(1)(a) Upon receiving a report of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care, the central abuse hotline shall determine if the report requires an immediate onsite protective investigation. For reports requiring an immediate onsite protective investigation, the central abuse hotline shall immediately notify the department‘s designated district staff responsible for protective investigations to ensure that an onsite investigation is promptly initiated. For reports not requiring an immediate onsite protective investigation, the central abuse hotline shall notify the department’s designated district staff responsible for protective investigations in sufficient time to allow for an investigation. At the time of notification, the central abuse hotline shall also provide information to district staff on any previous report concerning a subject of the present report or any pertinent information relative to the present report or any noted earlier reports.

Terms Used In Florida Statutes 39.301

  • abandonment: means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child's care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Abuse: means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Adoption: means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law, and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to the adoptive parents in lawful wedlock. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Adult: means any natural person other than a child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • assessment: means the gathering of information for the evaluation of a child's and caregiver's physical, psychiatric, psychological, or mental health; developmental delays or challenges; and educational, vocational, and social condition and family environment as they relate to the child's and caregiver's need for rehabilitative and treatment services, including substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, developmental services, literacy services, medical services, family services, and other specialized services, as appropriate. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Caregiver: means the parent, legal custodian, permanent guardian, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child's welfare as defined in subsection (54). See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Case plan: means a document, as described in…. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Child Protection Team: means a team of professionals established by the Department of Health to receive referrals from the protective investigators and protective supervision staff of the department and to provide specialized and supportive services to the program in processing child abuse, abandonment, or neglect cases. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Department: means the Department of Children and Families. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Diligent search: means the efforts of a social service agency to locate a parent or prospective parent whose identity or location is unknown, initiated as soon as the social service agency is made aware of the existence of such parent, with the search progress reported at each court hearing until the parent is either identified and located or the court excuses further search. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Family: means a collective body of persons, consisting of a child and a parent, legal custodian, or adult relative, in which:
    (a) The persons reside in the same house or living unit; or
    (b) The parent, legal custodian, or adult relative has a legal responsibility by blood, marriage, or court order to support or care for the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Guardian: means a relative, nonrelative, next of kin, or fictive kin who is awarded physical custody of a child in a proceeding brought pursuant to this chapter. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Impending danger: means a situation in which family behaviors, attitudes, motives, emotions, or situations pose a threat that may not be currently active but that can be anticipated to become active and to have severe effects on a child at any time. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Institutional child abuse or neglect: means situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect in which the person allegedly perpetrating the child abuse or neglect is an employee of a public or private school, public or private day care center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency or any other person at such institution responsible for the child's welfare as defined in subsection (54). See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Next of kin: means an adult relative of a child who is the child's brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or first cousin. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Office: means the Office of Adoption and Child Protection within the Executive Office of the Governor. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Out-of-home: means a placement outside of the home of the parents or a parent. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Parent: means a woman who gives birth to a child and a man whose consent to the adoption of the child would be required under…. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Party: means the parent or parents of the child, the petitioner, the department, the guardian ad litem or the representative of the guardian ad litem program when the program has been appointed, and the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
  • Present danger: means a significant and clearly observable family condition that is occurring at the current moment and is already endangering or threatening to endanger the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Protective investigation: means the acceptance of a report alleging child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, as defined in this chapter, by the central abuse hotline or the acceptance of a report of other dependency by the department; the investigation of each report; the determination of whether action by the court is warranted; the determination of the disposition of each report without court or public agency action when appropriate; and the referral of a child to another public or private agency when appropriate. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Protective investigator: means an authorized agent of the department who receives and investigates reports of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; who, as a result of the investigation, may recommend that a dependency petition be filed for the child; and who performs other duties necessary to carry out the required actions of the protective investigation function. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Protective supervision: means a legal status in dependency cases which permits the child to remain safely in his or her own home or other nonlicensed placement under the supervision of an agent of the department and which must be reviewed by the court during the period of supervision. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Relative: means a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, or nephew, whether related by the whole or half blood, by affinity, or by adoption. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
  • Safety plan: means a plan created to control present or impending danger using the least intrusive means appropriate to protect a child when a parent, caregiver, or legal custodian is unavailable, unwilling, or unable to do so. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Shelter: means a placement with a relative or a nonrelative, or in a licensed home or facility, for the temporary care of a child who is alleged to be or who has been found to be dependent, pending court disposition before or after adjudication. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Sibling: means :
    (a) A child who shares a birth parent or legal parent with one or more other children; or
    (b) A child who has lived together in a family with one or more other children whom he or she identifies as siblings. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Substance abuse: means using, without medical reason, any psychoactive or mood-altering drug, including alcohol, in such a manner as to induce impairment resulting in dysfunctional social behavior. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Taken into custody: means the status of a child immediately when temporary physical control over the child is attained by a person authorized by law, pending the child's release or placement. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Victim: means any child who has sustained or is threatened with physical, mental, or emotional injury identified in a report involving child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or child-on-child sexual abuse. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01
(b) The department shall promptly notify the court of any report to the central abuse hotline that is accepted for a protective investigation and involves a child over whom the court has jurisdiction.
(2)(a) The department shall immediately forward allegations of criminal conduct to the municipal or county law enforcement agency of the municipality or county in which the alleged conduct has occurred.
(b) As used in this subsection, the term “criminal conduct” means:

