The Life Center of Hernando Says Stop Abuse

Stop Abuse

The Florida Abuse Hotline:

(800) 962-2873


Unwanted Newborn?

Unwanted baby

Unwanted Baby

Do you have a newborn and wish you didn’t? Please leave the baby in a safe place.

Florida has a Safe Haven Law (Ann. Statute 383.50)
You can leave your baby, up to 7 days old, with an employee at any hospital, emergency medical services station or with a fire fighter at any fire station in Florida.

This website provides links to the following questions

“How does it work?
What’s the difference between Safe Haven and Adoption?
Can only a parent bring in the baby?
Can you help a parent decide where to bring the baby?
Does a parent have to call before bringing in the baby?
Does a parent have to tell anything to the people taking the baby?
What happens to the baby?
Does my state have a Baby Safe Haven law?
What is a Baby Safe Haven Law?
Why are states offering Safe Haven Laws?
What if I change my mind?
I’m in a custody battle. How do I know my spouse won’t use the Safe Haven law to take away my child?”

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse hurts

Physical Abuse Hurts

Physical abuse to a child is generally defined as “any non-accidental
physical injury to a child” and can include striking, kicking,
burning, biting, or any action that results in physical impairment of the child.


Neglect hurts

Neglect Hurts

Neglect is frequently defined as the failure of a parent or other
person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food,
clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree
that the child’s health, safety, or well-being are threatened
with harm.

Sexual abuse hurts

Sexual Abuse Hurts

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

All States include sexual abuse in their definitions of child abuse.
Sexual exploitation is an element of the definition of sexual abuse.
Sexual exploitation includes allowing the child to engage in
prostitution or in the production of child pornography.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse Hurts

Emotional Abuse Hurts

Emotional abuse can be defined as injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of the child as evidenced by an observable or substantial change
in behavior, emotional response, or cognition and injury as evidenced by anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior.

Parental Substance Abuse

Substance abuse hurts

Substance Abuse Hurts

Circumstances that are considered abuse or neglect in some states include:
• Prenatal exposure of a child to harm due to the mother’s
use of an illegal drug or other substance
• Manufacture of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or on the premises occupied by a child
• Allowing a child to be present where the chemicals or
equipment for the manufacture of controlled substances are
used or stored
• Selling, distributing, or giving drugs or alcohol to a child
• Use of a controlled substance by a caregiver that impairs
the caregiver’s ability to adequately care for the child


Abandonment hurts

Abandonment Hurts

Abandonment of a child happens when the parent’s identity
or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left by the
parent in circumstances in which the child suffers serious harm,
or the parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or to
provide reasonable support for a specified period of time.


Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Report Abuse

Report Abuse

In Florida everyone is a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse or neglect. This means all shelter staff, residents, volunteers, neighbors and teachers must report their concerns.

Remember that abuse includes swatting a child to the extent it leaves marks.

Remember that neglect includes such things as medical neglect, lack of supervision or failure to provide for basic needs such as food and hygiene.

Those who see the child on a regular babies should be concerned if the child does not appear healthy or is underweight, does not have up to date immunizations or the parent fails to make and keep doctor appointments. If 2 or more risk factors are present, call the abuse number.

Report Abuse

Stop Abuse

What to do: If there is an immediate need for medical attention, call 911.

 DCF abuse # is 1800 96ABUSE or repot on line  24/7 .

What’s the Process?

  1. A report is called in anonymously
  2. The person reporting must give contact information & voice concerns
  3. The person talking the call will determine if it is accepted or not. When in doubt, call The investigator will decide if it needs further attention.
  4. If accepted, it will be assigned to an investigator within 24 hours.

The person investigating is called a CPI  or Child Protection Investigator

  1. The CPI will contact the family
  2. The CPI will contact the person who called it in
  3. The CPI will determine its validity
  4. If the child is in danger, he will be removed
  5. The case will go to “staffing” to determine what services can be offered.

Services could include mental health support group, parenting classes, substance abuse counseling

Protect Children

Protect Children

> The case can next be presented to legal authorities

> DCF is looking for the same concerns over a  period of time with no progress. Repeated behavior documented by repeated reports is cause for concern

> If the risk factors are high enough and the child is in immediate danger, the child will be removed

> The legal department will determine if there is enough repetitive behavior to proceed legally

> DCF will look into future care of the child.

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The life Center of Hernando, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization registered under s.496.411(3), F.S. A copy of the official registration may be obtained from the division of consumer affairs by calling 1-800-435-7352 Toll-Free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. The Life Center’s registration number in Florida is CH 22951.