To Report Abuse Call
1.800.96.ABUSE (22873)

Identify & Report Abuse

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If you witness or suspect abuse, please contact the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-Abuse (1-800-962-2873)
The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, of known or suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment.

There are four ways to make a report:

Telephone 1-800-96-Abuse (1-800-962-2873)
Web reporting
Fax 1-800-914-0004
TDD 1-800-453-5145
If you suspect a minor is in immediate danger, contact 911

What is mandated reporting?

Effective October 2012, Section 39.201, Florida Statutes, requires any person who knows or reasonably suspects that a child has been abused, abandoned or neglected to report such knowledge or suspicion to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). This obligation now applies whether the alleged perpetrator is a parent, guardian, person responsible for the child’s welfare, or other adult.

Who qualifies as a mandated reporter?

Everyone is mandated to report suspicions of abuse, abandonment or neglect upon a minor. Reporters are generally not required to provide their name unless they are in certain occupations set forth in Section 39.201, Florida Statutes, which includes physicians, teachers, social workers and mental health professionals. However, the names of the reporters cannot be released to parties outside of DCF’s child protection team, hotline, law enforcement or the state attorney’s office without the reporter’s written consent.

What offenses or activities trigger the mandatory reporting obligation?

As a mandated reporter, you are required to report all allegations of child abuse, abandonment or neglect, not just allegations of sexual abuse.

What information do I need to report?

In making a report to DCF, it is important to have the following information:

What happens after I make the call?

If the report is accepted, the Hotline counselor sends a typed report of the allegations to the local investigation county office where the victim is located. After the report is sent to the local office, the report is assigned to a Child Protective Investigator (CPI) who is then responsible for conducting an investigation on the allegations called in.

How soon does DCF respond to the home?

If accepted, all child abuse reports are submitted to the Department of Children and Families within one hour after you make the call. The Child Protection Investigator (CPI) has up to 24 hours to initiate an investigation.

What are the penalties for failure to report?

Knowingly and willfully failing to report instances of child abuse and neglect is punishable as a third-degree felony eligible for a prison term of up to five years and a fine of $5,000.

What about reports of child sexual abuse that occurred out of state?

By statute, DCF will not accept reports of sexual abuse or neglect that occurred out of state, or in which the victim and/or perpetrator reside out of state. However, by statute, DCF is obligated to transfer such a report to the appropriate state.

Click here for upcoming Mandatory Reporter Trainings.

Every child deserves a safe haven. Join us in the fight against child abuse and the care of its innocent victims.