1. A child is known or suspected to be the victim of child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03, or of neglect of a child, as defined in s. 827.03.
2. A child is known or suspected to have died as a result of abuse or neglect.
3. A child is known or suspected to be the victim of aggravated child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03.
4. A child is known or suspected to be the victim of sexual battery, as defined in s. 827.071, or of sexual abuse, as defined in s. 39.01.
5. A child is known or suspected to be the victim of institutional child abuse or neglect, as defined in s. 39.01, and as provided for in s. 39.302(1).
6. A child is known or suspected to be a victim of human trafficking, as provided in s. 787.06.
(c) Upon receiving a written report of an allegation of criminal conduct from the department, the law enforcement agency shall review the information in the written report to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted. If the law enforcement agency accepts the case for criminal investigation, it shall coordinate its investigative activities with the department, whenever feasible. If the law enforcement agency does not accept the case for criminal investigation, the agency shall notify the department in writing.
(d) The local law enforcement agreement required in s. 39.306 shall describe the specific local protocols for implementing this section.
(3) The department shall maintain a single, standard electronic child welfare case file for each child whose report is accepted by the central abuse hotline for investigation. Such file must contain information concerning all reports received by the abuse hotline concerning that child and all services received by that child and family. The file must be made available to any department staff, agent of the department, or contract provider given responsibility for conducting a protective investigation.
(4) To the extent practical, all protective investigations involving a child shall be conducted or the work supervised by a single individual in order for there to be broad knowledge and understanding of the child’s history. When a new investigator is assigned to investigate a second and subsequent report involving a child, a multidisciplinary staffing shall be conducted which includes new and prior investigators, their supervisors, and appropriate private providers in order to ensure that, to the extent possible, there is coordination among all parties. The department shall establish an internal operating procedure that ensures that all required investigatory activities, including a review of the child’s complete investigative and protective services history, are completed by the investigator, reviewed by the supervisor in a timely manner, and signed and dated by both the investigator and the supervisor.
(5)(a) Upon commencing an investigation under this part, the child protective investigator shall inform any subject of the investigation of the following:

1. The names of the investigators and identifying credentials from the department.
2. The purpose of the investigation.
3. The right to obtain his or her own attorney and ways that the information provided by the subject may be used.
4. The possible outcomes and services of the department’s response.
5. The right of the parent or legal custodian to be engaged to the fullest extent possible in determining the nature of the allegation and the nature of any identified problem and the remedy.
6. The duty of the parent or legal custodian to report any change in the residence or location of the child to the investigator and that the duty to report continues until the investigation is closed.
(b) The investigator shall fully inform parents or legal custodians of their rights and options, including opportunities for audio or video recording of investigators’ interviews with parents or legal custodians or children.
(6) Upon commencing an investigation under this part, if a report was received from a reporter under s. 39.201(1)(b), the protective investigator must provide his or her contact information to the reporter within 24 hours after being assigned to the investigation. The investigator must also advise the reporter that he or she may provide a written summary of the report made to the central abuse hotline to the investigator which shall become a part of the electronic child welfare case file.
(7) An assessment of safety and the perceived needs for the child and family shall be conducted in a manner that is sensitive to the social, economic, and cultural environment of the family. This assessment must include a face-to-face interview with the child, other siblings, parents, and other adults in the household and an onsite assessment of the child’s residence.
(8) Protective investigations shall be performed by the department or its agent.
(9)(a) For each report received from the central abuse hotline and accepted for investigation, the department or the sheriff providing child protective investigative services under s. 39.3065, shall perform the following child protective investigation activities to determine child safety:

1. Conduct a review of all relevant, available information specific to the child and family and alleged maltreatment; family child welfare history; local, state, and federal criminal records checks; and requests for law enforcement assistance provided by the abuse hotline. Based on a review of available information, including the allegations in the current report, a determination shall be made as to whether immediate consultation should occur with law enforcement, the Child Protection Team, a domestic violence shelter or advocate, or a substance abuse or mental health professional. Such consultations should include discussion as to whether a joint response is necessary and feasible. A determination shall be made as to whether the person making the report should be contacted before the face-to-face interviews with the child and family members.
2. Conduct face-to-face interviews with the child; other siblings, if any; and the parents, legal custodians, or caregivers.
3. Assess the child’s residence, including a determination of the composition of the family and household, including the name, address, date of birth, social security number, sex, and race of each child named in the report; any siblings or other children in the same household or in the care of the same adults; the parents, legal custodians, or caregivers; and any other adults in the same household.
4. Determine whether there is any indication that any child in the family or household has been abused, abandoned, or neglected; the nature and extent of present or prior injuries, abuse, or neglect, and any evidence thereof; and a determination as to the person or persons apparently responsible for the abuse, abandonment, or neglect, including the name, address, date of birth, social security number, sex, and race of each such person.
5. Complete assessment of immediate child safety for each child based on available records, interviews, and observations with all persons named in subparagraph 2. and appropriate collateral contacts, which may include other professionals. The department’s child protection investigators are hereby designated a criminal justice agency for the purpose of accessing criminal justice information to be used for enforcing this state’s laws concerning the crimes of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect. This information shall be used solely for purposes supporting the detection, apprehension, prosecution, pretrial release, posttrial release, or rehabilitation of criminal offenders or persons accused of the crimes of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect and may not be further disseminated or used for any other purpose.
6. Document the present and impending dangers to each child based on the identification of inadequate protective capacity through utilization of a standardized safety assessment instrument. If present or impending danger is identified, the child protective investigator must implement a safety plan or take the child into custody. If present danger is identified and the child is not removed, the child protective investigator shall create and implement a safety plan before leaving the home or the location where there is present danger. If impending danger is identified, the child protective investigator shall create and implement a safety plan as soon as necessary to protect the safety of the child. The child protective investigator may modify the safety plan if he or she identifies additional impending danger.

