Amigos For Kids®, Inc.

Did You Know?

For 2014, a nationally estimated 1,580 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.13 per 100,000 children in the national population.

Over 3.6 million cases of abuse or neglect were reported according to most recent annual data.

  • Over 4 children die every day as a result of abuse or neglect.
  • 70.7% or more were under the age of 3.
  • Four-fifths of fatalities involved at least one parent.

Forms of maltreatment:

  • 75% suffered neglect.
  • 17% suffered physical abuse.
  • 8.3% suffered sexual abuse.
  • 6% suffered physical maltreatment.
  • 2.2% suffered medical neglect.

Most children were abused by a parent or caregiver.

  • 40.7% = Mother
  • 20.5% = Father
  • 21.3 % = Mother/Father
  • 12.6 % = other relative

References: US Department of Health & Human Services Administration of Children and Families. Administration of Children, Youth and Families; Children’s Bureau.

Victims in their first year of life had the highest rate of victimization at 24.4 per 1,000 children of the same age in the national population. The rate of victimization for all victims increased from 9.2 per 1,000 in 2010 to 9.4 per 1,000 in 2014. However, the data reveals that the increase is largely driven by victims under a year old.

The majority of victims were comprised of three races or ethnicities—White (44.0%), Hispanic (21.8%), and African-American (21.0%).

Children died from abuse or neglect:

    • The national rate of child fatalities was 2.20 deaths per 100,000 children.
    • Nearly three-quarters (70.3%) of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years old.
    • Four-fifths (80.0%) of child fatalities were caused by one or both parents.

References: US Department of Health & Human Services Administration of Children and Families. Administration of Children, Youth and Families; Children’s Bureau.

Introduction

Despite the efforts of the child protection system, child fatalities remain a serious problem. Although the untimely deaths of children due to illness and accidents have been closely monitored, deaths that result from physical assault or severe neglect can be more difficult to track. Intervention strategies targeted at resolving this problem face complex challenges.

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

Who Must Report

  • Any person
  • Physicians, osteopathic physicians, medical examiners, chiropractic physicians, nurses or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons
  • Health or mental health professional other than one listed above
  • Practitioners who rely solely on spiritual means for healing
  • School teachers or other school officials or personnel
  • Social workers, day care center workers or other professional child care, foster care, residential or institutional workers
  • Law enforcement officers or judges

Mandatory Reporting of Suspecting Abuse

FS39.201 Mandatory reports of child abuse, abandonment, neglect; mandatory reports of death; central abuse hotline. (1)(a) Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, as defined in this chapter, shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department.

Exceptions

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 39.01(2), (30)(f), (45) (West, Westlaw through End of 2003 Reg. Sess.)

Corporal discipline of a child by a parent, legal custodian or caregiver for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

A parent or legal custodian who, by reason of legitimate practice of religious beliefs, doesn’t provide specified medical treatment for a child may not be considered abusive or neglectful for that reason alone, but such exception does not:

  • Eliminate the requirement that such a case be reported to the department
  • Prevent the department from investigating such a case
  • Preclude a court from ordering, when the health of the child requires it, the provision of medical services by a physician or treatment by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious organization. The foregoing circumstances of deprivation or environment shall not be considered neglect if caused primarily by financial inability unless actual services for relief have been offered to and rejected by such person

Failure To Report

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 39.205(1)-(2) (West, WESTLAW through 2003 Reg. Sess.)

A person who is required by law to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect and who knowingly and willfully fails to do so, or who knowingly and willfully prevents another person from doing so is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided by law. A judge subject to discipline as provided by the Florida Constitution shall not be subject to criminal prosecution when the information was received in the course of official duties.