(a) Confidentiality. All reports, records, and working papers used or developed by the Texas
Department of Human Services (DHS) in an investigation are confidential and may be released
only as provided in this subsection.
(1) Completed written investigation reports on cases concluded to be abuse or neglect must be
furnished to the district attorney and appropriate law enforcement agency. DHS also may release
these reports to any other public agency DHS deems appropriate to the investigation.
(2) Completed written investigation reports are open to the public, provided the report is
deidentified. The process of deidentification means removing all names and other personally
identifiable data, including any information from witnesses and others furnished to the
department as part of the investigation.
(3) The reporter and the facility will be notified of the results of the department’s investigation of
a reported case of abuse or neglect, whether the department concluded that abuse or neglect
occurred or did not occur.
(b) Immunity. A person who reports suspected instances of abuse or neglect, in the absence of
bad faith or malicious conduct, will be immune from civil or criminal liability which might have
otherwise resulted from making the report. Such immunity extends to participation in any
judicial proceeding resulting from the report.
(c) Privileged communications. In a proceeding regarding a report or investigation conducted
under this subchapter, evidence must not be excluded on a claim of privileged communication
except in the case of a communication between an attorney and a client.
(d) Central registry. DHS maintains a central registry of reported cases of abuse and neglect at
the central office in Austin.