Reporting Child Abuse
The law requires any person who believes that a child is being abused, neglected, or exploited to report the circumstances to the Department of Family and Protective Services or local law enforcement agency. (The Texas Family Code 261.101 requires professionals to make a report within 48 hours of first suspecting abuse, neglect or exploitation of children.)
A person making a report is immune from civil or criminal liability provided they make the report in good faith, and the name of the person making the report is kept confidential. Any person suspecting abuse and not reporting it can be held liable for a misdemeanor or state jail felony. Time frames for investigating reports are based on severity of allegations. Reporting suspected child abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.
The Texas Family Code 261.101 requires professionals to make a report within 48 hours of first suspecting abuse, neglect or exploitation of children.
Call the Abuse Hotline toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide
Make your report through a secure web site and you will receive a response within 24 hours
The Department of Family and Protective Services cannot accept e-mail reports of suspected abuse or neglect.
What if my report is an emergency?
Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency if the situation is an emergency.[/styledbox]
When should I call the abuse hotline rather than use this web site?
Reports made through this web site take up to 24 hours to process. Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 if
- You believe your situation requires action in less than 24 hours.
- You prefer to remain anonymous.
- You have insufficient data to complete the required information on the report.
- You do not want an e-mail to confirm your report.
Deaf or hard of hearing
If there is an emergency and you are deaf and equipped with a Teletypewriter (TTY), call Relay Texas by dialing 711 or 1-800-735-2989. Tell the relay agent you need to call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.
The Department of Family & Protective Services
Texas Department of Public Safety – Sex Offender Registry
National Center for Mission & Exploited Children
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Division
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.
Women’s Center of Brazoria County
Resource & Crisis Center of Galveston County
Houston Area Women’s Center
United Way of Brazoria County
Brazoria County Judicial Records Search
Office of Attorney General of Texas
Texas Counsel on Family Violence
Child Trauma Academy