Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Florida

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Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

The following persons are mandated reporters:

  • Physicians, osteopaths, medical examiners, chiropractors, nurses, or hospital personnel 
  • Other health-care or mental health professionals 
  • Practitioners who rely solely on spiritual means for healing 
  • Teachers or other school officials or personnel 
  • Social workers, daycare center workers, or other professional child care, foster care, residential, or institutional workers 
  • Law enforcement officers or judges
  • Animal control officers

Training Requirements for Mandatory Reporters

Training for mandatory reporters is not addressed in the laws, policies, and online resources reviewed.

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

A person from the general public may make a report to the central abuse hotline anonymously if they choose to do so.

Institutional Responsibility to Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

Reports involving known or suspected institutional child abuse or neglect must be made and received in the same manner as all other reports made under this section.

Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

A person is required to report immediately to the central abuse hotline if they know or have reasonable cause to suspect, that any of the following has occurred:

  • Child abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent, caregiver, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare or when 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 such supervision and care
  • Child abuse by an adult other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare
  • That a child is the victim of sexual abuse or juvenile sexual abuse

 Privileged Communications
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.204

Only the attorney-client and clergy-penitent privileges are permitted. 

Inclusion of the Reporter's Name in the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.201

Professionals who are mandated reporters are required to provide their names to hotline staff. 

Disclosure of the Reporter's Identity
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 39.201; 39.202(5)

Central abuse hotline counselors shall advise mandatory reporters who are making a report to the central abuse hotline that, while their names must be entered into the record of the report, the names of reporters are held confidential and exempt as provided in § 39.202.

The Department of Children and Families may not release the name of, or other identifying information with respect to, any person reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to any person other than employees of the department responsible for child protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement, the child protection team, or the appropriate State attorney, without the written consent of the person reporting. This does not prohibit the subpoenaing of a person reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect when deemed necessary by the court, the State attorney, or the department, provided the fact that such person made the report is not disclosed.