a. If the child protective investigator implements a safety plan, the plan must be specific, sufficient, feasible, and sustainable in response to the realities of the present or impending danger. A safety plan may be an in-home plan or an out-of-home plan, or a combination of both. A safety plan may include tasks or responsibilities for a parent, caregiver, or legal custodian. However, a safety plan may not rely on promissory commitments by the parent, caregiver, or legal custodian who is currently not able to protect the child or on services that are not available or will not result in the safety of the child. A safety plan may not be implemented if for any reason the parents, guardian, or legal custodian lacks the capacity or ability to comply with the plan. If the department is not able to develop a plan that is specific, sufficient, feasible, and sustainable, the department shall file a shelter petition. A child protective investigator shall implement separate safety plans for the perpetrator of domestic violence, if the investigator, using reasonable efforts, can locate the perpetrator to implement a safety plan, and for the parent who is a victim of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28. Reasonable efforts to locate a perpetrator include, but are not limited to, a diligent search pursuant to the same requirements as in s. 39.503. If the perpetrator of domestic violence is not the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of any child in the home and if the department does not intend to file a shelter petition or dependency petition that will assert allegations against the perpetrator as a parent of a child in the home, the child protective investigator shall seek issuance of an injunction authorized by s. 39.504 to implement a safety plan for the perpetrator and impose any other conditions to protect the child. The safety plan for the parent who is a victim of domestic violence may not be shared with the perpetrator. If any party to a safety plan fails to comply with the safety plan resulting in the child being unsafe, the department shall file a shelter petition.
b. The child protective investigator shall collaborate with the community-based care lead agency in the development of the safety plan as necessary to ensure that the safety plan is specific, sufficient, feasible, and sustainable. The child protective investigator shall identify services necessary for the successful implementation of the safety plan. The child protective investigator and the community-based care lead agency shall mobilize service resources to assist all parties in complying with the safety plan. The community-based care lead agency shall prioritize safety plan services to families who have multiple risk factors, including, but not limited to, two or more of the following:

(I) The parent or legal custodian is of young age;
(II) The parent or legal custodian, or an adult currently living in or frequently visiting the home, has a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence;
(III) The parent or legal custodian, or an adult currently living in or frequently visiting the home, has been previously found to have physically or sexually abused a child;
(IV) The parent or legal custodian, or an adult currently living in or frequently visiting the home, has been the subject of multiple allegations by reputable reports of abuse or neglect;
(V) The child is physically or developmentally disabled; or
(VI) The child is 3 years of age or younger.
c. The child protective investigator shall monitor the implementation of the plan to ensure the child’s safety until the case is transferred to the lead agency at which time the lead agency shall monitor the implementation.
d. The department may file a petition for shelter or dependency without a new child protective investigation or the concurrence of the child protective investigator if the child is unsafe but for the use of a safety plan and the parent or caregiver has not sufficiently increased protective capacities within 90 days after the transfer of the safety plan to the lead agency.
(b) For each report received from the central abuse hotline, the department or the sheriff providing child protective investigative services under s. 39.3065, shall determine the protective, treatment, and ameliorative services necessary to safeguard and ensure the child’s safety and well-being and development, and cause the delivery of those services through the early intervention of the department or its agent. Whenever a delay or disability of the child is suspected, the parent must be referred to a local child developmental screening program, such as the Child Find program of the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System, for screening of the child. As applicable, child protective investigators must inform parents and caregivers how and when to use the injunction process under s. 741.30 to remove a perpetrator of domestic violence from the home as an intervention to protect the child.

1. If the department or the sheriff providing child protective investigative services determines that the interests of the child and the public will be best served by providing the child care or other treatment voluntarily accepted by the child and the parents or legal custodians, the parent or legal custodian and child may be referred for such care, case management, or other community resources.
2. If the department or the sheriff providing child protective investigative services determines that the child is in need of protection and supervision, the department may file a petition for dependency.
3. If a petition for dependency is not being filed by the department, the person or agency originating the report shall be advised of the right to file a petition pursuant to this part.
4. At the close of an investigation, the department or the sheriff providing child protective services shall provide to the person who is alleged to have caused the abuse, neglect, or abandonment and the parent or legal custodian a summary of findings from the investigation and provide information about their right to access confidential reports in accordance with s. 39.202.
(10)(a) The department’s training program for staff responsible for responding to reports accepted by the central abuse hotline must also ensure that child protective responders:

