Parenting is never easy, but for some it can be much harder. Parents who are accused of abuse or neglect often face uphill battles on behalf of both themselves and their children. This can be an extremely difficult process, and parents may understandably feel isolated and alone. Understanding more about how Texas child abuse laws work may help some parents better address their plans for child protection defense.
In Texas, abuse can be defined as more than just physical. Mental, emotional, developmental, psychological and other actions that result in substantial harm are all forms of abuse. This means that a parent can be accused of abuse even if he or she has never physically harmed the child in question.
As a broad category, professionals are required to report any suspected acts of abuse. Teachers, doctors, nurses, mental health workers, day care employees and other similar positions are just some of the professionals that are considered mandated reporters. A mandated reporter does not have to have proof that abuse has taken place. Instead, he or she only needs to believe or suspect that a child’s physical well-being, welfare or mental health is being harmed because of neglect or abuse. Mandated reporters can face misdemeanor charges for failing to report abuse, so many of these professionals might be inclined to err on the side of caution.
Being accused of harming or neglecting a child is often extremely upsetting. For a parent in this situation, it is important for both that individual and his or her child to be as prepared as possible. This includes creating the best possible child protection defense. Since this aspect of Texas state law can be confusing, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney as early on in the process as possible.