of the entity's current license(s) must be submitted with the application, and, if approved for services, to the CRP specialist upon each license renewal thereafter.
DARS DRS awards grants to centers for independent living to provide independent living services within an established geographic area. To receive DARS DRS funding, the center must be in compliance with standards in this chapter; Chapter 7, Program Standards for Centers for Independent Living; and Chapter 8, Grants Administration Standards. CILs also must comply with all Grant Assurances, which are part of the individual grant award.
Vehicle Modification providers must comply with the standards in sections 1.1 and 1.6 of Chapter 1, and with the standards in Chapter 4.
Durable Medical Equipment providers must comply with the standards in sections 1.1 and 1.6 of Chapter 1 and with standards in Chapter 10).
Occasionally standards may be published for other types of providers. The applicability of the standards in this chapter is specified within the descriptions of those services.
Local DARS DRS field staff members continuously monitor services provided to DARS DRS consumers. The CRP specialist or CIL liaison counselor makes regular on-site visits, which may include review of case files.
All DARS contractors and approved providers are subject to periodic programmatic and financial monitoring by DARS staff members. Risk assessment tools are used at the state and the regional level each fiscal year to identify providers who will be monitored on site during a 12-month period. As DARS determines the need, providers not identified on the risk assessment may also be monitored.
DARS staff members may conduct a special unscheduled monitoring review upon request, if DARS management determines it necessary.
A monitoring team comprises representatives from the DARS staff. When a provider is selected for an announced monitoring review, the lead monitor sends the provider a letter announcing the review, providing information about the scope of the review and instructions on how to prepare for it.
The monitoring review typically consists of three parts:
At the entrance conference, the lead monitor requests that the provider assign a
During the records review, the monitoring team
At the exit conference, the lead monitor debriefs the provider about preliminary review results.
The lead monitor sends the provider a report about the results of the monitoring review after it is completed. This report
The provider must, by the date requested in the report of findings,
The monitoring team reviews the CAP and may accept the CAP or recommend changes to it.
If the provider does not submit an acceptable CAP or make financial restitution when required, DARS may take adverse action against the provider in accordance with the contract.
If there are no findings, or when the monitoring team accepts the CAP, the monitoring review is closed. The provider is sent a letter to that effect.
The DARS monitoring team may accept the certification of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in lieu of programmatic monitoring. A copy of the certification report must be provided to the monitoring team. The DARS monitoring team, however, conducts financial monitoring in these cases.
The provider's records must adequately document compliance with applicable standards. These records must be
The organizational and administrative structure of the provider must contribute effectively to the achievement of its goals.
The provider must make available to DARS any documents, papers, and records that are directly pertinent to the services being provided.
The provider that operates from a permanent location must
Providers that transport consumers in motorized vehicles must
Providers that pay consumers' wages for work performed must be in compliance with current workers' compensation law.
When wages paid are less than the statutory minimum, the provider must
Each provider must have one person designated as the "CRP Director" for DARS DRS communication purposes. When a governing body exists, it must formally delegate authority and responsibility to the director for managing the provider's affairs in accordance with established policies.
In order to ensure that CRP providers in Texas are fully equipped to provide the highest quality services to Texans with disabilities, DARS has partnered with the University of North Texas to develop a training and credentialing process for CRPs that provide Job Coaching, Job Placement, and Supported Employment services to DARS DRS consumers. DARS has partnered with The Center for Social Capital to develop the training and credentialing process for CRPs that provide Supported Self-Employment services to DARS DRS consumers.
As of April 1, 2012, CRP Directors who supervise staff members providing direct Job Coaching, Job Placement, Supported Employment (including Job Skills Training), or Supported Self-Employment services to DRS consumers must possess director credentials from UNT. There is no “grandfathering” for this requirement.
DARS may verify the CRP Director’s qualifications at any time. A CRP Director’s qualifications are reviewed periodically by DARS staff members and during contract monitoring reviews. Payment for any Job Coaching, Job Placement, Supported Employment, or Supported Self-Employment services provided by staff members working in a CRP without an approved CRP Director could be subject to recoupment. The CRP must complete a DARS3490, Temporary Waiver of CRP Credentials to be approved by DARS, for any time period when the CRP’s Director does not have the required UNT Credentials.
