Florida Child Abuse Reporting Statute

Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, or that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the Depaartment of Children and Families.  Reports are made by calling the Department of Children and Families Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.


Reporters in the following occupation categories are required to provide their names to the hotline staff:

1. Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractic physician, nurse, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;
2. Health or mental health professional other than one listed in subparagraph 1.;
3. Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing;
4. School teacher or other school official or personnel;
5. Social worker, day care center worker, or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional worker;
6. Law enforcement officer; or
7. Judge.
It is important to note that one need not be certain that abuse or neglect is occuring but need only suspect that is the case.  The ultimate determination as to whether or not maltreatment is occuring may depend on a full investigation by a team of qualified professionals.  Do not hesitate to report just because you are not sure.  Those who report in good faith have statutory immunity from liability for such reports.