Establishment and Maintenance of Central Registries for Child Abuse or Neglect Reports - Florida

Date: May 2018


Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

The Department of Children and Family Services shall establish and maintain a central abuse hotline to receive all reports made pursuant to this section in writing, via fax, via web-based reporting, via web-based chat, or through a single statewide toll-free telephone number, which any person may use to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect at any hour of the day or night, any day of the week.


Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

The central abuse hotline shall be operated in such a manner as to enable the department to:

  • Immediately identify and locate prior reports or cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect through utilization of the department's automated tracking system
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the department's program for reporting and investigating suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect of children through the development and analysis of statistical as well as other information
  • Track critical steps in the investigative process to ensure compliance with all requirements for any report of abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • Maintain and produce aggregate statistical reports monitoring patterns of child abuse, child abandonment, and child neglect
  • Serve as a resource for the evaluation, management, and planning of preventive and remedial services for children who have been subject to abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • Initiate and enter into agreements with other States for the purpose of gathering and sharing information contained in reports on child maltreatment to further enhance programs for the protection of children

Information in the central abuse hotline may not be used for employment screening, except that information may be used by the department, its authorized agents or contract providers, the Department of Health, or county agencies as part of the licensure or registration process. The information in the central abuse hotline also may be used by the Department of Education for purposes of educator certification, discipline, and review.


Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

The department shall voice-record all incoming or outgoing calls that are received or placed by the central abuse hotline that relate to suspected or known child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The department shall maintain an electronic copy of each fax and web-based report. The recording or electronic copy of each fax and web-based report shall become a part of the record of the report.


Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.202

The department shall make and keep reports and records of all cases under this chapter and shall preserve the records pertaining to a child and family until the child who is the subject of the record is age 30, and the department may then destroy the records.