Child Protection Teams (CPT) were created in 1978 by Florida Statutes based on the premise that the causes, identification and treatment of child abuse are complex and require the expertise of many professionals.
CPT is operated through the Broward County Community Partnerships Division. Teams consists of:
- Medical director
- Team coordinator
- Nurse practitioners
- Clinical supervisor
- Nine masters-level mental health professionals
The Teams are local consultants to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Section (CPIS) and assists in the investigations of child abuse.
CPT receives referrals from law enforcement and CPIS on children who allegedly have been abused and reported to the Florida Abuse Registry.
Services provided include:
- Medical examinations
- Medical consultations (review of medical records)
- Family assessments
- Specialized interviews of children and/or their parents
- Psychological evaluations
- Staffing (sharing of information among professionals involved in the case)
When a case is referred to CPT, the CPIS investigator and/or the law enforcement officer remains in charge of the case. CPT will tell the CPIS investigator and/or the law enforcement officer what was found in the examination. CPT will also provide the CPIS investigator and law enforcement officers with recommendations after the case is reviewed.
When a referral is made to the Florida Abuse Registry, CPIS is required by law to investigate the allegation and decide if abuse or neglect has occurred. Sometimes, but not always, a medical examination can help in deciding this. In certain types of allegations, the CPIS investigator is required to have the child examined by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
The CPT medical examination is only one part of the investigation. The doctor or nurse practitioner who will do the medical examination is a highly trained professional. This person is a pediatrician, family practice physician or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. CPT examiners receive special training in the identification of findings in child physical abuse and neglect. The medical findings will be considered along with other parts of the investigation when the CPIS investigator and/or the law enforcement officer decide what to do next with the case.