Stop Child Abuse
Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE OR NEGLECT, DO NOT:
Attempt to verify or investigate an allegation or confront or notify parents or the alleged perpetrator.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
- Child reports an injury inflicted by a parent or other caregiver.
- Child has unexplained or unusual injuries, or injuries that do not appear to the consistent with the explanation given, including bruises, black eyes, burns, bite marks, fractures, or dislocations.
- Child has multiple or frequent injuries, especially after an absence from school.
- Parent or caregiver uses harsh physical discipline with the child.
- The child is afraid of the parent or caregiver.
- The child lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses.
- The child is consistently dirty and has severe body odor.
- The child lacks appropriate clothing for the weather.
- The child is left alone without adult supervision at an age or developmental level such that the child lacks the ability to make appropriate judgements about his/her own safety.
- The child begs or steals food or money.
- The parent or caregiver appears to be indifferent to the child, may seem apathetic or depressed.
Child Protective Services Responses to a Report of Child Abuse or Neglect
All reports received by Child Protective Services are reviewed to determine the level of risk to the child and whether it meets statutory criteria for abuse or neglect. The report may be assigned for investigation or taken as information only.
- If the case is assigned for investigation, a CPS caseworker will attempt to interview the child, family, alleged perpetrator and any witnesses concerning the allegations.
- If a CPS caseworker comes to a school to interview a child, the school must comply by making the child accessible and providing a private location where the child can be interviewed. No school employee should be present during the interview.
- The parent is not to be contacted if CPS or law enforcement comes to the school to interview a child about abuse or neglect.
Know the Law in Texas
“A professional who has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected is required by law to report the abuse or neglect within 48 hours of becoming aware of the incident. The professional cannot delegate to or rely on another person to make the report” Texas Family Code §261.101(b)
“A person commits an offense if the person has cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect and knowingly fails to report as provided in the chapter.” Texas Family Code §261.109
It is the responsibility of professionals to report and the responsibility of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS and CPS) to investigate allegations or suspicions of abuse or neglect.
The duty to report applies to any person who has knowledge of the suspected abuse or neglect. It cannot be delegated to another person on the campus, such as a school nurse or counselor.
- The identity of the person making the report is confidential by law and any person who makes a good faith report is immune from civil or criminal liability or from repercussions with regard to their employment status.
- Anonymous reports are accepted. However, employees are encouraged to give their names, as the investigator may need to contact them for further information, particularly if the child mad an outcry of abuse to the reporting employee.
- File a report with Brazoria County Child Protective Services, 1504 E Mulberry St, Angleton, TX 979-864-1428.
- All reports of child abuse and neglect are confidential. It is important to respect the privacy of our students as well as of any person against whom an allegation has been made.
High School – 864-8001
Junior High – 864-8002
Central – 864-8004
Frontier – 864-8005
Northside – 864-8006
Rancho – 864-8007
Southside – 864-8008
Westside – 864-8009
AISD Social Workers:
The following websites might help you become more aware of child abuse and neglect:
The CPS division of the TDFPS