Did you know?

  • 46% of child fatalities due to child maltreatment occur before the first birthday.
  • Children under the age of two are the most frequent subjects of physical abuse and neglect.
  • Nearly five children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect.
  • Children who have been abused are:
    • 42% more likely to become suicidal
    • 192% more likely to develop drug addictions
    • 103% more likely to become alcoholics
  • 1 in 4 girls & 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday – and only 1 in 10 will tell.
  • Children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more susceptible to abuse than children without disabilities.
  • The annual cost of child abuse in Florida is $10 billion dollars.


CAN pix_639x341 How is abuse defined? Florida Statute defines abuse as: Any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

How is neglect defined? Florida Statute defines neglect when: A child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or a child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired. For healthy child development, children need a safe and stable home, and nurturing and healthy relationships. Recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect may protect a child from future maltreatments and may help a family obtain the supports they need for their family. 

To report abuse, call 1.800.962.2873 or click on the link to the right.

What are the effects of abuse and neglect to a child? Factors such as the type of abuse, frequency, duration and severity of the abuse, the relationship between the child and the perpetrator, and the child’s resiliency all play a part in how an abused child is affected. There are, however, some effects that can be long lasting into adulthood. These include:

  • Psychological consequences such as fear, isolation, trust and relationship issues; low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
  • Behavioral consequences: Youth who have been abused or neglected are at higher risk of delinquency, truancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and pregnancy. Youth are also more likely to engage in sexual risk taking activities, which increase their chances of contracting HIV or sexually transmitted diseases. Abused children are nine times more likely to become involved in criminal activities. Children who have been abused often grow up to be parents that abuse.
  • Handout for Signs of Child Abuse & Neglect For more detailed information, click on any of the training links to participate in an online training.

Additional websites and resources:

Child Abuse Prevention Resources – 2021  Risk Factors vs Protective Factors  Child Abuse and Neglect – Recognizing Signs and Symptoms

Child Welfare Information Gateway – www.childwelfare.gov

Childhelp USA – www.childhelp-usa.com

Florida Department of Children and Families – www.myflfamilies.com

National Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children – www.missingkids.com

National Parent Helpline – www.nationalparenthelpline.org

Prevent Child Abuse America – www.preventchildabuse.org

The Center for Child Welfare – http://centerforchildwelfare.fmhi.usf.edu/

United Way 211 – www.hfuw.org/  

Interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting a child?

Explore Adoption – www.adoptflorida.org  Embrace Families – www.EmbraceFamilies.org

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“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt