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Reporting Child Abuse - Texas

Texas

Under Texas law, any person having cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected is required to report the abuse to any local law enforcement agency, the Department of Family and Protective Services, the regulatory agency for the facility where the abuse occurred, or the court designated agency responsible for the protection of children, unless the abuse is by the parent/caretaker in which case the abuse should be reported to the Department of Family and Protective Services. Certain professionals are required to report abuse within forty-eight hours. Those having information of child abuse occurring on a person who is now an adult has a duty to report said abuse if it will protect another person from suffering similar abuse.

Abuse is defined to include physical injury, mental injury, sexual injury, exposure to controlled substances, exploitation or trafficking of the child.

Links to the specific sections summarized above, including definitions, of the official Texas Code online are available as follows:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.261.htm#261.101
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.261.htm#261.001
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.261.htm

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website offers more information on reporting child abuse in Texas as well as frequently asked questions about reporting child abuse in Texas at the links below:

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/report_abuse.asp
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/report_abuse_faqs.asp

There are two ways to report abuse to the Department:

Call the Abuse Hotline at:
1-800-252-5400
TYY at 711 or 1-800-735-2989
OR
Make a report online through the Department’s secure web site at:
www.txabusehotline.org