Child Abuse and Neglect, including Human Trafficking, Prevention and Awareness Reminders and Requirements
|Date:||October 28, 2021|
|Subject:||Child Abuse and Neglect, including Human Trafficking, Prevention and Awareness Reminders and Requirements|
|Next Steps:||Share with campus personnel|
The purpose of this correspondence is to provide information regarding reporting requirements and training concerning child abuse and neglect, including human trafficking, prevention, and awareness.
Student-facing posters that meet the requirements of 19 TAC §61.1051(e) and (f) must be posted in at least one high-traffic area (hallway, above a water fountain, gym, locker room, counselor's office, etc.) on every campus in both English and Spanish. The Texas Education Agency (TEA), in cooperation with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, has developed posters in English and Spanish that satisfy the requirements of 19 TAC §61.1051(e) and (f).
All educators are mandatory reporters who are required to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect, including trafficking of a child, within 48 hours, per Texas Family Code, § 261.101. As local educational agencies (LEAs) navigate both remote and in-person learning environments, it is critical for teachers and school staff to remain vigilant in their identification and reporting of these concerns.
Educators and Staff Reporting Requirement: LEA personnel are required to report child abuse or neglect, including the trafficking of a child. A report shall be made to:
- any local or state law enforcement agency;
- the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS); or
- the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.
NEW: If the matter to be reported potentially involves human trafficking, report to local or state law enforcement and DFPS. Please note that for purposes of human trafficking reporting, local law enforcement does not include a school district’s police department.
In cases of emergencies, please call 911.
Use this link to register for TEA’s Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness 2021-2022 webinar series. Training will be held on: November 5, 2021; December 3, 2021; January 7, 2022; and March 4, 2022. Each meeting will be held from 10:30 am to 11:45 am.
Recorded trainings from the Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness 2020-2021 webinar series are available on TEA’s Special Student Populations Division Webinars and Trainings webpage.
87th Legislative Updates:
Senate Bill 1831 (87(R)): Requires the posting of warning signs of offenses and penalties relating to human trafficking of minors on and around school premises. TEA will be developing rules in Spring 2022 to guide signage requirements.
Senate Bill 9 (87(2)): Requires students to be exposed to educational instruction pertaining to the prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking. It requires that a parent be provided notice of the instruction, the right to review or purchase a copy of the material, and the right to remove the parent's student from any part of the instruction, if desired. It also amends current law relating to public school instruction and materials regarding the prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking and the adoption of public-school policies to prevent dating violence. More information to support implementation of these changes will be forthcoming.
If you have any questions regarding child abuse mandatory reporting, including human trafficking prevention and awareness requirements, please contact the Division of Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs, PreventingHumanTrafficking@tea.texas.gov.