65C-29.002. Reports of Child Abuse, Neglect or Abandonment  

Effective on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
  • 1(1) The Department shall maintain an automated master file for all calls received by the Florida Abuse Hotline for screening. This file shall contain information on all calls received concerning a child and be maintained in the Department’s automated system of record.

    43(2) The telephone number from which a call to the Florida Abuse Hotline is placed (Caller ID) 60shall only be used for subsequent contact 67in the following circumstances:

    71(a) If the telephone number provided by Caller ID is the same as provided by the reporter.

    88(b) If the caller is a child who is self-reporting abuse, neglect or abandonment and the child’s immediate location is 108unclear or 110not known, the Department employee or agent shall attempt to verify the location.

    123(c) If all means to locate any child victim and attempts to contact the reporter at the telephone number provided by the reporter are unsuccessful. The purpose of this is to obtain additional information that would allow the child and/or family to be located and seen.

    169(3) In instances where the alleged perpetrator’s exact relationship to the child 181is unknown or unclear, 185a report shall be accepted 190and an investigation commenced until such time that the alleged perpetrator’s role as a caregiver can be determined208.

    209(4) When a report is being accepted, the Florida Abuse Hotline counselor shall ask all reporters to provide the following information:

    230(a) Information regarding subjects of the report including name, race, gender, date of birth, social security number, ethnicity, school, employment, address, phone number and/or other acceptable means to locate the victim if the address is not known;

    267(b) The relationship between the victim and the alleged perpetrator;

    277(c) Names and contact information for any person who can provide assistance to the child or additional information about the family’s circumstances;

    299(d) The type of maltreatment alleged and the nature and extent of harm suffered by the victim, including when the incident occurred or whether it is a chronic, ongoing situation;

    329(e) Any known history of abuse, neglect or abandonment of persons named in the report;

    344(f) Whether the alleged perpetrator continues to have access to the victim 356and the possibility of continued maltreatment;

    362(g) Current condition of the child;

    368(h) Other children in the environment; and

    375(i) The name and occupation of the reporter, relationship between the child and the reporter, contact information for the reporter, and any other information the reporter believes will be of assistance.

    406(5) The Florida Abuse Hotline shall process and document all allegations reported.

    418(a) The Florida Abuse Hotline counselor shall search for prior reports to determine if the current allegations have been reported in the past.

    441(b) The Florida Abuse Hotline counselor shall determine if the caller is reporting the exact same incident as that contained in a prior closed report. If the current allegations do not offer new information, additional subjects, new evidence, or additional allegations or incidents, a new report shall not be generated.

    491(c) The Florida Abuse Hotline counselor shall search the statewide automated child welfare information system to determine if the victim, alleged perpetrator, or other subjects of the report have any active, open investigations or history of prior reports or service provision. The Florida Abuse Hotline counselor shall provide this information to child protective investigation staff at the time of report notification.

    552(6) 553Depending upon the timing and type of information received, reports 563shall be entered into the statewide automated child welfare information system as “Initial” investigations, “Additional” investigations, or “Supplemental” reports.

    582(a) Initial Investigations: Initial investigations are reports containing allegations of maltreatment that do not concern an active, open investigation.

    601(b) 602Additional Investigations: Additional investigations are reports containing new information about one or more subjects of an 618active, open investigation621.

    6221. An additional 625investigation 626includes any of the following:

    631a. A new alleged perpetrator in the same household;

    640b. A new victim;

    644c. A new subject in the same household;

    652d. A new maltreatment;

    656e. A new incident of the same maltreatment; or

    665f. New information that requires an immediate response.

    6732. If any of the following apply, a new 682investigation identified by a different 687report number shall be 691create692d:

    693a. Information involves a different household from the existing report.

    703b. A child dies due to maltreatment during an active investigation and the 716suspected cause of death is not related to the initial allegations under investigation. When new incidents of maltreatment are believed to be the cause of the child’s death, the child protective investigator shall immediately report the child’s death to the Florida Abuse Hotline and a new report shall be generated.

    766c. An institutional investigation can only be sequenced (i.e., added as an “Additional”) to another institutional investigation.

    783d. Special Conditions Reports which do not contain maltreatment allegations cannot be sequenced to any investigations.

    799(c) Supplemental Reports: Supplemental reports provide clarifying but non-essential information to active investigations. Child-on-child sexual abuse reports shall only be sequenced as supplemental reports when the inappropriate sexual behavior or juvenile sexual abuse involves the same victim, alleged abuser, and behaviors.

    840(d) 841Except for specific circumstances surrounding child deaths, additional 849allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment discovered by the investigator during the course of an investigation do not need to be called to the Florida Abuse Hotline as an additional report. 880The investigator shall add these new maltreatments directly to the investigation.

    891(e) The following do not constitute reports of abuse, neglect or abandonment but callers shall be given appropriate community referral information if available:

    9141. Complaints of withholding or misuse of child support which do not allege child abuse, neglect or abandonment;

    9322. Disputes concerning custody of a child in which there is no reasonable cause to suspect abuse, neglect or abandonment;

    9523. Complaints concerning infants or children in automobiles who are not in legally required child restraint devices;

    9694. Requests for service that may require action, such as:

    979a. Transportation needs;

    982b. Need for food assistance;

    987c. Need for housing;

    991d. Day care needs;

    995e. Need for employment or public assistance;

    1002f. Need for job training or education;

    1009g. Need for help with utilities or rent;

    1017h. Need for homemaker or housekeeper services; or

    1025i. Adult family members in need of services.

    10335. Complaints concerning children running away from parents or legal custodians; persistently disobeying reasonable and lawful demands of parents or legal custodians; and being out of control;

    10606. Complaints concerning licensing violations, such as overcrowding, poor sanitation, inadequate staffing ratios, and lack of a fire sprinkler system;

    10807. Requests from a hospital to have a home “checked” before a child is released;

    10958. Requests from a hospital for the Department to grant permission to treat a child due to the hospital’s inability to contact the child’s parent, custodian or legal guardian;

    11249. Complaints concerning head lice;

    112910. Complaints that a child is not attending school. These complaints shall be directed to the local school district;

    114811. Calls from case managers regarding the placement disruption of a child in out-of-home care, whether the child is in a licensed or non-licensed placement. However, if the placement disruption is as a result of an incident of child abuse, neglect or abandonment by the placement caregiver, a report of child maltreatment shall be accepted by the Florida Abuse Hotline;

    120812. Calls from case managers regarding a family’s failure to comply with the conditions of the voluntary or court-ordered case plan, unless such failure has resulted in a new incident of abuse or neglect. This includes calls involving post-placement supervision case management issues;

    125113. Calls concerning a married minors;

    125714. Calls concerning emancipated minors living on their own.

    1266Rulemaking 1267Authority 126839.012, 126939.0121 FS. 1271Law Implemented 127339.201 FS. 1275History–New 5-4-06, Amended 12-31-14.


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