Laws on notification of child abuse/neglect – and false notifications/allegations

What are the laws on notification of child abuse/neglect? What about falsely accusing someone of child abuse?

Child abuse is very serious, and false allegations or allegations made in bad faith ruin not just the target’s life, but the child’s….

Stricter enforcement of policies regarding the false allegations made by so many should be paramount.

Reporting Penalties

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, see the Reporting Penalties (PDF – 605 KB) publication.

FAILURE TO REPORT – Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 261.109 (West 1996)
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 in accordance with the reporting laws. An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

FALSE REPORTING – Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 261.107 (West Supp. 1999)
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally makes a report under the reporting laws that the person knows is false or lacks factual foundation. An offense under this law is a Class A misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted for the same offense, in which case the offense is a State jail felony.

A finding by a court in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship that a report made under the reporting laws before or during the suit was false or lacking factual foundation may be grounds for the court to modify an order providing for possession of or access to the child who was the subject of the report by restricting further access to the child by the person who made
the report.

The appropriate county prosecuting attorney shall be responsible for the prosecution of an offense under this section.


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