Child Protection Team of Pasco County
The criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm often represent individuals in cases involving Child Protection Investigators (CPI) with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and/or the Child Protection Team of Pasco County, which are two different entities.
In Pasco County, FL, the Child Protection Team performs an expert child abuse assessment. The medical and social work staff works with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigators (CPI) during investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, and child neglect.
The CPI has the highest turnover rate at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office because of the stressful nature of the job. In 2016, a CPI in Pasco County was arrested for falsifying records.
Attorney for Child Protection Investigations in Pasco
If you are under investigation for a crime involving a child in New Port Richey, Port Richey, Land O’ Lakes, Dade City, or the surrounding areas, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for Pasco County at Sammis Law Firm.
We fight cases involving false allegations of the following types of crimes:
- child abuse;
- child neglect;
- child abandonment;
- domestic violence against a child;
- child sexual abuse; and
- lewd and lascivious conduct.
In many of these cases, the allegations are completely false, but it is still helpful to have an attorney fighting to make sure your rights are protected at every stage.
To speak with an attorney at Sammis Law Firm, contact us to discuss the charge pending against you, the best way to avoid the potential penalties, and the best defenses to use for an outright dismissal.
Call 813-250-0500 today.
Florida Section 39.303 for Child Protection Teams
Section 39.303(2), Florida Statutes, identifies specific children and maltreatments mandated for the referral to the Child Protection Team. Florida law does not, however, limit referrals to those specifically mandated.
The target groups for assessments by the Child Protection include:
- physically abused children (particularly those 0-5 years of age)
- sexually abused children
- children who lack health care (such as medically neglected children)
The Child Protection Team services help the child protective investigations conducted by the Florida Department of Children and Families and law enforcement.
To fully document alleged physical and sexual abuse and neglect, the Child Protection Team in the County of Pasco conducts:
- Child abuse medical assessments;
- Psychological assessments and evaluations;
- Forensic and specialized interviews requested by Law Enforcement & Child Protective Investigations;
- Crisis interventions;
- Risk assessments;
- Multidisciplinary case staffing; and
- Case management and referral for services professional; and
- Community training and education
Florida Statute Section 39.303 grants the Children’s Medical Services Program in the Department of Health the authority to develop, maintain and coordinate Child Protection Team services through contracts with local community-based programs such as the Child Protection Team of Pasco County.
Employees of Pasco County Child Protection Team
Employees of the Pasco County Child Protection Team include:
- the CPT Clinical Supervisor;
- the CPT Medical Director;
- the Senior CPT Specialist;
- several CPT Specialists;
- a Data Entry Specialist;
- a CPNP;
- several nurse practitioners including:
- Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP); and
- several Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).
Motions for the Child Protection Team to Produce Documents and Provide Testimony
In some cases, the Assistant State Attorney or the criminal defense attorney will file a motion for the child protection team to provide records and testimony. As grounds for the motion, the parties will often show:
- The State of Florida has charged the defendant with a felony involving child abuse, neglect or sexual abuse.
- The Child Protection Team conducted an investigation, performed interviews, and obtained relevant information in the above referenced criminal case.
- The Child Protection Team’s records are deemed confidential pursuant to Florida Statute Section 39.202, and therefore exempt from the provisions of Florida Statute Section 119.07, Public Records.
- Florida Statute 39.202 allows the release of records to the State Attorney’s Office and such records have, or will be obtained, and provided in discovery to the criminal defense attorneys by the Office of the State Attorney.
- Testimony regarding the Child Protection Team’s investigation and/or records of the reported child abuse, neglect or sexual abuse relating to the Defendant herein and/or the child victim(s) in this case are necessary for the prosecution or defense of this case.
- Such testimony and/or records are confidential and employees or former employees of the Child Protection Team are not subject to subpoena by the defense for deposition absent a Court has balanced the interests of the child against the interest of the Defendant. See Section 39.2021, Florida Statutes
These motions request that the Court enter an Order, without hearing pursuant to Florida Statute Section 39.202 and 39.2021, requiring the Child Protection Team’s employees or former employees to provide testimony and/or records for particular children named in the motion during deposition or any other judicial proceedings.
The proceedings are related to the above-referenced criminal case, and authorizing the State to provide copies of such discoverable information to defense counsel.
Trauma Treatment Programs in Pasco County – One therapy option at the Children’s Advocacy Center is the Trauma Treatment Team which is designated by the Florida Department of Health as one of only fourteen sexual abuse treatment programs across the state of Florida. Children who are 3-18 in Pasco County can receive treatment. Referrals come from Child Protective Investigations, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco County Public Schools, Eckart Community Alternatives, after the abuse is reported to the Child Abuse Hotline and/or Law Enforcement and the symptoms that the child is exhibiting symptoms that interfere with day to day functioning.
This article was last updated on Monday, May 11, 2020.