FACT CHECK: Does A New Law End Anonymous Child Abuse Reporting Nationwide?
A post shared on Facebook purports a new law ends anonymous child abuse reporting nationwide.
Texas House Bill 63 (H.B. 63), which took effect on Sept. 1, requires individuals reporting child abuse to provide their name, address, and phone number. There is no new law ending anonymous child abuse reporting nationwide.
Texas H.B. 63 was approved back in May 2023 as part of an effort to deter false child abuse reporting, according to the Texas Tribune. When the state allowed for anonymous child abuse reporting, many parents and even Republican Texas House candidate Bo French were allegedly victims of false child abuse reporting schemes, The Texan reported.
“As of 9/2/23 y’all can’t dry call CPS anonymously on these females because y’all mad the dude y’all love liking on them you have to leave your full name and address and the other person will be notified who called and if it’s a lie you going to jail,” the Facebook post, shared over 300 times, purports. The post does not provide a source to support the claim.
The claim is false. Check Your Fact conducted a keyword search via LegiScan and did not find any results for a new law that purportedly ends anonymous child abuse reporting nationwide. However, Texas H.B. 63, which took effect on Sept. 1, requires individuals reporting child abuse to provide their name, address, and phone number. The bill also states that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cannot accept reports of potential child abuse from individuals who refuse to provide the required information when calling the department’s toll-free number.
The department’s website indicates that child abuse reporters’ names are “confidential by law.” (RELATED: Does California Bill Make It Illegal To Confront Or Fight Back Against Looters, Burglars, And Shoplifters?)
Likewise, Check Your Fact found no recent credible news reports suggesting there is a new law ending anonymous child abuse reporting nationwide. In addition, states such as Rhode Island and New Jersey both allow for anonymous child abuse reporting, according to their respective websites.
The Children’s Bureau, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Administration for Children and Families, notes that many states allow individuals to report child abuse anonymously.
Check Your Fact has contacted Texas’s Department of Family and Protective Services, Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, and New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families for comment. We will update this piece accordingly if one is received.