April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month! I have attached two FREE handouts for you to contemplate. The information contains statistics about child abuse in Florida. When you think of child abuse, what do you think about?
The time during the month of April is a great time to discuss the implications for policies, programs, and funding for children who are victims of child abuse, neglect, and abandonment?
Are you hiding your eyes from the facts?
How can we prevent abuse from happening? Are the strategies different for each age group?
How can YOU be involved in the effort to prevent abuse?
Note: There are discussion topics to think about, share, and write responses to at the end of each of the pdf documents. Both handouts include information on verified cases only from the year 2012 (the latest year that information was available). The source of the data is indicated on each graph.
I hope you will take a few minutes to review this information and look at the discussion topics. Don’t forget to review our previous posts and the resource section for additional information on this critical topic! Children living now are the future.
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.
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 the 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.