If you suspect or have concerns that a child is being abused and/or neglected, you should report it immediately!
Florida law requires that ANY person in Florida who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver or other person responsible for the child's welfare MUST immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline of the Department of Children and Families. The penalty for failing to report is a felony of the third degree. There are also financial penalties for failing to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect.
If you know or suspect that a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected, or is at risk of being abused or neglected, you are required to report that to the Florida Abuse Hotline.
Remember, it is not your job to know whether abuse has occurred or not, IT IS YOUR JOB report your concerns!!
How to Make A Report:
- Telephone: 1-(800) 96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). This toll free number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with counselors waiting to help you.
- TDD: 1-(800) 453-5145
- Fax: 1-(800) 914-0004
- Online: https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/.
For further information about the Florida Abuse Hotline and how to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect in Florida, please click here.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Florida Abuse Hotline and about the requirements for reporting, please click here.
Have Some Basic Information Available:
When contacting the Florida Abuse Hotline, please have as much of the information listed below available before you call.
If you are unable to obtain some of the information below, you may still call the Hotline and a counselor will assess the information available to see if it meets statutory criteria for the Department of Children and Families to initiate a protective investigation.
Be prepared to provide the following information:
- Reporter name (professionally mandated reporters are required to provide their name. All other reporters may choose to remain anonymous).
- Victim name, possible responsible person or alleged perpetrator name(s).
- Complete addresses for subjects, including a numbered street address, apartment or lot number, city, state, and zip code and/or directions to their location.
- Telephone numbers, including area code.
- Estimated or actual dates of birth.
- Social Security numbers, if available.
- A brief, yet concise, description of the abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation, including physical, mental or sexual injuries, if any.
- Names of other residents and their relationship to the victim(s), if available.
- A brief description of the victim's disability or infirmity (required for vulnerable adults).
- The relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the victim.