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Reporting Child Abuse











EVERYONE has an obligation under the law to report suspected child abuse.

Texas imposes a broad duty to report child abuse or neglect on all citizens, including professionals.  The Texas Family Code clearly outlines legal responsibilities relating to the reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect.  The following is a general outline of the statutes:

Persons REQUIRED to report:

· ANYONE having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect, or has died of abuse of neglect, should IMMEDIATELY make a report.

· A PROFESSIONAL that has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected is REQUIRED to make a report not later than 48 hours after the professional first suspects that a child may be abused or neglected.

· A PROFESSIONAL may NOT delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.

· A PROFESSIONAL is an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state.  This term includes:  teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers.

· The REQUIREMENT to report applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and employee of a clinic or health care facility…

Failure to Report

Class B Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 180 days and/or fine up to $2000.00.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect:

· DO listen to the child and be aware of your reactions

· DO report child abuse suspicions to law enforcement
or the Texas Child Abuse Hotline # 1-800-252-5400

· DO NOT try to investigate or obtain information from others

· DO NOT confront the accused abuser or notify anyone other than authorities




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