1. Know how to fully inform parents or legal custodians of their rights and options, including opportunities for audio or video recording of child protective responder interviews with parents or legal custodians or children.
2. Know how and when to use the injunction process under s. 39.504 or s. 741.30 to remove a perpetrator of domestic violence from the home as an intervention to protect the child.
3. Know how to explain to the parent, legal custodian, or person who is alleged to have caused the abuse, neglect, or abandonment the results of the investigation and to provide information about his or her right to access confidential reports in accordance with s. 39.202, prior to closing the case.
(b) To enhance the skills of individual staff members and to improve the region’s and district’s overall child protection system, the department’s training program at the regional and district levels must include results of qualitative reviews of child protective investigation cases handled within the region or district in order to identify weaknesses as well as examples of effective interventions which occurred at each point in the case.
(c) For all reports received, detailed documentation is required for the investigative activities.
(11) The department shall incorporate into its quality assurance program the monitoring of reports that receive a child protective investigation to determine the quality and timeliness of safety assessments, engagements with families, teamwork with other experts and professionals, and appropriate investigative activities that are uniquely tailored to the safety factors associated with each child and family.
(12) If the department or its agent is denied reasonable access to a child by the parents, legal custodians, or caregivers and the department deems that the best interests of the child so require, it shall seek an appropriate court order or other legal authority before examining and interviewing the child.
(13) Onsite visits and face-to-face interviews with the child or family shall be unannounced unless it is determined by the department or its agent or contract provider that such unannounced visit would threaten the safety of the child.
(14)(a) If the department or its agent determines that a child requires immediate or long-term protection through medical or other health care or homemaker care, day care, protective supervision, or other services to stabilize the home environment, including intensive family preservation services through the Intensive Crisis Counseling Program, such services shall first be offered for voluntary acceptance unless:

1. There are high-risk factors that may impact the ability of the parents or legal custodians to exercise judgment. Such factors may include the parents’ or legal custodians’ young age or history of substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence; or
2. There is a high likelihood of lack of compliance with voluntary services, and such noncompliance would result in the child being unsafe.
(b) The parents or legal custodians shall be informed of the right to refuse services, as well as the responsibility of the department to protect the child regardless of the acceptance or refusal of services. If the services are refused, a collateral contact shall include a relative, if the protective investigator has knowledge of and the ability to contact a relative. If the services are refused and the department deems that the child’s need for protection requires services, the department shall take the child into protective custody or petition the court as provided in this chapter. At any time after the commencement of a protective investigation, a relative may submit in writing to the protective investigator or case manager a request to receive notification of all proceedings and hearings in accordance with s. 39.502. The request shall include the relative’s name, address, and phone number and the relative’s relationship to the child. The protective investigator or case manager shall forward such request to the attorney for the department. The failure to provide notice to either a relative who requests it pursuant to this subsection or to a relative who is providing out-of-home care for a child may not result in any previous action of the court at any stage or proceeding in dependency or termination of parental rights under any part of this chapter being set aside, reversed, modified, or in any way changed absent a finding by the court that a change is required in the child’s best interests.
(c) The department, in consultation with the judiciary, shall adopt by rule:

1. Criteria that are factors requiring that the department take the child into custody, petition the court as provided in this chapter, or, if the child is not taken into custody or a petition is not filed with the court, conduct an administrative review. Such factors must include, but are not limited to, noncompliance with a safety plan or the case plan developed by the department, and the family under this chapter, and prior abuse reports with findings that involve the child, the child’s sibling, or the child’s caregiver.
2. Requirements that if after an administrative review the department determines not to take the child into custody or petition the court, the department shall document the reason for its decision in writing and include it in the investigative file. For all cases that were accepted by the local law enforcement agency for criminal investigation pursuant to subsection (2), the department must include in the file written documentation that the administrative review included input from law enforcement. In addition, for all cases that must be referred to Child Protection Teams pursuant to s. 39.303(4) and (5), the file must include written documentation that the administrative review included the results of the team’s evaluation.
(15) When a child is taken into custody pursuant to this section, the authorized agent of the department shall request that the child’s parent, caregiver, or legal custodian disclose the names, relationships, and addresses of all parents and prospective parents and all next of kin, so far as are known.
(16) The department shall complete its protective investigation within 60 days after receiving the initial report, unless:

