Child Welfare System Policy Coordination

The role of the Child Welfare System Advocate is a position under the umbrella of the Florida Department of Health and funded by Manatee & Sarasota County Governments. The position is unique in that it is the only one that exists in the State. The purpose is to assist the local Family Safety Alliance, as outline in FL Statute 20.19, in its mission to serve as a collaborative, prevention-focused, and transparent partner that provides community oversight, education, and advocacy in the achievement of systemic improvements in community-based child welfare services.


Know or Suspect a Child is being Abused, Abandoned and/or Neglected?

The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. To make a report you can:

Report Online
• call 1-800-96-ABUSE (22873)
• Florida Relay 711 or TTY 800-955-8771
• fax your report to 800-914-0004

If you suspect or know of a child or vulnerable adult in immediate danger, call 911.



Legislation, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, requires any individual who suspects that a child has been abused by any person to report that to the Florida Abuse Hotline. Any allegations a child was abused or neglected by a caregiver will be investigated by the Department of Children and Families, while allegations of child abuse by someone other than a caregiver will be accepted at the Hotline and immediately electronically transferred to the appropriate local law enforcement agency where the child lives.

Penalties for those who suspect a child is being abused but fail to report it have been increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. Financial penalties also have increased.

Need Assistance?

If you are aware of a family or individual in need of services dial 2-1-1 or 941-308-4357. This is the intake and referral service for related needs.

 211 signature logo Update

   2-1-1 Suncoast Cares



Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer