Child Abuse and Neglect

  • What do I do if I suspect child abuse or neglect? 

    If a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police department first. Then call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 to make a report. The Texas Abuse Hotline is open 24/7/365.  Report via the online reporting system for non-urgent situations only. A non-urgent situation means that intervention is not needed within 24 hours.

    Signs of Child Abuse

    • Unexplained injuries
    • Changes in behavior
    • Returning to earlier behaviors
    • Fear of certain places or people
    • Changes in eating
    • Changes in sleeping
    • Changes in school performance or attendance
    • Lack of personal care or hygiene
    • Risk-taking behaviors
    • Inappropriate sexual behaviors

    Texas Family Code Section 261.101 legislates and defines those who are required to report as follows:

    Sec. 261.101.  PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT; TIME TO REPORT.  (a)  A person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter.

    (b)  If a professional has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected, or that a child is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code, and the professional has cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after the hour the professional first suspects that the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code.  A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.  In this subsection, “professional” means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children.  The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers.

    Georgetown ISD annually provides training to all employees about identifying and reporting suspected child abuse.