There are two ways to report child abuse or neglect in Texas. The Texas Abuse Hotline is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, nationwide. The phone number is 800-252-5400. This line can be used for emergency as well as non-emergency reports.
There is also a Internet Reporting Website . The internet report should not be used for an emergency situation, as these internet reports can take 24 hours to process. An emergency should be reported to the toll free number. (An emergency is “an immediate risk of abuse or neglect that could result in death or serious harm.”).
If you wish to remain anonymous and do not wish an email confirmation of your report, call the toll free hotline.
Texas law says that anyone who suspects abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child must report it to DFPS (Department of Family & Protective Services, commonly referred to as “CPS” for “Child Protective Services”). Also, the Texas Family Code requires that professionals who suspect child abuse, neglect or exploitation make a report within 48 hours.
And don’t forget– if the situation is an emergency, call 911. You do not need to wait to talk to DFPS.
People are understandably fearful of getting involved with a situation they don’t understand. However, someone who cares enough to make a report may be a child’s best or only hope of rescue from a dangerous situation.
It is never legally or morally acceptable to make a report to retaliate against someone. Making a false report is a felony and can also carry civil penalties. (Texas Family Code Section 261).