Texas Family Code (261.101)
CAC Tom Green F.A.Q.
Q: What are the different types of child abuse?
A: Emotional/Verbal Abuse – A pattern of maltreatment of a child which results in impaired psychological health, growth and development. Chronic pattern of belittlement impacting a child’s self worth or esteem, or withholding any positive attention or support. This can occur by itself, or with physical and sexual abuse. This is by far the most difficult form of abuse to substantiate and may require professional evidence of harm to the child.
Neglect – A condition in which a parent or caretaker denies the child their basic needs such as adequate food, clothing, medical care, or shelter. This is done either deliberately or through chronic disregard thus causing the child to experience avoidable suffering or fails to provide essential ingredients for developing physically, intellectually, socially, or emotionally.
Physical – A form of abuse that results in physical injury or injuries to the child by a parent or caretaker that are not by accidental means. While the caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment. It may have been inflicted by the hand or with the use of objects. Examples include bruises, welts, fractures, burns, cuts, and internal injuries.
Sexual – The sexual exploitation of a child from exhibitionism and fondling to oral sex and intercourse. Sexual abuse may also be committed by a person under the age of eighteen when that person is older and or in a position of power and control over the other child. There are two forms of sexual abuse: active abuse, where the older person actually exploits the child; and passive abuse, where a person takes no action when he/she is aware that the child is being abused and therefore allows the abuse to continue. Few children speak directly about sexual abuse and in most cases there is no medical evidence of the abuse.
It is important to note that there may be considerable overlap between the categories of abuse. Many children who are sexually abused are probably also emotionally neglected by at least one parent. The child who is physically neglected is likely to be emotionally neglected also.
Q: What are some indicators of child abuse?
A: Unexplained injuries
Changes in behavior
Fear of going home
Changes in diet or sleep
Changes in school performance
Lack of personal hygiene or care
Inappropriate sexual behavior or knowledge
Q: How do I report abuse?
A: EVERYONE MUST REPORT ABUSE. For Intervention to take place for the child, every person in that child’s life must act as an advocate for their well being.
IT’S THE LAW: TEXAS FAMILY CODE 261.001 defines that if you have cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person you are required by law to make a report. Failure to report is punishable by imprisonment for up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2000.
Call 1-800-252-5400 or Local Law Enforcement or www.txabusehotline.org
Know the following information:
Child’s Name, and age, date of birth if you have it, address, school they attend, social security number if you know it, name of child’s parents and their work places, names and ages of siblings living in the child’s home, details of the incident you saw or the information reported to you, be able to describe any injuries that you see and where they are located, be prepared to give your relationship to the child and how Child Protective Services can contact you.
Your information is kept confidential and will not be released to the client if they are investigated.
You may choose to remain anonymous, but please be aware that if you do so, Child Protective Services cannot give you any information about the report you called in at a later date. Also, if your reported allegations are not found when an investigation takes place, the worker cannot contact you for more detailed information, and the case may be closed due to lack of information or lack of substantiated information.
If you learn more information regarding a case you can always call back and add that information to the report.
Q: What do I do if a child makes an outcry of abuse?
A: Remain calm
Believe the child
Allow the child to talk to you
Show concern and interest
Support and reassure the child
Take action by reporting, this could save the child’s life.
Don’t panic, press the child to talk, confront the offender, minimize the child’s feelings, blame the child, promise anything you can’t control, or overwhelm the child with questions.
Q: Are Family Enrichment Services for people who abuse their kids or think they will hurt their kids?
A: No, Services are open to everyone. Classes touch on issues ranging from bed-wetting to strong-willed teenagers. From courses on nurturing your infants and toddlers to discussions between parents and trained facilitators, the Family Enrichment Services focus on advocacy for every child.
Darkness to Light (D2L) Stewards of Children:
Training for adults that raises awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. Designed for parents, grandparents, concerned individuals & groups that want to protect children.
Christmas for Kids:
Throughout the years, the CAC has made continuous efforts to reach out to the community, especially during the holidays. Each year we gather the most gracious sponsors for children in the CASA, Hope House, and Family Enrichment Services programs. Many of these children have been abused or neglected and currently reside in foster care, or they come from extremely financially disadvantaged families.
Shaken Baby Syndrome, SIDS, and Early Brain Development:
Through our prevention and education efforts we have trainings tailored to meet your audience’s needs – no matter the group – professionals, teenagers, or childcare providers.