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Date: Aug 30, 2021

Location: PANAMA CITY, FL, US, 32401

The State Personnel System is an E-Verify employer. For more information click on our E-Verify website.

Requisition No: 392041 

Agency: Children and Families


Position Number: 60055265 

Salary:  $39,600.08 annually / $1,523.08 bi-weekly 

Posting Closing Date: 12/04/2021 

Child Protective Investigator

Department of Children and Families

Panama City, FL

Open Competitive

This posting will be used to fill position vacancies in OPS, Career Service or both.

Current employees will be compensated in accordance with the DCF salary policy.

Mission The mission of the Department of Children and Families is to work in partnership with local communities to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.

Vision:  We are a highly skilled workforce committed to empowering people with complex and varied needs to achieve the best outcomes for themselves and their families. In collaboration with community stakeholders, we will deliver world class and continuously improving service focused on providing the people we serve with the level and quality that we would demand and expect for our own families.

Values A workforce that operates with integrity maintains loyalty to a code of ethics that requires the courage to take responsibility for providing the highest quality of service to the vulnerable. We are a solutions-focused learning organization built on a foundation of transparency in action and accountability of results. Both within the organization and among our stakeholders, we thrive in a culture of respect for diversity of opinion that is nurtured through open communication. High performing and committed, we are unified in our goal of excellence in achieving quality outcomes for those we serve.

To learn more please visit

How a Child Protective Investigator Will Make a Difference:


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.  We are looking for people who are detailed-oriented, possess good decision-making skills, and can 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.

Growth Opportunities:

With 12,000 employees across the state DCF promotes opportunities and training for all.  Our jobs are among the most challenging, complex, and difficult in State government. They are also among the most rewarding. All employees are encouraged to take advantage of available Department opportunities for advancement and professional development.

Benefits of Working for the State of Florida:

Working for the State of Florida is more than a paycheck. The State’s total compensation package for employees features a highly competitive set of employee benefits including:

  • No state income tax for residents of Florida;
  • Annual and Sick Leave benefits;
  • Nine paid holidays and one Personal Holiday each year;
  • State Group Insurance coverage options, including health, life, dental, vision, and other supplemental insurance options;
  • Retirement plan options, including employer contributions
  • (For more information, please click;
  • Flexible Spending Accounts;
  • Tuition waivers;
  • And more!

For a more complete list of benefits, visit

Specific Responsibilities:

  • 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 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;
  • Conduct staffing’s 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;
  • Schedules and gathers information for and participates in case staffing;
  • 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.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • Understands and is able to articulate how family engagement is critical to achieving safety, permanency, and well-being.
  • Understands and appreciates the different views, expertise, and experience of others; takes into account the perspectives of other individuals


  • Understands the need to expand the child's safety network beyond caregivers and to other adults who care about the child and can participate in day to day safety of the child.


  • Is able to identify one's own biases and is willing to challenge one's own thinking.
  • Regularly seeks information from a variety of sources to make and revise assessments.


  • Considers ways to ensure personal safety in addition to safety of children and families during interviews and other meetings


  • Understands and is able to articulate what an intervention is, and the variety of interventions CPS might use under which circumstances.


  • Understands and is able to articulate personal responsibility for outcomes in a case.

Domestic Violence

  • Understands and is able to identify power and control.
  • Distinguishes domestic violence from other types of violence
  • Is able to identify and refer both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence to appropriate services.

Mental Health

  • Can articulate symptoms of broad mental health diagnostic categories.
  • Is able to make appropriate referrals for crisis intervention, psychological and psychiatric evaluations.

Substance Abuse

  • Distinguishes between substance use, abuse, and chemical dependency.
  • Can articulate physical and behavioral warning signs of substance use and abuse.
  • Administers and/or makes referrals for drug testing as appropriate.
  • Makes referrals to community and contracted services available to treat substance abuse.

