What do I need to bring when I take my child to ChildSafe for an interview?

You need to bring the child (ren) that is being interviewed and a picture I.D. of the adult transporting the child.  Having and/or knowing the child (ren)’s Social Security Number and/or health insurance information is helpful.

CPS called me and told me that my child has an appointment for a forensic interview, what do I do?

Please do not ask your child (ren) any more questions about the abuse. Please see the forensic interview section for more information.  You can contact ChildSafe for directions at 210-675-9000 or view the address and map on our contact page.

Can I report child abuse to ChildSafe?

ChildSafe is not a reporting agency for child abuse.  We assist in the investigation process and provide services once a child’s outcry has been confirmed. If you have questions about where to start, please contact us and a specialist can help direct you to the appropriate resource: 210-675-9000. If you suspect a child has been abused, please call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or you can report online at https://www.txabusehotline.org. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger please contact your local law enforcement or dial 911

Can I have my child assessed at ChildSafe to see if they have been sexually abused?

No, we do not assess children to see if they have been sexually abused.  ChildSafe provides forensic interviews of children who have made an outcry of abuse.  Forensic interviews may only be scheduled by law enforcement or Child Protective Services.  If you suspect a child has been abused please call the Texas Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-5400 or you can report online at https://www.txabusehotline.org. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger please contact your local law enforcement or dial 911

Can a psychiatrist at ChildSafe evaluate my child?

ChildSafe does not have a psychiatrist or psychologist on staff, but we may be able to provide referrals to such professionals within your community.

I am a CPS worker, can I have a child (my client) assessed because he/she has sexualized behaviors?

Due to the nature of our counseling services, ChildSafe only sees children for counseling that have a confirmed history of abuse.  We do not assess children for sexualized behaviors to see if they have been abused.

I was sexually abused as a child. Now, as an adult, I would like counseling. Can ChildSafe provide counseling for me?

Unfortunately ChildSafe only treats children ages 3-18 in our counseling department, their siblings, and non-offending caregivers.  We may be able to provide you with resources in the community for additional counseling services.

My child doesn’t want to go to school, can ChildSafe help me?

ChildSafe is a children’s advocacy center for issues specific to child abuse.  ChildSafe does not intervene when a child does not want to go to school.  Please contact the school truancy officer for help.   If your child was formally seen at ChildSafe and is now presenting with behavior issues please contact your previous ChildSafe counselor, Family Support Specialist or our intake department to resume counseling sessions.

I’m going through a divorce and I need help with custody visits as they are currently supervised and are being changed to unsupervised, can ChildSafe help me with this?

ChildSafe does not help with divorce or custody issues. This is a civil matter and you may need to contact an attorney for legal advice.

My child is under the age of three and has been grabbing him/herself as well as French kissing, can ChildSafe help me?

It can be hard to acknowledge that all of us, even children are sexual beings, have sexual feelings and are curious about sex and sexuality. Children’s curiosity can lead to exploring their own and each other’s body parts by looking and touching.  Some of these behaviors are part of healthy development in children and do not necessarily mean your child has been abused. We as parents and caregivers need to be aware of what our children have witnessed or been exposed to in real life or in media.  Your child may just be acting out something they witnessed on TV or on the computer, or they may have just found a body part for the first time.  If you suspect a child has been abused please call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or you can report online at https://www.txabusehotline.org  If you suspect a child is in immediate danger please contact your local law enforcement or dial 911

Can I contact ChildSafe if my child is suicidal?

If your child discloses that they are thinking of hurting themselves or someone else your child needs to be seen for a psychiatric evaluation to ensure the safety of others and themselves.

Children and children with a history of abuse are a high-risk population for suicide.

Please do not hesitate to contact:

University Hospital (210) 358-4000
Methodist Behavioral Health Services (210) 575-0500
Methodist Children’s Home (210) 733-3904
Center for Healthcare Services Hotline (210) 225-5481
Nix Behavioral Health Services (210) 341-2633
Clarity Child Guidance Center (210) 614-7070
Laural Ridge Psychiatric Hospital (210) 491-9400

Or take your child to the nearest emergency room for help.

If you feel your child is in immediate danger, or you do not feel safe transporting your child please call 911.

Can I report complaints about CPS and law enforcement to ChildSafe?

ChildSafe does not take complaints against CPS or law enforcement.For complaints against CPS you need to contact the Office of Consumer Affairs by phone, fax or email to file a complaint. To call, dial 1-800-720-7777 Monday-Friday during regular business hours.

For law enforcement contact your local law enforcement. 

Can I contact ChildSafe to help me and my child find a place to stay?

ChildSafe does not house families or individuals.  If you need a place to stay in reference to domestic violence, please contact the Battered Women’s Shelter at 210-733-8810 or call 211 for a local shelter.

I was seen at ChildSafe years ago, can I come back to counseling?

Yes, if you are still under the age of 18 or if your child is beginning to have difficulty with the abuse again, please call ChildSafe and speak to a Family Support Specialist to resume your counseling sessions.

I’m going to court and need to resume counseling, can I come back to ChildSafe for counseling?

Yes, ChildSafe will see your child to get them ready for court.

My CPS worker is not listening to my concerns, can ChildSafe intervene and help me?

We do not “intervene” but can speak to the worker and see what is happening, and maybe help the client understand what is going on in the investigation. We work as a liaison for our clients. 

Does ChildSafe intervene and go to court for child custody hearings?

We do not have lawyers on staff and do not get involved in custody hearings.  Contact the following agencies: Becoming Apparent or Custody Solutions for more information on how they can help.

My child is suffering from ADHD and behavioral problems, can I get counseling for him/her at ChildSafe?

ChildSafe’s counseling department provides trauma-specific counseling services for children with outcries of abuse and to non-offending family members dealing with abuse in the home.  We do not provide ADHD counseling.

Does ChildSafe have advocates to represent unaccompanied minors?

We do not have advocates that represent unaccompanied minors.

Does ChildSafe provide financial assistance for utilities and housing?

We do not have funding, but can provide referrals for our clients to agencies that are able to assist your needs. 

Does ChildSafe offer support groups?

Yes, we offer a family-based support group for children who have been abused and their parents/caregivers.  During the 8-week support group, children and their parents/caregivers work together as a family unit, but also divide into peer groups to meet goals. The topics covered include the Effects of Trauma, Post Traumatic Growth, Safe Boundaries & Relationships, Effective Communication, Coping Skills, Trust Building, and Dealing Positively with Emotions.  At this time we do not offer support groups for siblings of child abuse survivors, but they may be eligible to participate in family-based adventure therapy services or trauma based counseling at ChildSafe.

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The whole setting of the center was very comforting and relaxing. The staff members are great in greeting and making the experience a lot less stressful and nerve racking.

Guardian of an abused child

ChildSafe has never let us down. You gave me back my son’s wonderful personality. You gave him the strength to say 'I am a survivor, I am not a victim.' Those are the bravest words I’ve ever heard. And ChildSafe made them possible.

Mother of an abused child