D. Child Safety Check Alert List

If at any time during an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect to which DFPS has assigned the highest priority DFPS is unable to locate the child who is the subject of the report of abuse or neglect or the child's family, DFPS shall notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) that the location of the child and the child's family is unknown. If DPS locates the child and the child's family, DPS shall notify DFPS of the location of the child and the child's family. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.301(i).

DPS shall maintain a child safety check alert list as part of the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) to help locate a child or the child's family for purposes of:

•   Investigating a report of child abuse or neglect;

•   Providing protective services to a family receiving family-based support services; or

•   Providing protective services to the family of a child in the managing conservatorship of DFPS. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(a).

If DFPS is unable to locate a child or the child's family for a purpose described in Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(a) after DFPS has attempted to locate the child for not more than 20 days, DFPS shall notify DPS that DFPS is unable to locate the child or the child's family. The notice must include the information required by Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(c)(1)-(10). Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(b).

On receipt of notice from DFPS, DPS shall notify TCIC to place the child and the child's family on a child safety check alert list. The alert list must include the following information if known or readily available:

•   The name, sex, race, date of birth, any known identifying numbers, including social security number and driver's license number, and personal descriptions of the family member alleged to have abused or neglected a child according to the report DFPS is attempting to investigate;

•   The name, sex, race, date of birth, any known identifying numbers, including social security number and driver's license number, and personal descriptions of any parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the child who cannot be located for the purposes described by Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(a);

•   The name, sex, race, date of birth, any known identifying numbers, including social security number and driver's license number, and personal descriptions of the child who is the subject of the report or is receiving services described by Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(a)(2) or (a)(3);

•   If applicable, a code identifying the type of child abuse or neglect alleged or determined to have been committed against the child;

•   The family's last known address;

•   Any known description of the motor vehicle, including the vehicle's make, color, style of body, model year, and vehicle identification number, in which the child is suspected to be transported;

•   The case number assigned by DFPS;

•   The DFPS dedicated law-enforcement telephone number for statewide intake;

•   The date and time when and the location where the child was last seen; and

•   Any other information required for entry as established by TCIC. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022(c).

On receipt of notice that a child has been located, TCIC shall remove the child and the child's family from the child safety check alert list. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3024(c).

If law enforcement encounters a child or other person listed on the TCIC child safety check alert list, the law enforcement officer shall follow the procedures described by the Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3023.

If a peace officer locates a child or other person listed on the TCIC child safety alert list established under Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022, the officer shall:

•   Immediately contact DFPS on the dedicated law enforcement telephone number for statewide intake;

•   Request information from DFPS regarding the circumstances of the case involving the child or other person; and

•   Request information from the child and the other person regarding the child's safety, well-being, and current residence. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272(a).

The peace officer may temporarily detain the child or other person to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272(b).

If the peace officer determines that the circumstances described by Tex. Fam. Code § 262.104 exist, the officer may take temporary possession of the child without a court order as provided by Tex. Fam. Code § 262.104. If the peace officer does not take possession of the child, the officer shall obtain the child's current address and any other relevant information and report that information to DFPS. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272(c).

A peace officer who locates a child or other person listed on the TCIC child safety check alert list and who reports the child's or other person's current address and other relevant information to DFPS shall report to TCIC that the child or other person has been located and to whom the child was released, as applicable. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272(d).

If law enforcement encounters a person, including a child, listed on the TCIC child safety check alert list, the officer shall request information from the person or the child regarding the child's well-being and current residence. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3023(a).

A law enforcement officer who locates a child listed on the TCIC child safety check alert list shall report that the child has been located in the manner prescribed by Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3024(a).

A law enforcement officer who locates a child listed on the TCIC child safety check alert list and who reports the child's current address and other relevant information to DFPS under Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3023 shall report to TCIC that the child has been located. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3024(a).

If DPS locates a child who has been placed on the child safety check alert list established under Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3022 through a means other than information reported to DPS by a law enforcement officer under Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 2.272, DPS shall report to TCIC that the child has been located. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.3024(b).