Service Title Service Description Client Group
Adult Protective Services (APS) maintains a 24-hour, toll-free hotline,
to receive reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The identity of callers is confidential.
The goal of APS is to prevent or remedy abuse, neglect or exploitation of adults unable to protect their own interests. The law requires any person who believes such a situation exists to report the circumstances to the department. A person making a report is immune from civil or criminal liability unless the person is acting in bad faith or with malicious purpose. The law requires APS to initiate a prompt and thorough investigation of any suspected need for protective services. The APS program includes the following activities:
  • intake and investigation;
  • immediate intervention;
  • service plan development;
  • authorization of emergency client services;
  • ongoing protective services;
  • use of other public and private resources;
  • court activities; and
  • referral to the Guardianship Program.
Any aged or disabled adult who is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation is eligible to receive services.
Child Protective Services (CPS)


To report child abuse or neglect, call
800-252-5400 or use the secure website:
The CPS Division investigates reports of abuse and neglect of children. It also:
  • provides services to children and families in their own homes;
  • contracts with other agencies to provide clients with specialized services;
  • places children in foster care;
  • provides services to help youth in foster care make the transition to adulthood; and
  • places children in adoptive homes.

Child abuse and neglect are against the law in Texas, and so is failure to report it. If you suspect a child has been abused or mistreated, you are required to report it to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or to a law enforcement agency. You are required to make a report within 48 hours of the time you suspect the child has been or may be abused or neglected.

Abuse is mental, emotional, physical or sexual injury to a child or failure to prevent such injury to a child.

Neglect includes:

  • failure to provide a child with food, clothing, shelter and/or medical care; and/or
  • leaving a child in a situation where the child is at risk of harm.
Abused or neglected children.
Child Care Licensing This division is responsible for protecting the health, safety and well-being of children who attend or reside in regulated child care operations and homes. The division develops minimum standards for regulated operations and homes, as well as policies and procedures for enforcing those minimum standards.

The division has the additional role of providing consultation, technical assistance and training for child care providers and educating the public in the selection and improvement of child care services.

Persons who are compensated to provide regular child care (at least four hours per day, three or more days a week, for more than nine consecutive weeks) in their own homes for one to three unrelated children.

Registered Family Homes provide care in the caregiver's home for up to six children under age 14; they may also take in up to six more school-age children.

All types of licensed operations have published standards they are required to follow and are routinely monitored and inspected.

Adoption If CPS and the family cannot resolve the safety issues that created a barrier for the child to return and live at home safely, CPS may recommend to the court that the parent-child relationship be terminated and the children placed with permanent families or caregivers. Adoption is a permanent, lifelong commitment to a child. Child who needs a permanent home.
Foster Care When children have to be placed outside the home, and there is no appropriate non-custodial parent or relative willing and able to care for them and there are no close family friends that the court can give temporary legal possession, the court will ask CPS to place the child temporarily in a foster care setting, such as a:
  • foster family home or group home that has been either:
    • trained and verified by CPS,
    • licensed by DFPS' Office of Residential Child Care Licensing (RCCL), or
    • verified by an RCCL-licensed child-placing agency;
  • residential group care facility that has been licensed by RCCL; or
  • facility under the authority of another state agency.

Foster care is meant to be a temporary situation for a child until a permanent living arrangement can be obtained.

Child who needs a temporary home.
Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) This area manages community-based programs that prevent juvenile delinquency and child maltreatment. It also:
  • helps communities enhance services provided through DFPS;
  • assists communities in identifying prevention and early intervention needs; and
  • supports the development of, and modifications to, new and existing programs designed to improve outcomes for children, youth and their families.

To find out what PEI programs are available in your community, go to: