Over the past several years, increasing public emphasis on preventing child maltreatment has resulted in substantial changes to Florida's child abuse and neglect central registry. Many of these recent changes, aimed at preventing child maltreatment, have resulted in over one million false, unsubstantiated, and inconclusive reports of child abuse and neglect within the last decade. While the information held in reports may be useful for identifying and preventing potential child abuse or neglect, due process concerns have been raised with regards to the process of placing a person's name in a report without providing a hearing for challenging or removing inaccurate information. Focusing on Florida law, this research concentrates on: 1) the child maltreatment reporting process, 2) the procedures for maintaining reports, and 3) the accessibility of these reports in order to determine whether due process constitutional rights are protected under Florida's child abuse and neglect reporting laws. The intent of this thesis is to analyze the occurrence of unsubstantiated cases of child maltreatment, incidences of false reporting, and legal remedies available for those wrongfully accused of abusing or neglecting a child. Through the analysis of case law, federal and state statutes, available statistics, child abuse resources, and personal interviews with members of the Florida Legislature, evidence shows that due process constitutional rights are not protected under Florida's child abuse and neglect reporting laws. By raising awareness of the areas of child protection that require legal re-evaluation, this thesis aims to discover the balance between protecting children from harm and protecting adults from the severe ramifications resulting from false and improper allegations of child abuse and neglect.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Debler, Julianna, "Has the pendulum swung too far? a legal evaluation of Florida's child abuse and neglect registry" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1328.