If someone suspects a child is being abused or harmed, it must be reported by the person voicing the concern. Texas law mandates that anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect report their suspicions to the child abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400.
If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
If the concern relates to possible abuse by a non-family member, first report the abuse. Then contact the family and let them know it is your duty to report your suspicions.
Who must report?
- Texas law requires anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect to report it to the appropriate authorities. This mandatory reporting applies to all individuals and is not limited to teachers or health care professionals.
- The mandatory reporting law even extends to individuals whose personal communications may be otherwise privileged, such as attorneys, clergy members and health care professionals.
- Individuals who are licensed or certified by the state or who work for an agency or facility licensed or certified by the state and have contact with children as a result of their normal duties, such as teachers, nurses, doctors, and day-care employees, must report abuse or neglect within 48 hours.
- A person acting in GOOD FAITH who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability.
- Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
- Merely reporting the incident to your supervisor or manager is insufficient.
How to report
- Call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400
- If the child is in immediate danger, CALL 9-1-1
- Reports of suspected abuse may also be filed using the secure reporting website at www.txabusehotline.org.
What to include
Frequently asked questions about reporting.
- Locating information such as: home address, where child can best be located (daycare, school, babysitter, etc.), phone number
- Identifying information including: child's age and/or birth date, child's current condition, injuries or any emotional or behavioral problems, similar information about any siblings.
- Provide any other relevant information including parent's names, identifying the suspected abuser and his/her relationship with the child.