For additional information about the UNT credentialing process, see UNT's Texas CRP Provider Training page.
The CRP Director must have at least
For additional information about the UNT credentialing process, see UNT's Texas CRP Provider Training page.
The CRP Director's qualifications must be documented on the DARS3455, Community Rehabilitation Program Staff Information form. If the director provides a particular service, the specific qualifications for that service also must be documented on the DARS3455 Community Rehabilitation Program Staff Information. DARS may verify the CRP Director’s qualifications at any time.
Each provider must have the following documents on file for all personnel who provide services directly to DARS DRS consumers, including the director and contract personnel:
A DARS3455 must be submitted both to the regional CRP specialist who manages the provider's contract and to the liaison counselor within 30 days of hiring a staff member who provides services to DARS DRS consumers. When there is a significant change in job duties or a termination of a staff member who provides services to DARS DRS consumers, the regional CRP specialist who manages the provider's contract and the liaison counselor must be informed within 30 days.
All provider staff members are employees of the provider, not of DARS DRS. Each staff member completes a DARS3455. The CRP Director also signs, thereby verifying the staff member's qualifications.
When a CRP provider ceases to have a credentialed staff member to provide credentialed services required by the contract, an exception may be approved on a per PO, per consumer basis. The waiver is specific to the consumer, the PO number, the start date, and the end date of services documented on the DARS3490, Temporary Waiver of CRP Credentials. A new DARS3490 is required for circumstances in which the PO end date must be extended beyond the issue date.
The temporary waiver is allowed only when it is
The waiver applies to the following credentials:
To request an exception, the CRP Director must submit a completed DARS3490, Temporary Waiver of CRP Credentials form to the VRC.
Below are the dates, for which the DARS3490 requires the authorized representative’s approval:
A copy of the approved DARS3490 must be kept in the
Provide the CRP a copy of the approved DARS3490 to be kept in the CRP DRS consumer file.
A copy of the DARS3490 should accompany any invoice for which a waiver was granted to use a noncredentialed staff person.
When the provider employs staff, policies must be in place that address training needs of all staff members.
At a minimum, staff members who provide direct services must receive, at hire and at least annually thereafter, in-service training in the following areas:
When services are provided in a fixed location (for example, work adjustment training, room board and supervised living), at least one person with current certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation must be on duty at all times. Providers must have records that verify this training has been provided.
The provider must ensure that employees who transport consumers have the driver's license appropriate for the type of vehicle used to transport consumers (class B or C), liability insurance, and a good driving record.
The provider must observe policies and procedures that protect consumers and consumer interests.
A written grievance procedure for consumers must be distributed and explained to consumers and staff.
Each consumer also must be advised of the availability and purposes of the Client Assistance Program, including ways of seeking assistance under the program.
Every effort should be made to inform the DARS DRS counselor before termination of services to a consumer. When the counselor cannot be informed before termination, the counselor must be informed within one working day after termination. The provider must maintain documentation that the counselor was informed of termination of services to a consumer.
Some reasons for termination are
All staff members must maintain confidentiality of consumer or employee information to protect the integrity and dignity of each individual. The provider must have policy and procedures that detail access to confidential records. The provider must provide physical safeguards for confidential records and ensure that they are available only to authorized staff members. Consumer case records must be stored under lock and key in a location where there is maximum protection against fire, water damage, and other hazards
Abuse—the negligent or willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harm or pain; or sexual abuse, including any involuntary or nonconsensual sexual conduct that would constitute the offenses of indecent exposure or assault, committed by the person's caretaker, family member, or other individual who has an ongoing relationship with the person.
Exploitation—the illegal or improper act or process of a caretaker, family member, or other individual who has an ongoing relationship with a person with a disability, using the resources of the disabled person for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain without the informed consent of the disabled person.
Neglect—the failure to provide for oneself the goods or services, including medical services, that are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain, or the failure of a caretaker to provide those goods or services.
Texas law requires that allegations or incidents of abuse, exploitation, or neglect of persons with disabilities be immediately reported to the appropriate investigatory agency (see the table below), or, if taking place in other than a residential situation, the local law enforcement agency. If a licensed professional is involved, report to the appropriate professional licensure agency and the local law enforcement agency.
