Texas lawmakers weigh changes to protect families wrongly accused of child abuse

KPRC 2's Keith Garvin speaks with NBC News investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh about efforts to protect families wrongly accused of child abuse.
KPRC 2's Keith Garvin speaks with NBC News investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh about efforts to protect families wrongly accused of child abuse.

HOUSTON – KPRC 2′s Keith Garvin spoke with NBC News investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh about efforts to protect families wrongly accused of child abuse.

The interview comes as Texas lawmakers discuss legislation, which was drafted following a 2019 NBC News and Houston Chronicle investigation on the plight of parents who had been accused of abuse based on mistaken reports by doctors.

The bill is one of at least 17 bills working their way through the Legislature that seek to overhaul the state’s child welfare system with the goal of protecting innocent families.

The NBC News and Chronicle reporting focused primarily on the work of child abuse pediatricians, a small but growing subspecialty of physicians who work closely with state child welfare agencies. They provide expert reports and court testimony in thousands of cases every year, shielding untold numbers of abused children from additional harm. But when the evidence is not clear, the investigation found, a mistaken or overstated diagnosis of child abuse can devastate a family.

Read that full report from NBC News and the Houston Chronicle here.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.