Protecting, Leading, Uniting Since 1893 Thank you for joining us! Please mute your phones during the presentation. Please do not put the conference call on hold. This presentation will be posted to the FSA, the DCF Abuse Hotline, and CJNet.
Protecting, Leading, Uniting Since 1893 Sarrah Carroll is the Assistant Executive Director of Operations for the FSA. She will provide an overview of the new law. Kim Barrett is the Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline Director, and will discuss how DCF will handle the new abuse calls. Major Connie Shingledecker of the Manatee County Sheriffs Office will provide input on how this new law will impact law enforcement. Chief Gary Hester is on the line in case there are any specific questions related to police departments. FDLE is also available for technical assistance. Chief Gary Hester is on the line in case there are any specific questions related to police departments. FDLE is also available for technical assistance.
Requires any person to report known or suspected abuse to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) , Florida Statutes Mandatory reports of child abuse (b) Any person who knows, or who has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused by an adult other than 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 in the manner prescribed in subsection (2). (c) Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is the victim of childhood sexual abuse or the victim of a known or suspected juvenile sexual offender, as defined in this chapter, shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the department in the manner prescribed in subsection (2).
The report of known or suspected abuse shall be made immediately to the Abuse Hotline Via telephone, fax, web-based chat, or web-based report Any person who fails to do so or prevents another from Reporting, commits a felony of the third degree Additional monetary penalties for educational institutions
Requires the DCF Abuse Hotline to accept calls for Non-caregiver abuse. DCF will NOT investigate non-caregiver abuse allegations, but will send the information to the local Sheriff’s Office. DCF will continue to investigate abuse allegations against caregivers only
DCF always investigated allegations of mental injury, but it’s now defined in statute: , Florida Statutes defines “mental injury” (a) Aggravated child abuse – same definition (b) Child abuse – same definition (c) “Maliciously” – same definition (d) "Mental injury" means injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function within the normal range of performance and behavior as supported by expert testimony.
New Law: Effective Date: October 1, 2012 Technical Memorandum forthcoming from FDLE Computer based training for law enforcement Suspected abuse call comes in to DCF Abuse Hotline DCF determines the perpetrator is not a caregiver Call is transferred to the local Sheriff’s Office Law requires abuse calls to be transferred to a Sheriff’s Office
Nothing except for the new requirement to report known or suspected abuse EVEN IF the local law enforcement agency is investigating the allegations for criminal activity The Workgroup recommends that Sheriffs have Memorandums of Understanding with Police Departments
Sheriff’s Office with Department of Children and Families Confidentiality of reporter Circular reporting Sheriff’s Office with Police Departments Establish telephone number and mnemonic Circular reporting Clarify how the case is being investigated Whether it’s in the appropriate jurisdiction Confidentiality of the reporter
Applies to abuse calls called into the Hotline by law enforcement Statute requires DCF to send the abuse call to the Sheriff’s Office. A MOU can address circular reporting for calls that originate from a Sheriff’s Office. However, calls that come from Police Departments to the Abuse Hotline must be sent to the Sheriff’s Office to meet statutory obligations. One of the advantages of having a MOU between the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office is that procedures could be outlined to prevent the call from being transferred back to the police department. For Police Departments: If the Hotline received the information from a Police Department, the Hotline will clearly note the law enforcement officer’s name, place of work, phone number(s), badge number, and case number in the FAM. This information will be sent to the Sheriff’s Office where the incident occurred.
Abuse allegation reported to the DCF Abuse Hotline by a Police Officer at a Police Department I.e. NOT a Sheriff’s Office DCF takes call Abuse Hotline Counselor includes Police Department identifying information that the call came from law enforcement Hotline sends info to the Sheriff Sheriff’s Office Communication Center identifies that the original report came from a local police department Stops circular reporting if procedures are in place Statutory Obligations Met 1.Telephone number and mnemonic 2.Circular Reporting 3. Confidentiality
Department of Children and Families
The Hotline Counselor will transfer the caller to the Local Sheriff's Office, only if the call is in Progress, before releasing the call they must announce themselves and the reason for the transfer. The standard language used will be: This is from the Florida Abuse Hotline, and I have a reporter on the line with allegations of Non Caregiver Child Abuse/Child on Child Sexual abuse that occurred within county and is currently in progress. If you are ready, I will transfer the reporter to you now. Reminder: Any call received at the Hotline deemed an emergency situation will either be transferred immediately to the Local Sheriff’s Office, or the Caller will be instructed to hang up and dial “911”.
