Message from our Child Protection Team Coordinator
The Child Protection Team performs the vital service of specialized and expert child abuse assessment. Our medical and social work staff assist the Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigators in determining if a child is safe in his or her environment. We also make service recommendations for family change to help ensure children are safe and to improve family functioning.
At the Child Protection Team, we provide assessments on physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and high-risk cases. Referrals are made by the Child Protective Investigators or Law Enforcement and may not be made directly by the general public. Our assessments result in a professional report that is sent to the referral source to assist in making important decisions on cases involving child abuse allegations. Per statute, we may only release our records to Child Protective Investigators, Law Enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office, and those involved in the furtherance of the treatment of the child.
The protection of children is everyone’s responsibility. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please call 1-800-96ABUSE.
Jon Wisenbaker, MS
What is the Child Protection Team Program?
The Child Protection Team is an independent, community-based program that provides expertise in evaluating alleged maltreatment of child abuse and neglect, assessing risk factors, and providing recommendations for interventions to protect children and enhance families’ capacities to provide a safer environment when possible.
The Child Protection Team services supplement the child protective investigation activities of the Department of Children and Families and law enforcement
Our primary task is forensic services to analyze and report our conclusion. Our services are based on tangible evidence that we collect by medical services and exams to identify physical findings of abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse. We conduct forensic interviews and psychological assessments to fully document the alleged abuse. Our purpose is to get answers to questions regarding the well-being of children.
We are dedicated to uncovering the truth and understanding the relevant facts of each case. Our services supplement the child protection investigation activities of the Florida Department of Children and Families and law enforcement.
What Does the Child Protection Team Do?
Our Services Include:
- Child Abuse Medical Assessments and Psychological Evaluations
- Forensic/Specialized Interviews requested by Law Enforcement & Child Protective Investigations
- Crisis Intervention, Risk Assessment
- Multidisciplinary Case Staffing, Case Management and Referral for Services
- Professional and Community Training and Education
Authority Granted to Us?
Section 39.303, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Children’s Medical Services Program in the Department of Health to develop, maintain and coordinate Child Protection Team services through contracts with local community-based programs.
How to Report Child Abuse, Neglect or Abandonment?
If there sufficient reasons to believe or suspect a child is being in danger of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, you as a community resident, friend, or relative have a duty to report the allegation to authorities.
The child may be abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, friend, relative, or any person responsible for the child’s welfare or even a stranger. If you see first hand or have enough information to suspect one of these individuals is doing injury to the child, you should think of the child safety and welfare first and report the issue, situation or incident as quickly as possible.
It’s required by law to report such knowledge of abuse, neglect or abandonment to the Florida Abuse Hotline by calling, (800)-96-ABUSE or click How to Report Abuse for further instructions.