Child abuse reporting requirements have changed to provide more information and transparency related to individuals making a report. House Bill 63 amends Texas Family Code provisions that address reports of child abuse and neglect.
The law requires individuals making a report to identify the child and the person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child, and any other pertinent information concerning the alleged or suspected abuse or neglect. The amended statute now also requires the individual to provide:
- the facts that caused the individual to believe the child has been abused or neglected and the source of the information;
- the individual’s name and telephone number; and
- the individual’s home address; or if the individual is a professional as defined by Family Code 261.101(b), the individual’s business address and profession.
Anonymous reports of abuse or neglect will no longer be accepted. Instead, an individual who wants to remain anonymous can make the report to a local or state law enforcement agency.
The identity of an individual making a report may remain confidential and may be disclosed only related to certain court proceedings or to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation of the report.
Reports made orally will be recorded and the individual making the report is to be notified that they are being recorded and that making a false report is a criminal offense under Family Code 261.107 punishable as a state jail felony or a third degree felony. The changes take effect September 1, 2023.
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