Suspicions Must Be Reported
Teachers and school counselors are often the first adults abused children turn to for help, and educators - those who see children every day and can observe their appearance and behavior - are considered a primary sourve for helping to spot a child's suffering.
Texas law requires that any professional who suspects a child is being abused or neglected must make a report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or any local or state law enforcement agency within 48 hours. Reports must be made of any suspected abuse or neglect, not just acts of physical abuse. The obligation to report includes abuse that may occur.
Those reporting are not required to have proof that a child is being abused but must have reasonable cause to know or suspect abuse. As long as the report is made in good faith, the reported is protected from civil and criminal liability.
The Texas Family Code specifically states that both a child abuse report and the identity of an individual making a report are confidential and may be disclosed only by order of a court or to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation.
Report The Abuse
Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 for situations requiring immediate response. You can report non-emergency situations via secure website at:
www.txabusehotline.org (First time users must create a login and password.)
This website is only for reporting situations that do not require an emergency response. An emergency is a situation where a child, adult with disabilities, or person who is elderly faces an immediate risk of abuse or neglect that could result in death or serious harm.
Learn more about reporting abuse by watching What We Can Do About Child Abuse from the Texas Attorney General's Office.
Source: The above information is excerpted from the Texas Classroom Teacher Association's website.