Sheriff Offices Conducting Child Protective Investigations
In the mid-1990s, a sheriff office pilot program with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to assume child protective investigations led to legislation in 1998 to expand the piloted model. The expansion in 1999 added sheriffs’ offices in Pasco, Pinellas, and Broward Counties. Legislation transferred full responsibility for child protective investigations to these sheriff offices in Fiscal Year (FY) 1998-1999. In 2000, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office assumed the child protective investigations role, followed by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in 2005. Citrus County Sheriff’s Office assumed the child protective investigations role in 2007; however, in 2012, responsibility was transferred back to the Department of Children and Families. Walton County Sheriff’s Office assumed the child protective investigations role on July 1, 2018.
The child protective investigation functions are funded via grants through the Department of Children and Families as itemized within the General Appropriations Act each year. In FY 2018-2019, the seven sheriffs’ offices conducting child protective investigations (Broward, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Seminole, and Walton Counties) encompass metropolitan areas where more than a quarter of the state’s child population resides.