CX Abuse Hotline

Calling into a child abuse hotline can be a step towards safeguarding the well-being of children who may
be in distress or danger, or are suspected to be abused, abandoned, or neglected. In making a call, children
may have a newfound pathway to safety and support. Initiating this call requires courage, often driven by
concern and a sense of responsibility to protect vulnerable individuals. Each conversation holds the
potential to intervene in situations of abuse, providing reassurance and advocacy for children. The
Department of Children and Families reviews reports made and determines whether they are to be
escalated and whether intervention from the state is needed.

As a caller, you can remain anonymous if you choose, protecting both you and the child at risk. Sensitive
information can be discussed with a professional without fear of repercussion. However, sometimes the
information provided to these professionals will inadvertently identify the caller. As the caller, you are
protected by law, and parties cannot ask for your identity through litigation. Florida Statute 39.202 states
that, β€œThe department 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.”

There are instances in which calling the abuse hotline may not be the best option. Calling may
escalate the risk to both the child and the reporter. Uncertainty about the severity of the situation
or fear of making false accusations might occur, and it is best to speak with a professional when
in doubt. There are also other avenues to address outcomes related to children in family law or
dependency court. Exploring alternative reporting options and seeking guidance from trusted
professionals can help ensure that concerns are addressed effectively while prioritizing the safety
and security of everyone involved.