Child Protective Specialist Unit
The Child Protection Specialists Unit (CPS) investigates allegations of abuse that have been
received from the DCF Abuse Hotline. Once a CPS investigator receives a report, contact is
made with the child and the family to determine if the allegations are valid and if any intervention is needed.
Some of the cases investigated are physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment and unexplained child deaths;
perpetrated by parents, caregivers and guardians. In the most egregious cases, a Specialist will place the child
in protective custody and shelter until the caregivers can prove to the court that it is safe for the child to return home.
Based on the allegations outlined in the report, the allegations may be co-investigated by law enforcement for possible
criminal charges. This co-investigation of cases ensures child safety, worker safety, and criminal evidence preservation.
CPS utilizes many community providers and resources to assist families. These community providers positively enable and
empower the family to maintain stability and self-sufficiency while ensuring their children are safe from harm. When a
child is in need of protection and is removed from the home, the priority is to look for placement with a relative who can
offer a safe and caring environment. If this is not possible, out of home placement is provided by the Safe Children Coalition
who is the community based care provider for Manatee County.