Legislation, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, requires any individual who suspects that a child has been abused by any person to report that to the Florida Abuse Hotline. Any allegations a child was abused or neglected by a caregiver will be investigated by the Department of Children and Families, while allegations of child abuse by someone other than a caregiver will be accepted at the Hotline and immediately electronically transferred to the appropriate local law enforcement agency where the child lives.
Penalties for those who suspect a child is being abused but fail to report it have been increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. Financial penalties also have increased. If you suspect or know of any child who is being harmed, call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873. If you see a child in immediate danger, call 911.
Web Based Training
The Department of Children and Families has developed a new Web-based course specifically aimed at teachers in grades 1-12. The one hour course is titled "Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect" This course satisfies the requirement specified in Florida Statute Section 1012.98(12). To view this training click here.
About the Florida Abuse Hotline
More than 1 million children are victims of child abuse and neglect each year, according to state child protective service agencies. Many victims don't receive help because they are not reported to the system. These abused and neglected children span all ages, races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. Child maltreatment includes actions that result in imminent risk of serious harm, death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation of a child under age 18 by a parent or caretaker.
When parents can't, don't or won't protect their children, the Department of Children & Families steps in to help, providing a full spectrum of services, from parenting classes and respite care to transportation and child care. The goal of the department is to keep children safe in their own families when possible.
The Florida Abuse Hotline serves as the central reporting center for allegations of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation for all children and vulnerable adults in Florida.
The Hotline receives calls, faxes, and web based reports from citizens and professionals with concerns of abuse, neglect, or exploitation on children and vulnerable adults in Florida.
The Hotline assesses the information provided by the caller and determines if the information provided meets statutory criteria for the Department of Children and Families to conduct an investigation.
The Hotline’s vision is:
"To help protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, abandonment, and exploitation."
In order to achieve this vision, the Hotline focuses on four major tasks every day. Those tasks are referred to as "Triple A, C" and are summarized as "Accessibility, Assessment, Accuracy, and Customer Service."
- Accessibility: We ensure the public and investigative staff can access the Hotline and receive a positive experience.
- Assessment: We determine if calls meet the statutory definition of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and exploitation.
- Accuracy: We provide accurate, complete, and timely reports to the protective investigations staff.
- Customer Service: We deliver extraordinary customer service to the citizens of Florida and protective investigations staff.