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Florida’s New Mandatory Reporting Law
During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida legislature passed HB 1355/SB 1816 which had a significant impact on the Chapter 39 of Florida Statutes, the law relating to mandatory reports of child abuse. These changes to the mandatory reporting law will be effective July 1, 2012.
Here are some points to remember about the new law:
- Reports of child abuse should be made to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Abuse reports can be made through the DCF statewide hotline (call 1-800-96-ABUSE) or through the DCF website.
- Everyone in Florida is a mandated reporter but some people are professionally mandated reporters. For example, social workers, medical and mental health professionals, teachers and other school officials must give their names and occupation or place of business when calling.
- Child abuse by parents, caregivers, any other adults and juvenile sex offenders should be reported to DCF’s statewide hotline.
- Failure to report child abuse to DCF will be now a third degree felony (previously this was a first degree misdemeanor).
- College and university law enforcement and administrators will now have a requirement to report known or suspected child abuse occurring on campuses or at events sponsored by their institution. Failure to report may subject the institution to a fine.
On June 7th, FCASV held a webinar to help prepare advocates and allied professionals for the new mandatory reporting provisions. The PowerPoint for that webinar can be found on FCASV’s website.
For questions about the new mandatory reporting law, please contact Ebony Tucker.