Child Protective Investigator Career Opportunities

Visit the State of Florida People First website to find listings in your area.

Safety. Permanency. Child Well-Being. Family Well-Being.

Vision:  “Every child in Florida thrives in a safe, stable and permanent home, sustained by nurturing relationships and strong community connections.”


Children in crisis need quick action from strong, compassionate individuals dedicated to ensuring their safety.  This demanding and challenging career could be your opportunity to speak for those with no voice and fight to help ensure the safety of those who cannot protect themselves.

If the typical 9-to-5 job is not for you, and you have a desire to help children and work with families in crisis, then consider a career as a Child Protective Investigator - Career Service with the Florida Department of Children and Families.  We are looking for people who are detailed-oriented, possess good decision-making skills, and are able to thrive in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment.  When seconds count, your career decision may be the critical difference in the life of a child.

This is an open, competitive, Career Service opportunity, regions may offer Other Persona Services (OPS) to applicants until the career service position is available. We have excellent benefits including affordable health insurance plans & options, liberal sick leave and annual leave policy, and, a tuition waiver program through state colleges and universities.  We offer 9 holidays and 1 personal day, Florida Retirement System (FRS) Investment or FRS Pension plan and numerous pre-tax and post-tax benefit options.

Duties and Responsibilities:  This is professional work protecting children and working with families to conduct investigations of alleged abused, abandoned, neglected or exploited children.

Child Protective Investigator duties and responsibilities are as follows.

  • Conducts investigations regarding allegations of abuse, neglect, abandonment and/or special conditions for children;
  • Works closely with law enforcement;
  • Collects information through observation and interviews with the children, parents, relatives, neighbors, and other parties associated with the case, as well as analysis of criminal, past service history and other records;
  • Engages families to understand the family's perspectives about family dynamics, challenges and solutions, identifies needs and determines the level of intervention needed to include voluntary services or court ordered dependency services;
  • Assesses danger threats, child vulnerabilities and caregiver protective capacities in order to determine whether a child is safe or not safe;
  • Develops with family and other persons as necessary any required present and/or impending danger plans based on  analysis of danger threats in operation;
  • Manages and modifies safety plans as necessary during the course of the investigation;
  • Arranges emergency placement for any child that cannot safely remain in the home;
  • Notifies state attorney, law enforcement, child protection team and other required individuals as appropriate;
  • Provides written present and impending danger assessments;
  • Completes Risk Assessment on families investigated and explains risk score to family;
  • Conducts any staffings required for families with risk scores that are High and Very High Risk;
  • Presents safety plan and impending danger assessment at case management case transfer staffing and participates in discussion as to recommended follow-up actions;
  • Provides families with services linkages to agency and community resources based on needs assessment and provides recommendations for development of case plan to Case Manager;
  • Conducts initial/ongoing child present and impending danger assessments;
  • Develops with the family a signed Present Danger Plan and a signed safety plan for any identified threats and interventions;
  • Notifies state attorney, law enforcement, child protection team and other required individuals as appropriate;
  • Schedules and gathers information for and participates in case staffings;
  • Prepares appropriate reports/documentation in coordination with Children's Legal Services and provides testimony in court;
  • Maintains thorough documentation in the client records/appropriate information system(s) and maintains organized client files;
  • Reports indication of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment to the Florida Abuse Hotline;
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative and professional working relationships with organizations and other agencies involved with child protective investigations such as community based providers, Children's Legal Services, law enforcement, medical personnel, schools, and other community/agency resources;
  • Ensures effective communication with deaf or hard-of hearing customers or companions in accordance with the ADA and/or Section 504 and shall manage service records and report this data and any resources and/or training needs to their designated program point of contact.

Minimum qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree; preferred Bachelor’s or  Master’s degree in social work from a college or university social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Must obtain Florida Child Protective Investigator certification within 12 months of hire.

Starting Salary:  $35,640

It is the policy of the Florida Department of Children and Families that any applicant being considered for employment must successfully complete a State and National criminal history check as a condition of employment before beginning employment, and, if applicable, also be screened in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 435, F.S., and Chapter 408, F.S.  No applicant may begin employment until the background screening results are received, reviewed for any disqualifying offenses, and approved by the Agency.  Background screening shall include, but not be limited to, fingerprinting for State and Federal criminal records checks through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and may include local criminal history checks through local law enforcement agencies.

The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or the People First Service Center (1-877-562-7284).  Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.