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Child Abuse and Neglect

Child  abuse and neglect can  be defined as any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. In Florida there is a Florida Abuse Hotline that accepts reports of abuse or neglect 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There are several ways to report abuse or neglect including phone, fax, and web base entries. Any allegations of a child being abused or neglected by a caregiver will be investigated by the Department of Children and Families, while allegations of abuse by someone other than a caregiver will be accepted at the Hotline and immediately electronically transferred to appropriate local law enforcement agency where the child lives. If abuse or neglect goes unreported, then there are penalties that have increased from a misdemeanor to a felony including financial penalties. Below you will find the information for the Florida.

Abuse Hotline:

Florida Abuse Hotline

Phone: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873)

TDD: 1-800-453-5145

Fax: 1-800-914-0004


Online Report System:


Mandatory Reporting Guidelines

Every individual has a responsibility to report suspected abuse or neglect. Due to the Florida Status 39.202 and 415.107 some occupations are required to report suspected abuse or neglect. These occupations are considered "professionally mandatory reporters" and they are required to not only report the case but required to provide their name to the Abuse Hotline Counselor when they report the abuse or neglect case. A professionally mandatory reporter's name is entered into the record of the report but is held confidential. Most of the occupations that are mandatory to report abuse or neglect work with children or the elderly. Such occupations that are professionally mandatory reporters are listed below:


-Social Worker                                                   -Private or Public Teacher

-Bank Employees                                             -Emergency Medical Technician

-Foster Care Workers                                      -Physician

-Nurse                                                                 -Law Enforcement Officer

-Judge                                                                 -Medical Examiner

-Nursing Home Staff                                       -Paramedic


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