Child Protection Teams (CPT) are independent, community-based programs that provide expertise in evaluating alleged maltreatments of child abuse and neglect, assessing risk factors, and providing recommendations for interventions to protect children and enhance families' capacities to provide a safer environment when possible.

CPT services supplement the child protective investigation activities of the Department of Children and Families and law enforcement. The Department of Health coordinates CPT services through contracts with local community-based programs.

In April of 2010, the Florida Department of Health awarded the CPT contract for Lake and Sumter Counties to our Center. Prior to this, the University of Florida Child Protection Team, based in Gainesville, provided these services for this area.

In July of 2022, we opened a Child Protection Team satellite office in Wildwood, in cooperation with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. This partnership helps reduce transportation time and cost for our Sumter County families, as they can now receive CPT services in Wildwood, instead of having to travel to Leesburg.


Through our CPT, the Center offers the following services:

  • Medical diagnosis and evaluation
  • Nursing assessment
  • Child and family assessments
  • Multi-Disciplinary staffings
  • Psychological and psychiatric evaluations
  • Specialized and forensic interviews
  • Expert court testimony

Our Medical Director is a Board Certified Pediatrician and we also have three ARNPs on staff to provide medical exams on a 24/7 basis.


Our Multi-Disciplinary Team is made up of collaborating agency representatives who work together to facilitate the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child victims of abuse. Multi-Disciplinary Team Staffings are held bi-monthly to discuss cases and to ensure that the needs of the child victims are being met. The Team consists of representatives from:

  • State Attorney's Office
  • Law Enforcement
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Lake and Sumter County School Systems
  • Department of Health
  • Children's Advocacy Center Counselors
  • Child Protection Team Case Coordinators


Child abuse, abandonment and neglect reports that must be referred by child protective investigators to CPT include cases involving:

  • Injuries to the head, bruises to the neck or head, burns or fractures in a child of any age
  • Bruises anywhere on a child five years of age or younger
  • Any report alleging sexual abuse of a child
  • Any sexually transmitted disease in a prepubescent child
  • Reported malnutrition or failure of a child to thrive
  • Reported medical neglect of a child
  • Symptoms of serious emotional problems in a child when emotional or other abuse, abandonment, or neglect is suspected
  • A sibling or other child remaining in a home where one or more children have been pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital or other health care facility, or have been injured and later died as a result of suspected abuse, abandonment or neglect