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Family Code Title 5

CHAPTER 261

INVESTIGATION OF REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT


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.

(c) The requirement to report under this section applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.

(d) Unless waived in writing by the person making the report, the identity of an individual making a report under this chapter is confidential and may be disclosed only:

(1) as provided by Section 261.201; or

(2) to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation of the report.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 87, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 162, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 575, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 65, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1150, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 5.003, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949, Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 261.106. IMMUNITIES. (a) A person acting in good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged child abuse or neglect or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

(b) Immunity from civil and criminal liability extends to an authorized volunteer of the department or a law enforcement officer who participates at the request of the department in an investigation of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect or in an action arising from an investigation if the person was acting in good faith and in the scope of the person’s responsibilities.

(c) A person who reports the person’s own abuse or neglect of a child or who acts in bad faith or with malicious purpose in reporting alleged child abuse or neglect is not immune from civil or criminal liability.

Added by:
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:
Acts 1995, 81st Leg., R.S.,ch. 284, Sec. 5, eff. June 11, 2009.

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