DHC(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT REPORTING
Child Abuse Reporting Policy and Training
Each employee of the College District is required to report to the Texarkana College Department of Public Safety the suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect in the manner required by Family Code Chapter 261.
Training shall be provided for all employees as defined by Family Code 261.101 in prevention techniques for and the recognition of symptoms of sexual abuse and/or maltreatment of children. The responsibility for and procedure of reporting suspected occurrences of sexual abuse and/or maltreatment shall be conveyed in professional training. This training shall include:
- Techniques for reducing a child's risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
- Factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse and/or maltreatment;
- The warning signs and symptoms associated with sexual abuse and/or maltreatment as well as the recognition of those signs and symptoms; and
- The requirement and procedures for reporting suspected sexual abuse and/or other maltreatment as provided by Family Code Chapter 261.
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 is required to immediately make a report as provided by Family Code Chapter 261, Subchapter B. Family Code 261.101(a)
A person or professional is required make a report in the manner required by Family Code 261.101 (a) or (b), as applicable, if the person or professional has reason 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 or disabled person as defined by the Human Resources Code 48.002.
"Professional" means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state of Texas or who is an employee of a licensed facility, certified or operated by the state of Texas and who, in the normal course of official duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children. This term includes but is not limited to nurses, teachers, doctors, day-care employees, and employees of a clinic or health-care facility that provides reproductive services.
If a professional has cause to believe that a child has been or may be abused or neglected, or that a child has been the 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 the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is the 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. The report must be made without delay to the Texarkana College Department of Public Safety.
Appropriate Agencies to Receive Reports
A report of suspected child abuse or neglect is required to be made to:
- Texarkana College Department of Public Safety or any local or state law enforcement agency;
- The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS);
- The state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred; or
- The agency designated by the court to be responsible for the protection of children.
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.
Once the employee has reported the alleged abuse and/or neglect to the Texarkana College Department of Public Safety, the proper procedure will be initiated and notification to all appropriate agencies will be made by the staff of the Texarkana College Department of Public Safety.
Adverse Employment Action Prohibited
The College District prohibits any adverse employment action, including termination or discrimination, against any employee who in good faith reports child abuse or neglect or participates in a related investigation.