Report Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a central place to report:
- Child abuse and neglect.
- Abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities living at home.
- Abuse of children in child-care facilities or treatment centers
- Abuse of adults and children who live in state facilities or are being helped by programs for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These are run by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS. A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony. Time frames for investigating reports are based on the severity of the allegations. Reporting suspected abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.
APS Facility Investigations
APS is responsible for investigating abuse, neglect, and exploitation of clients receiving services in state operated and/or contracted settings that serve adults and children with mental illness or mental retardation. APS will investigate in the following settings:
- State supported living centers
- State hospitals
- State centers
- Community mental health/mental retardation centers
- Facility and community center contractors, including home and community-based (HCS) and Texas Home Living Waiver programs
- Mental health authorities and mental retardation authorities
- Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR)
Abuse Hotline for APS Facility Investigations
APS In-Home Investigation and Services
APS In-Home Investigation is responsible for investigating abuse, neglect and exploitation and providing services to adults who are elderly or have disabilities. APS serves people who are:
- Reported to have been abused, neglected or exploited.
- Age 65 and older.
- Or age 18 to 65 with a disabling condition such as a mental, physical, or developmental disability that substantially impairs their ability to live on their own or provide for their own self-care or protection.
- Reside in the community (e.g., private homes, adult foster homes, unlicensed board and care homes, etc.).
APS staff investigate in nursing homes only when a resident is alleged to be financially exploited by someone outside the facility.
People under the age of 18 may be served if they have substantially impairing disabilities and have been declared to be legal adults through court order or marriage.
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
DADS regulates nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private ICF/MR, and adult day care
Complaints (reports of abuse):
Nursing Home Information:
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
DSHS oversees hospitals, psychiatric hospitals (including private psychiatric facilities), and various other medical facilities.
Texas Council on Family ViolenceDomestic Violence Hotline: