DHC(LEGAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT REPORTING
Child Abuse Reporting Policy and Training
Each institution of higher education shall adopt a policy governing the reporting of child abuse and neglect as required by Family Code Chapter 261 for the institution and its employees. The policy must require each employee of the institution to report child abuse and neglect in the manner required by Family Code Chapter 261.
Each institution of higher education shall provide training for employees who are professionals as defined by Family Code 261.101 in prevention techniques for and the recognition of symptoms of sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children and the responsibility and procedure of reporting suspected occurrences of sexual abuse and other maltreatment. The training must include:
- Techniques for reducing a child's risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
- Factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
- The warning signs and symptoms associated with sexual abuse or other maltreatment and recognition of those signs and symptoms; and
- The requirements and procedures for reporting suspected sexual abuse or other maltreatment as provided by Family Code Chapter 261.
Education Code 51.9761
Reporting Abuse and Neglect
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 Family Code Chapter 261, Subchapter B. Family Code 261.101(a)
A person or professional shall make a report in the manner required by Family Code 261.101(a) or (b), as applicable, if the person or professional has cause to believe that an adult was a victim of abuse or neglect as a child and the person or professional determines in good faith that disclosure of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of:
- Another child; or
- An elderly person or person with a disability as defined by Human Resources Code 48.002.
Family Code 261.101(b-1)
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 Penal Code 21.11 (indecency with a child), and the professional has cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Family Code 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 Penal Code 21.11 (indecency with a child). A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.
"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, and employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.
Family Code 261.101(b)
Appropriate Agency to Receive Reports
A report shall be made to:
- Any local or state law enforcement agency;
- The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS); or
- The state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.
A report, other than a report under item 3, must be made to DFPS if the alleged or suspected abuse or neglect involves a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child.
Family Code 261.103
Adverse Employment Action Prohibited
An employer may not suspend or terminate the employment of, discriminate against, or take any other adverse employment action against a person who is a professional and who in good faith:
- Reports child abuse or neglect to:
- The person's supervisor;
- An administrator of the facility where the person is employed;
- A state regulatory agency; or
- A law enforcement agency; or
- Initiates or cooperates with an investigation or proceeding by a governmental entity relating to an allegation of child abuse or neglect.
"Adverse employment action" means an action that affects an employee's compensation, promotion, transfer, work assignment, or performance evaluation, or any other employment action that would dissuade a reasonable employee from making or supporting a report of abuse or neglect under Family Code 261.101.
Family Code 261.110(a)–(b)