A new and improved online abuse reporting tool for the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Florida Abuse Hotline is now available. This new reporting tool is available to professionally-mandated reporters, as well as the general public, as an additional avenue to report suspected cases of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of children or vulnerable adults. The new online reporting tool is in addition to the existing toll free line at
1-800-96-ABUSE, TTY 1-800-955-8771, and fax at 1-800-914-0004.
Features of the new online form:
- Does not require a login and password
- Allows attachment of important documents
- Personal information of the individual reporting abuse will always remain confidential, and individuals can remain confidential.
The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. To make a report you can –
- report online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/
- call 1-800-962-2873
- Florida Relay 711 or TTY 800-955-8771
- fax your report to 800-914-0004
If you suspect or know of a child or vulnerable adult in immediate danger, call 911.
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.
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.
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.
Protect the Vulnerable, Promote Strong and Economically Self-Sufficient Families, and Advance Personal and Family Recovery and Resiliency.
FLORIDA ABUSE HOTLINE
Mission: To provide quality customer service while assessing abuse and neglect, to ensure protection of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens.
Vision: 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:
- Accessibility: Ensure the public and investigative staff can access the Hotline and receive a positive experience.
- Assessment: Determine if calls meet the statutory definition of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and exploitation.
- Accuracy: Provide accurate, complete, and timely reports to protective investigations staff.
- Customer Service: Deliver extraordinary customer service to the citizens of Florida and protective investigations staff.