(a) There is also an active, concurrent criminal investigation that is continuing beyond the 60-day period and the closure of the protective investigation may compromise successful criminal prosecution of the child abuse or neglect case, in which case the closure date shall coincide with the closure date of the criminal investigation and any resulting legal action.
(b) In child death cases, the final report of the medical examiner is necessary for the department to close its investigation and the report has not been received within the 60-day period, in which case the report closure date shall be extended to accommodate the report.
(c) A child who is necessary to an investigation has been declared missing by the department, a law enforcement agency, or a court, in which case the 60-day period shall be extended until the child has been located or until sufficient information exists to close the investigation despite the unknown location of the child.
(17) Immediately upon learning during the course of an investigation that:

(a) The immediate safety or well-being of a child is endangered;
(b) The family is likely to flee;
(c) A child died as a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect;
(d) A child is a victim of aggravated child abuse as defined in s. 827.03; or
(e) A child is a victim of sexual battery or of sexual abuse,

the department shall notify the jurisdictionally responsible state attorney, and county sheriff’s office or local police department, and, within 3 working days, transmit a full written report to those agencies. The law enforcement agency shall review the report and determine whether a criminal investigation needs to be conducted and shall assume lead responsibility for all criminal fact-finding activities. A criminal investigation shall be coordinated, whenever possible, with the child protective investigation of the department. Any interested person who has information regarding an offense described in this subsection may forward a statement to the state attorney as to whether prosecution is warranted and appropriate.

(18) In a child protective investigation or a criminal investigation, when the initial interview with the child is conducted at school, the department or the law enforcement agency may allow, notwithstanding s. 39.0132(4), a school staff member who is known by the child to be present during the initial interview if:

(a) The department or law enforcement agency believes that the school staff member could enhance the success of the interview by his or her presence; and
(b) The child requests or consents to the presence of the school staff member at the interview.

School staff may be present only when authorized by this subsection. Information received during the interview or from any other source regarding the alleged abuse or neglect of the child is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), except as otherwise provided by court order. A separate record of the investigation of the abuse, abandonment, or neglect may not be maintained by the school or school staff member. Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(19) When a law enforcement agency conducts a criminal investigation into allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, photographs documenting the abuse or neglect shall be taken when appropriate.
(20) Within 15 days after the case is reported to him or her pursuant to this chapter, the state attorney shall report his or her findings to the department and shall include in such report a determination of whether or not prosecution is justified and appropriate in view of the circumstances of the specific case.
(21) When an investigation is closed and a person is not identified as a caregiver responsible for the abuse, neglect, or abandonment alleged in the report, the fact that the person is named in some capacity in the report may not be used in any way to adversely affect the interests of that person. This prohibition applies to any use of the information in employment screening, licensing, child placement, adoption, or any other decisions by a private adoption agency or a state agency or its contracted providers, except that a previous report may be used to determine whether a child is safe and what the known risk is to the child at any stage of a child protection proceeding.
(22) If, after having been notified of the requirement to report a change in residence or location of the child to the protective investigator, a parent or legal custodian causes the child to move, or allows the child to be moved, to a different residence or location, or if the child leaves the residence on his or her own accord and the parent or legal custodian does not notify the protective investigator of the move within 2 business days, the child may be considered to be a missing child for the purposes of filing a report with a law enforcement agency under s. 937.021.
(23) If, at any time during a child protective investigation, a child is born into a family under investigation or a child moves into the home under investigation, the child protective investigator shall add the child to the investigation and assess the child’s safety pursuant to subsection (7) and paragraph (9)(a).