Patsy's House breaks down TX child abuse reporting law

Patsy's House breaks down TX child abuse reporting law
(Source: KAUZ)
(Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - In light of two Wichita Falls Independent School District principals facing failure to report charges, Denise Roberts, Executive Director of Patsy's House, wants to educate people on the Texas law for reporting abuse.

It requires everyone, not just educators, to report child abuse or neglect.

Roberts said by doing this we can all help stop child abuse.

"Some children are not able to speak up for themselves, and so we look to the adults to be able to do that for them," said Roberts.

With children spending many hours a week in the classroom, a lot of us hold educators to a higher standard when it comes to protecting our kids.

Roberts said teachers are on the front lines and are heroes that work with our children every day.

"They see a lot and they do bare a lot of responsibility and have decisions that they have to make regarding that," she said. "Therefore, it makes it really important that they will be diligent to report if something has happened, or if they have reasonable suspicion that something has happened."

Roberts said Texas is a mandated reporting state, adding while many cases start because a teacher recognized a problem, it does not mean educators are the only ones expected to make the call.

"So, that just means that anyone that has knowledge or reasonable suspicion of abuse needs to report that to either law enforcement or CPS," she said.

While she understands there are policies in place that require many professionals to report child abuse or neglect to a superior, she said it is the individual's responsibility to make that report.

She also wants to remind people that telling a supervisor or anyone else does not fulfill their legal obligation under the Texas Family Code.

"Whether it is a school district or a daycare or whatever it may be, it still does not let you off the hook," said Roberts. "You have to make that report."

She said follow whatever policies you have in place and report it to your supervisor, but you still need to make the call yourself or get online and report it.

Texas law requires anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to report it immediately, professionals need to within 48 hours.

To make a report call 800-252-5400 or online at www.txabusehotline.org.

If you feel like a child is in immediate danger call police or 911.

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