The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is an agency of Florida’s government that is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that every child within the state lives in a “safe, stable, and permanent” home environment. A function of DCF involves responding to and investigating reports it receives from the community (e.g. teachers, law enforcement, medical professionals, etc.) of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. An initial investigation generally involves a visit from a Child Protective Investigator (CPI), an employee of DCF who gathers evidence to determine the validity of reported child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A CPI may contact the parent or guardian of a minor to schedule an interview, which is usually conducted at the home where the child resides. This interview gives the CPI an opportunity to evaluate the living conditions, as well.
Removal of a Child
Under Florida law, entities such a law enforcement officers or medical professionals are authorized to detain and withhold a child where circumstances indicate that the child may be in imminent danger of physical or mental harm.
As a parent, nothing is more important to you than the welfare of your children, and nothing is worse than being accused of causing them harm. If you are a parent or caregiver who is investigated by DCF, accused of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or whose child is sheltered by the Department of Children and Families, you should seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer without delay. The dependency lawyers at Risen & Ryan have the combined experience of more than 45 years fighting for the rights of parents at thousands of court hearings in in Northwest Florida, including Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Destin, Navarre, Milton, and Pace.
If you are a concerned grandparent or relative of a child at risk, we can advise you too about what you can do to help your loved ones.
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