The provider must develop policies and procedures regarding the recognition and appropriate reporting of such allegations or incidents. These procedures must also require notification of the appropriate DARS DRS counselor and the liaison counselor within one working day, if a DARS DRS consumer is involved in an allegation of abuse, exploitation, or neglect. Procedures must also ensure cooperation with investigations conducted by DARS DRS.
The appropriate investigating agency's toll-free number and the DARS DRS liaison counselor's office number must be posted in a location that is readily accessible to consumers and the staff.
|If the alleged abuse, exploitation, or neglect occurs in residential situations such as—||Report to the DARS DRS counselor, liaison counselor, and—|
|A Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) licensed assisted living care facility, nursing home, adult day care, private ICF/MR, or adult foster care||Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Complaints Management & Investigations
P.O. Box 149030, Mail Code E-340
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
|A substance abuse facility or program licensed by Texas Department of State Health Services||Texas Department of State Health Services
Substance Abuse Compliance Group
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Mail Code 2823
|A hospital licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services||Texas Department of State Health Services
Facility Licensing Group
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756
Complaint Hotline 1-888- 973-0022
Texas Department of Family and Protective
Each facility-based provider must post the DARS DRS toll-free telephone number, specifying that it is for DARS DRS applicant and consumer use: 1-800-628-5115.
Any observations or other evidence of use of alcohol or drugs by a DARS DRS consumer with the disability of substance abuse must be reported immediately to the DARS DRS counselor. The provider must maintain documentation that the counselor was informed of any observations or other evidence of use of alcohol or drugs by a consumer.
Standards for additional services are included within the specific chapters on those services.
Written criteria and procedures for admission are required. These must be communicated clearly to DARS DRS counselors.
Each provider is encouraged to develop a referral form for referring counselors to use. The form lists available services, admission criteria, and information required by the provider before admission.
Sometimes, a provider may refer an individual with a disability to DARS DRS for services. It is important that the provider understand and make clear to the individual being referred that
The intake process must orient the consumer to the provider's program of services. This includes physical arrangements, the provider's expectations of the consumer (such as attendance, hygiene, etc.), and what the consumer may expect to receive from the program.
Information on services, appropriate rules and regulations, consumer responsibilities, safety information, and other matters of importance must be provided to each consumer. This can take the form of a brochure, manual or information sheet.
Payment may be made for excused consumer absences for personal social adjustment training (PSAT), work adjustment training (WAT), and room, board, and supervised living (RBSL), if the reason for the absence
Excused absences must be documented on DARS3453, Work-Oriented or Residential Community Rehabilitation Programs Monthly Progress Report (or equivalent).
Payment for excused absences will not exceed
When the CRP is closed on a recognized holiday (such as, but not limited to New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) that falls within the dates of service, then payment may be made for that holiday.
Additional standards regarding record keeping are included in the individual chapters.
The provider must maintain records necessary to
A current case record must be kept for each consumer and must include the following, depending on the service provided:
Infrequently, the description of the service to be provided may be changed to accommodate the needs of an individual consumer. If the service description is changed, the fee may be adjusted accordingly; however, a fee in excess of fees established in the DARS DRS standards may not be paid. These changes must be
A copy of the completed DARS3472 must be retained in the DARS DRS consumer file and in the service provider's consumer file. A periodic review of the frequency and nature of requested changes is performed by DARS DRS staff.
When consumers are paid for work performed, an appropriate payroll record must be prepared and maintained for each consumer.
This section does not apply to non-facility-based CRPs.
All services purchased by DARS DRS for its consumers must be provided in an accessible manner.
Each provider subject to these standards will provide the results of a self-evaluation along with a written explanation, if necessary, of how its services will be provided in an accessible manner:
A self-evaluation instrument is available at this Web site: http://www.adachecklist.org/checklist.html.
If DARS DRS receives a complaint regarding the accessibility of the services of a particular provider, DARS DRS investigates to determine whether a violation of contract terms has taken place.
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has issued ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) which must be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by titles II and III of the ADA. These guidelines have been adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice as Appendix A to its ADA Title III rules. These guidelines may be accessed on the Internet at
To obtain a copy of ADAAG or other information from the U.S. Department of Justice, call (800)514-0301 Voice, (202) 514-0381 TTY, or (800) 514-0383 TTY. For technical questions, contact the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 1-800-USA-ABLE.