A FAM message from the Florida Abuse Hotline will have the Subject line of Florida Child Abuse Hotline Notification. All FAM messages will follow the same standard format. This webinar will briefly cover the format. There is a tutorial that can be viewed at the Florida Abuse Hotline’s Website Homepage, for Sheriff’s and Sheriff Deputies for further understanding on a Florida Child Abuse Hotline Notification FAM.
The Sheriff Tutorial can be located on the Florida Abuse Hotline home page. Homepage: docs/1355_Sheriff_Tutorial.ppt You will see a link for “Training” on the left hand menu bar. Click on this link. There will be a link to the training on this page. The tutorial was developed in Microsoft Power Point. The presentation includes audio as well, so make sure your sound is on.
Header Incident Location Participant Information Reporter Information Allegation Narrative Reporter Narrative Reference Number
Discuss the updates to Chapter 39 as a result of House Bill 1355 specifically related to the new reporting requirement Commonly used terminology and definitions from the Florida Abuse Hotline Commonly used acronyms by the Florida Abuse Hotline In depth view of the FAM message and its components Walk through of the Florida Abuse Hotline Non Caregiver Child Abuse process
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Should a sheriff’s office choose to utilize the FAM system as a “Return Receipt” mechanism to document their acknowledgement and receipt of the child abuse FAM from DCF, they can reply back to DCF. That reply will document the date, time and mnemonic of the sender. FDLE can retrieve this information, should the need arise, however this should be done on a high priority need only, due to the workload it could cause FDLE.
FSS (5) “The name of any person reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect may not be released…This does not prohibit the subpoenaing of a person reporting child abuse…provided the fact that such person made the report is not disclosed.” The reporter of known or suspected Child Abuse to the Hotline is confidential and cannot be disclosed. When receiving a case of child abuse in a FAM, list DCF Hotline as the reporter in the dispatch screen The person they list as reporter should be listed as an “other” in the dispatch screen and in any LEO reports. FSS (6) makes it a misdemeanor violation to knowingly and willfully make public or disclose any confidential information received from the D CF Hotline.
Anyone 18 years or older who batters (causes an injury through an intentional act) a juvenile. Example 1 A 19 year old neighbor gets into a fight with a 16 year old and intentionally punches the 16 year old and causes a bloody nose. Law enforcement would normally handle this as a simple battery; it will now need to be called in to the Hotline as a non- caregiver abuse.
Anyone 18 years or older who batters (causes an injury through an intentional act) a juvenile. Example 2 An 18 year old student gets in a fight on school grounds with a 17 year old student and punches the 17 year old causing a swollen eye and bloody lip. This will need to be called in to the Hotline as non-caregiver abuse occurring on school grounds.
Example 1 A 14 year old has consensual sexual activity with a 18 year old that lives in the neighborhood. This would normally be handled by law enforcement as an Lewd and Lascivious; will also need to be called in to the Hotline as non-caregiver sexual abuse.
Example 2 A 16 year old is forcefully sexually battered by an adult male unknown to her as she is walking through the park on her way home from school. This would normally be handled by law enforcement as a sexual battery by a stranger; will also need to be called in to the Hotline as non-caregiver sexual abuse.
Example 3 A 17 year old college student is sexually battered by an adult student on school grounds during a party at a Fraternity House. She tells the Dorm Advisor but does not want it reported. This would have to be called into the Hotline. If the College Campus Law Enforcement Officer/Agency is aware of this case, it will need to be called in to the Hotline as non- caregiver sexual abuse.
Protecting, Leading, Uniting Since 1893 Sarrah Carroll, FSA Asst. Executive Director of Operations, (850) 877 Kim Barrett, DCF Abuse Hotline Director, (850) Major Connie Shingledecker, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, (941) (ext. 2241)