The Florida Abuse Hotline receives and screens reports of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of either children or vulnerable adults. This system provides a valuable way to protect Florida’s aging population while keeping track of the reports in a centralized location.
How are calls processed?
When you call the Hotline, a counselor will screen your call using categorization guidelines. If the counselor believes there is a reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect is present, they will designate your report as either involving a secondary party like a family member or caregiver or one of the following:
– A complaint involving a facility licensed by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Agency for Health Care Administration
– A request for information, provisions, or services
– A call about operational concerns or administrative matters
Once your call has been categorized, it will be forwarded to the appropriate department. There will also be a response priority given to the report based on the severity or urgency of the situation.
What constitutes abuse or neglect?
Florida’s Adult Protective Services provides extensive definitions and terms for the classification of neglect, abuse, and exploitation. It is always better safe than sorry when there is even the possibility that a vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected. The Florida Abuse Hotline does provide some qualifying criteria as a starting point for how they determine if a report is reasonable and warrants further investigation. When you call the Hotline, the counselor will evaluate the information you provide based on what has occurred and who the perpetrator of the action was.
What information does the Hotline counselor need?
If you plan on calling the Hotline to report your suspicion of elder abuse or neglect, be prepared to provide the counselor with certain information so that the report can be processed and moved forward to an investigator. Details about the incident or living conditions of the older adult will be required to substantiate your claim; specifically, you should provide as much of the following information as possible:
– Identifying information about the people involved
– Description of the condition of the victim
– The nature and extent of harm
In addition to this, the counselor will need contact or location information for the elderly victim. This could be their home address, directions to their home, a phone number, a license plate number, or contact information for someone who can provide this information. Anything you can give the counselor that might be helpful in reaching the victim should be provided. However, if you do not have any of this information, the counselor can forward your report to a special search unit that will attempt to locate the victim.
This Hotline can be incredibly useful when urgent and swift action is necessary for the safety of an elderly person. If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse from their caregiver or nursing home attendants, The Turnbull Firm may be able to help you fight for justice and compensation for your aging parent or family member. Contact us for a free consultation through our website at www.turnbullinjurylaw.com.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one or another vulnerable adult needs immediate assistance, The Florida Abuse Hotline can be reached at 1-800-96ABUSE.