In addition, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation administers the state Architectural Barriers Act, Article 9102, Texas Civil Statutes. The Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) are based on the ADAAG Standards and apply to buildings and facilities constructed on or after April 1, 1994. The TAS may be accessed on the Internet at:
Copies of TAS can be purchased from the:
Office of the Secretary of State Texas Register Division
PO. Box 13824
Austin, Texas 78711-3824
(512) 463-5569 (Fax)
Each provider must have a plan that ensures continuing attention to the safety and health of the staff, the consumers, and the visiting public. The plan must include
Each provider must have an incident reporting system in place. A form for staff reporting of incidents must be developed.
The minimum information required on the incident report form must include
Upon request, copies of incident reports pertinent to DARS DRS consumers must be made available to DARS DRS staff members.
The following incidents must be reported to the referring DARS DRS counselor and liaison counselor by close of business the next working day:
Environmental safety must comply with local building occupancy codes. Providers must provide documentation of compliance to DARS DRS at the time of the original approval and whenever the physical plant location changes. Renters should contact their landlord to obtain such documentation.
Each provider must
Providers who rent must contact their landlords for appropriate documentation.
In the absence of a local code, or at the discretion of the DARS DRS liaison counselor, an inspection by the fire marshal having jurisdiction may be required.
Most fire departments conduct inspections but need advance notice to schedule an appointment. If the local fire department does not conduct inspections, you may request an inspection from the Texas Department of Insurance, State Fire Marshal's Inspection Services Division, 333 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas 78701, (512) 305-7900.
Visible and audible fire warning signals must be in all areas where services are provided. These signals must be interrelated—when the audible signal sounds, the visible signal is initiated simultaneously. These signals may be activated by a manual switch or by an automatic control designated for this purpose. Smoke detectors also are required and may be integrated into the system.
Fire extinguishers must be properly serviced and maintained, inspected annually, and placed in an accessible location.
Fire escape routes must be free and clear of obstructions and properly identified. Rapid departure of persons with mobility impairments must be considered. Fire doors must be functional.
Smoking areas must be designated.
A policy that requires all fires to be reported to the DARS DRS liaison counselor within one working day must be in place.
In locations where machinery or equipment is used, applicable requirements for safety must be met.
Aisles and work safety zones around equipment must be defined by marking lines on the floor.
Hazardous or flammable materials must be appropriately identified and dealt with in a safe manner. These materials should be stored in a metal container (cabinet).
Machinery with moving parts must be equipped with appropriate protective guarding.
Instructions must be given to all clients or consumers where appropriate, on the safe use of power tools and safe work practices. This instruction must be documented in the consumer case file. Instructions for the use of all power tools must be in writing.
Appropriate protective equipment, such as goggles, face shields, respirators, etc., must be provided to consumers exposed to hazardous working conditions.
This section applies to all CRP and CIL providers.
Each provider must have an ongoing self-evaluation system designed to assess the effectiveness of services provided to consumers. The system should measure outcomes against pre-established goals. Because of the variety of services provided by providers, the method of evaluation is left to the discretion of the provider but must, at a minimum, include the following.
Statements of who the program serves, what services it offers, and what the program is designed to accomplish.
Objectives for each service stated in terms of measurable outcomes and consistent with the program goals.
The degree to which each service objective is to be achieved, including the criteria against which actual performance is measured.
Measures stated in general terms and explaining how outcomes are to be achieved.
Measures input from consumers about benefits received from services.
Each CRP may develop its own survey instrument and procedure. However, at a minimum, the survey instrument must include the following prompt:
Using the Likert scale in the table below, rate the following statements:
|3||Neither agree nor disagree|
All consumers, both successful and unsuccessful, must be given the opportunity to respond.
The provider must calculate an average consumer rating on the Likert Scale for each of the four required questions.
CRPs must provide the results of the consumer satisfaction portion of the self-evaluation to the CRP liaison counselor by December 31 each year, beginning December 31, 2012.
CILs must provide the results of the consumer satisfaction portion of the self-evaluation to the DARS grant manager no later than 30 days after the end of the grant period, beginning with the grant period ending August 31, 2012.
An organized procedure for regularly monitoring the evaluation system's effectiveness. It enables the provider to review, update, and/or improve the effectiveness of services.