Upon acceptance of a referral from the Department of Children and
Families or law enforcement, the Child Protection Team (CPT) may provide
one or more of the following services. In order for CPT to be involved
in a case there has to an open investigation and the child referred for
services has to be identified as an alleged victim on the abuse report
or be informed that they will be changed to a victim.
Medical Evaluation: Medical diagnosis and evaluation
includes a medical history and conducting a physical evaluation that
could include x-ray, lab or other diagnostic procedures, performed by a
CPT physician or qualified medical provider, when a physical examination
of a child is needed to assess allegations of abuse or neglect.
Medical Consultations: Medical consultation is
provided to render a medical opinion regarding abuse/neglect on a
child(ren) that already has been evaluated by a non-CPT medical
provider. Medical consultations involve situations where the CPI (or
court) requests CPT to assist with a medical opinion. Consultations
should not substitute for a CPT medical examination.
Specialized Interview: A specialized interview is an
interview with a child or a family member of the child’s family for the
purpose of gathering clinical data, family functioning, family history,
or other information for assisting with the assessment of the alleged
child maltreatment. Specialized interviews are information gathering in
nature, and include the development of a risk assessment, and may be
more flexible, not following an interview protocol.
Psychological Evaluations: The Child Protection Team
may recommend a psychological evaluation of a child or family member in
order to provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s
emotional, behavioral, psychological, or intellectual functioning. These
evaluations are particularly helpful in identifying the short and
long-term psychological effects of abuse, identifying factors that
predispose families to the abuse or neglect of children, and in
identifying and determining the appropriate mental health needs and
Forensic Interview: A forensic interview is a
structured interview to elicit a complete and accurate narrative of
facts from the alleged child victim in a manner that is legally sound,
neutral, and fact finding in nature, to determine whether the child has
been abused or is at imminent risk and, if so, by whom. Forensic
interviews are conducted by qualified staff that have specialized
training in forensic interviewing. Children are interviewed on a one to
one basis with the Department of Children and Families and law
enforcement monitoring the interview on a closed circuit system in
Psychosocial Assessment: A psychosocial assessment
is an evaluation of the history of the child and the child’s family
system, conducted by a case coordinator or other trained professional.
This involves a systematic process of gathering information from which
conclusions and recommendations regarding issues of possible child
maltreatment are formulated. The psychosocial assessment includes
separate interviews of all key members of the immediate family unless
specific reasons are documented for why these could not occur, and may
include interviews of extended family members or others who directly
impact family dynamics. The assessment assists in assessing allegations,
identifying risk factors in the case, identifying pertinent family
dynamics, ascertaining family strengths and weaknesses, and determining
the needs of the family.
Child Protection Team Staffing: A Child Protection
Team staffing is a meeting scheduled and led by the Child Protection
Team, which may include, but is not limited to, representatives from
medical, psychological or mental health (i.e., psychologist, licensed
mental health counselor, LCSW, LMFT), legal (CPT Attorney, GAL attorney,
CWLS, SA), social worker or case manager, a representative from DCF or
sheriff’s office, and designated community-based care providers who have
primary responsibility for the case, and other professionals who have
interacted with the child and family. Participants in the staffing will
be determined by the needs of the child.
Court Activity: Section 39.303 (1)(e), Florida
Statutes, requires Child Protection Team to provide expert medical,
psychological, and related professional testimony in court cases.
Depositions and court testimonies in criminal and family court require
court orders for members of the Child Protection Team to release records
Training: Section 39.303(1)(h), Florida Statutes,
requires that Child Protection Teams provide training to physicians and
other medical personnel and to professionals, including but not limited
to DCF staff, law enforcement, school personnel and GALs, on the
identification or determination of abuse or neglect. Training includes
public and media presentations on child abuse as well as specific
training designed to develop and maintain the professional skills and
abilities of those handling child abuse, abandonment and neglect cases.
Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
2210 S. Tamiami Tr.
Venice, Florida 34293
North Port Location:
6919 Outreach Way
North Port, Florida 34297
222 N. Roberts Avenue
Arcadia, Florida 34266