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CHAPTER III

23. CHILD ABUSE REPORTING POLICY AND TRAINING

23.1 Purpose.

The Texas State University System is committed to maintaining a supportive and safe educational setting, one that enhances the well-being of all members of its community and strives to create a secure environment for children.

23.2 Policy.

Each Component shall adopt an institutional policy that governs: (i) the reporting of child abuse and neglect; and, (ii) training to detect the same (see, respectively, Chapter 261, Family Code and Education Code, Section 51.9761. The policy shall include the following provisions:

(1) A person having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report to:

(a) any local or state law enforcement agency;

(b) the Department of Family and Protective Services; or

(c) the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.

(2) If a professional (as defined by Section 261.101, Family Code) has cause to believe that a child has been or may be abused or neglected (as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, Family Code) or that a child is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after he or she first suspects abuse, neglect or other infraction. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.

(3) A person or professional shall make a report in the manner required by this Paragraph if he or she has cause to believe that an adult was a victim of abuse or neglect and determines, in good faith, that disclosure of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of another child or an elderly person (as defined in 48.002, Human Resources Code):

(4) The requirement to report applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, an employee or member of a board that licenses or certifies a professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.

23.3 Training.

Each Component institution shall provide training for employees who are professionals that includes:

(1) techniques for reducing a child's risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(2) factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(3) the warning signs and symptoms associated with sexual abuse or other maltreatment and recognition of those signs and symptoms; and

(4) the requirements and procedures for reporting suspected sexual abuse or other maltreatment.