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:
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Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
South County Resource Center
7810 S. Tamiami Tr. Ste. A-11
Venice, Florida 34293
North Port Location:
6919 Outreach Way
North Port, Florida 34297
2210 S. Tamiami Tr.
Venice, Florida 34293
310 Whidden St. #104
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