Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Children and Families

Florida Abuse Hotline

For assistance, call 850-487-1111 or visit

What is the purpose of the program?

The Florida Abuse Hotline is the centralized operation responsible for receiving, analyzing, and assigning reports of alleged of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and special conditions for all children and vulnerable adults in Florida. The hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline also conducts criminal background checks on participants of reports, potential caregivers for children in out-of-home care, and for reunification purposes.

How is abuse reported?

The Florida Abuse Hotline receives calls, faxes, and web-based reports from citizens and professionals with concerns of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children or vulnerable adults. Individuals can contact the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE or 1-800-962-2873; fax a report to 1-800-914-0004; or report online. A hotline counselor assesses the information provided by the caller and determines if the information provided meets statutory criteria for the department to conduct an investigation by a child protective investigator or adult protective investigator in the appropriate county office.

Who does the program serve?

The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts, screens, and refers reports of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation for two vulnerable groups.
  • Adults. Adults with disabilities and elders receive services through the Adult Protective Services Program. Clients include adults with physical and mental incapacities who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • Children. Children who are abused and neglected receive services through the department's Office of Child and Family Well-Being. Clients include children who are alleged to have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, or who are in a situation of threatened harm due to acts or omissions of the parent, adult household member, or other household member responsible for the child's welfare.

How many calls does the program receive?

In Fiscal Year 2021-22, the Florida Abuse Hotline received 477,254 contacts.

Contact Source    Number of Contacts
Calls 292,248
Online 185,006
Total 477,245 
Alleged Victim Type  Number of Contacts
Child 329,323
Adult 106,908
Total 436,231

Source: Department of Children and Families.

The hotline also received 34,138 requests for referral information on services from the public and completed 570,017 criminal background checks on individuals who were subject of reports and/or relative/non-relative placements.

How many calls were abandoned?

The Florida Abuse Hotline's abandoned call rate for Fiscal Year 2021-22 was 34%, which did not meet the legislative standard of 3%.

How are these activities funded?

The Florida Abuse Hotline is funded as part of the Family Safety Program budget entity.
Fiscal Year: 2023-24
Fund Dollars Positions


The following new initiatives are under development for incorporation into the operational environment of the Florida Abuse Hotline.

  • Incorporate a revised Hotline Supervisor quality review process where more focus will be on addressing specific identified trends to be improved.
  • Incorporate modified qualifications for the hotline Counselor advertised positions to expand the qualified applicant pool.  

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2023, Report 23-08, June 2023
Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2022, Report 22-05, July 2022
Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2021, Report 21-06, July 2021
Annual Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Florida, 2020, Report 20-05, July 2020

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are located on its website

Websites of Interest
Reporting Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation to the Florida Abuse Hotline
Child Welfare Information Gateway, Identification of Child Abuse and Neglect

Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.
Planning and Performance Measures
report the department's performance on external and internal measures for its various programs. The measures allow the user to view performance at both a statewide and geographic region level.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 39 Part II and s. 415.103, Florida Statutes

Whom do I contact for help?

Department of Children and Families, 850-487-1111 or 1-800-96-ABUSE