Professional Competencies

Demonstrates a basic understanding of the following:

  • Federal and state law, regulations, and rules for the operation of child protection programs.
  • The statutory responsibility for reporting suspected abuse and neglect.
  • Roles and responsibilities of participants in the global child welfare system, including children, families, child protection, various courts, and other child/family serving agencies.
  • Legal definitions and concepts, including ethics, and is able to apply them within the law to casework and judicial process.

Establishes Effective Relationships with Colleagues

Follows policy and procedures

  • Understands the policy requirements of ethical practice and the ramifications to staff and clients when this does not occur.


  • Records observations accurately as part of case documentation, using specific quotes and precise behavioral descriptions of the danger and its impact on the child.
  • Prepares clear, accurate, and appropriate written communications or documents.
  • Prepares court documents such as petitions, affidavits, and court reports.

Managing Time

  • Position may require on-call hours after normal work schedule to include weekends, overnight on-calls and holidays.
  • This position has been designated as an essential position.  Incumbents are expected to work during emergency situations or natural disasters and may be required to work before, during and beyond normal work hours/days.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work or related field preferred. (When applying please attach required education, certification, or licensure).
  • Must obtain provisional Child Welfare Certification from the Florida Certification Board within 12 months after obtaining provisional certification. All Investigators must maintain certification as a condition of employment. Information regarding certification can be found at: Florida Certification Board
  • Valid Driver License; and,
  • Must possess operational private vehicle for use in the performance of daily work activities. Selected applicants are required to provide proof of vehicle registration and documentation of the appropriate insurance coverage. The Department provides a Vehicle Insurance Allowance to assist with the cost of insurance coverage due to the use of private vehicle for work purposes.
  • Ability to attend an 8 - 12-week mandatory training course.  This training could be scheduled during day, weekend, and evening hours.

Candidate Profile (application) must be completed in its entirety.

  • Include supervisor names and phone numbers for all periods of employment.
  • Account for and explain any gaps in employment so that the hiring process is not delayed.
  • Experience, education, training, knowledge, skills and/or abilities as well as responses to pre-qualifying questions must be verifiable to meet the minimum qualifications. 
  • It is unacceptable to use the statement “See Resume” in place of entering work history.
  • If you experience problems applying online, please call the People First Service Center at (877) 562-7287.
  • Language proficiency may be considered in the selection process as determined by Agency needs at the time of selection.
  • May require successful completion of pre-interview assessment or work sample to be eligible for interview.
  • This position will require night, weekend, and holiday work.  It has also been designated as an essential position.  Incumbents are expected to work during emergency situations or natural disasters and may be required to work before, during and beyond normal work hours/days.
  • Incumbents may be exposed to possible hazardous conditions in the field.
  • If you are a retiree of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), please check with the FRS on how your current benefits will be affected if you are re-employed with the State of Florida.  Your current retirement benefits may be suspended or voided, and you will be required to repay all benefits received depending upon the date of your retirement.
  • The position will perform all job tasks in accordance with laws, rules, regulations, policies, and requirements applicable to state and federal laws or procedures.
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE:  Male candidates born on or after October 1, 1962, will not be eligible for hire or promotion into an authorized position unless they are registered with the Selective Service System (SSS) before their 26th birthday or have a Letter of Registration Exemption from the SSS.  Verification of Selective Service registration will be conducted prior to hire.  For more information, please visit the SSS website:

We hire only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized alien workers.

BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIREMENT: 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 also be screened in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 435, F.S., and, if applicable, 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.

Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.

The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.

VETERANS’ PREFERENCE.  Pursuant to Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, candidates eligible for Veterans’ Preference will receive preference in employment for Career Service vacancies and are encouraged to apply.  Candidates claiming Veterans’ Preference must attach supporting documentation with each submission that includes character of service (for example, DD Form 214 Member Copy #4) along with any other documentation as required by Rule 55A-7, Florida Administrative Code.  Veterans’ Preference documentation requirements are available by clicking here.  All documentation is due by the close of the vacancy announcement. 

Nearest Major Market: Panama City