Communities In Schools of Houston student support specialists act as agent of CIS and as a member of the school team at the assigned campus site. Staff must follow the policies and procedures of Communities In Schools and the assigned Independent School District.
In addition, CIS staff are required to follow the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in obtaining student information and the Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the Texas Family Code 261.101 that requires any person who has cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health, or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect to report that abuse or neglect.
The services provided by Communities In Schools are confidential, specifics of cases are not discussed without permission from the student and/or primary caregiver.
Are CIS services voluntary?
There are occasions when some students who are referred to CIS do not want services and/or do not show up for their appointments. The Communities In Schools staff usually attempts to meet with the student 3 times before discarding the referral for services.
You will be notified about your referral whether the referred student and/or family choose to use or choose not to use the services provided by Communities In Schools.
When does confidentiality not apply?
There are a few situations where Communities In Schools staff is required by law to break confidentiality and seek outside help to support students. These situations are where (a) a student might be a danger to himself/herself; (b) a student might be a danger to someone else; or (c) a student reports having been hurt by someone else.
Texas law requires any person who believes that a child is being abused, neglected, or exploited to report the circumstances to the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Abuse
Hotline at 1 (800) 252-5400. The reporting web site is: https://www.txabusehotline.org