Who must report suspicions of child abuse?
Florida Statutes Chapter 39 states that any person who has knowledge, or reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected must report that information to the Florida Abuse Hotline (1-800-96-ABUSE). By law, failure to report suspicions of child maltreatment is a first degree misdemeanor, as is interfering with or preventing another person from making a report. Knowingly making a false report is a third degree felony. ALL FLORIDA CITIZENS ARE MANDATED REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
What is child abuse?
The state of Florida recognizes five types of child maltreatment:
When should a report be made?
If there is immediate danger to a child, call 911.
Anytime that a child makes a disclosure of abuse or exhibits behavioral or physical indicators that have no other reasonable explanation, a report should be made as soon as possible.
The report must be made to the abuse hotline. Hotline counselors are available to receive calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Remember, a report is simply a request for an investigation, not an accusation.
Why should suspicions of child abuse be reported?
Everyone has a legal and ethical obligation to report suspicions of abuse and neglect. Often, a child's only hope is a report made on his/her behalf by a concerned adult.
How is an abuse report made?
There are four reporting methods for the Florida Abuse Hotline:
Be prepared to include as much information as possible, such as:
Family, friends, caregivers
Tips, advice, info, as well as links to help you
Curricula, learning materials, links and more
Child protection professionals
Continuing education, and info for professionals
Kids, young people
Downloads and links just for kids and young people
Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
2210 S. Tamiami Tr.
Venice, Florida 34293
North Port Location:
6919 Outreach Way
North Port, Florida 34297
222 N. Roberts Avenue
Arcadia, Florida 34266