The Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) Child Abuse Unit makes up half of the Special Crimes Unit in the Central Command. Accommodating its case load is a staff of four detectives, one victim services counselor, one full-time law enforcement specialist and another specialist serving multiple investigative units within the agency. The Child Abuse Unit is an integral part of the Austin/Travis County Child Protection Team, a multi-agency collaboration of child advocates who seek to ensure the safety and health of all children in Travis County. Child Protection Team member agencies include, but are not limited to: TCSO, the Austin Police Department, the Austin Independent School District, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Child Assessment Program (at Dell Children’s Medical Center), the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Center for Child Protection.
Our Child Abuse Unit is conveniently housed on a campus with other Child Protection Team members including the Center for Child Protection, APD Child Abuse Unit, DFPS (two investigative units) and two Travis County Assistant District Attorneys (DA) who represent and counsel the Child Protection Team. One of the Assistant DAs assigned to the team is the Chief Prosecutor of the Child Protection Team. By co-locating these entities on one campus we serve victims of child abuse and their families in the most efficient manner possible. As a team, we seek to be the advocates and voices of child victims to ensure that justice is served in the safest and least traumatic environment possible.
The Child Abuse Unit conducts criminal investigations into allegations of physical abuse and neglect of children 14 years of age or younger and sexual abuse of children under 17 years of age. The Child Abuse Unit also investigates allegations of abuse and neglect of persons 65 years of age or older and disabled persons.
It is a criminal offense to suspect child abuse and not report it to either DFPS or law enforcement. If you have any suspicions that child abuse may be occurring, please call DFPS or law enforcement immediately. The Texas Family Code provides protection from civil and criminal action for persons who in good faith report the abuse or neglect of a child. If you witness or suspect an act of abuse taking place and someone is in danger, please call 9-1-1 and ask for help. You may remain anonymous when reporting child abuse and/or neglect. Your phone call may save a child’s life. Not calling may cost a child their life.
Helpful Numbers & Links
TCSO Child Abuse Unit: (512) 854-3353 or (512) 854-4806
Texas DFPS Abuse Hotline: (800) 252-5400