Sec. 264.123: Reports Concerning Children Who Are Missing Or Victims of Sex Trafficking

(a) If a child in the department's managing conservatorship is missing from the child's substitute care provider, including a child who is abducted or is a runaway, the department shall notify the following persons that the child is missing:

(1) the appropriate law enforcement agencies;

(2) the court with jurisdiction over the department's managing conservatorship of the child;

(3) the child's attorney ad litem;

(4) the child's guardian ad litem; and

(5) the child's parent unless the parent:

(A) cannot be located or contacted;

(B) has had the parent's parental rights terminated; or

(C) has executed an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights.

(b) The department shall provide the notice required by Subsection (a) not later than 24 hours after the time the department learns that the child is missing or as soon as possible if a person entitled to notice under that subsection cannot be notified within 24 hours.

(c) If a child has been reported as a missing child under Subsection (a), the department shall notify the persons described by Subsection (a) when the child returns to the child's substitute care provider not later than 24 hours after the time the department learns that the child has returned or as soon as possible if a person entitled to notice cannot be notified within 24 hours.

(d) The department shall make continuing efforts to determine the location of a missing child until the child returns to substitute care, including:

(1) contacting on a monthly basis:

(A) the appropriate law enforcement agencies;

(B) the child's relatives;

(C) the child's former caregivers; and

(D) any state or local social service agency that may be providing services to the child; and

(2) conducting a supervisory-level review of the case on a quarterly basis if the child is 15 years of age or younger to determine whether sufficient efforts have been made to locate the child and whether other action is needed.

(e) The department shall document in the missing child's case record:

(1) the actions taken by the department to:

(A) determine the location of the child; and

(B) persuade the child to return to substitute care;

(2) any discussion during, and determination resulting from, the supervisory-level review under Subsection (d)(2);

(3) any discussion with law enforcement officials following the return of the child regarding the child's absence; and

(4) any discussion with the child described by Subsection (f).

(f) After a missing child returns to the child's substitute care provider, the department shall interview the child to determine the reasons why the child was missing, where the child stayed during the time the child was missing, and whether, while missing, the child was a victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(7), Penal Code. The department shall report to an appropriate law enforcement agency any disclosure made by a child that indicates that the child was the victim of a crime during the time the child was missing. The department shall make a report under this subsection not later than 24 hours after the time the disclosure is made. The department is not required to interview a missing child under this subsection if, at the time the child returns, the department knows that the child was abducted and another agency is investigating the abduction.

(g) The department shall collect information on each child in the department's managing conservatorship who is missing from the child's substitute care provider and on each child who, while in the department's managing conservatorship, is a victim of conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(7), Penal Code. The collected information must include information on:

(1) whether the managing conservatorship of the department is temporary or permanent;

(2) the type of substitute care in which the child is placed; and

(3) the child's sex, age, race, and ethnicity and the department region in which the child resides.

(h) The department shall prepare an annual report on the information collected under Subsection (g) and make the report available on the department's Internet website. The report may not include any individually identifiable information regarding a child who is the subject of information in the report.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1130 (H.B. 943), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 713 (H.B. 1217), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 713 (H.B. 1217), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.