Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a legal responsibility to report to law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS).
Any District employee, agent, or contractor has an additional legal obligation to submit a report to law enforcement or CPS, as applicable. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a criminal offense. Do not try to investigate suspicions; a trained investigator will evaluate the child’s situation.
You cannot delegate this responsibility to another person. All people who suspect child abuse or neglect must make their report.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a central place to report:
Child abuse and neglect.
Abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities living at home.
Abuse of children in child-care facilities or treatment centers.
Abuse of adults and children who live in state facilities or are being helped by programs for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These reports are investigated by HHSC Provider InvestigationsExternal Link, not DFPS.
Anyone who has a reasonable cause to believe a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS according to Texas laws.
A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person, making the report confidential. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony.
Time frames for investigating reports are based on the severity of the allegations. Reporting suspected abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.