People who work with children, parents, and the general public may at some point in their lives and careers have to report child abuse. It is important that you be able to recognize the symptoms of abuse and be able to contact the appropriate authorities. By reporting abuse, you may save a child’s life or prevent serious injury. This 4-page fact sheet discusses child abuse laws and procedures for reporting abuse. It also contains information about different types of abuse and how to identify abused or neglected children. Characteristics listed here are general and intended as guidelines. A child or family may exhibit many warning signs of abuse, though no abuse has occurred or ever will occur. Written by Andrew E. Toelle and Kate Fogarty and published by the UF Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences, January 2013.
Business Wire (2012, April 27). Governor Scott Signs into Law Nation's Toughest Abuse Reporting Bill. Retrieved May 24, 2012 from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120427006023/en/Gov.-Scott-Signs-LawNation%E2%80%99s-Toughest-Abuse.
Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. L. (2003). Past, present and future perspectives. In R. P. Weissberg, H. J. Walberg, M. U. O'Brien, & C. B. Kuster (Eds.), Long-term trends in the well-being of children and youth. Washington, DC: CWLA Press.
Either, S. E., Couture, G., & Lacharté, C. (2004). Risk factors associated with the chronicity of high potential for child abuse and neglect. Journal of Family Violence 19(1), 13-24. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOFV.0000011579.18333.c9
Florida Department of Children and Families (2011). DCF QuickFacts. Retrieved May 24, 2012 from Florida Department of Children and Families website at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/newsroom/docs/quickfacts.pdf.
Florida Department of Children and Families (2010). FFY 2009-2010 Annual Progress and Services Report. Retrieved May 24, 2012 from Florida Department of Children and Families website at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/admin/publications/docs/FFY09-10APSR.pdf.
Mandatory Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect, FL Code §§ 39.201-39.202.
The Reubin O'D. Askew Institute (March, 2006). Child welfare issues in Florida and the nation. A University of Florida Report. Gainesville, Florida.
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (2011). Child Maltreatment, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm11.pdf.
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