Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

January 18, 2012
Nicole Stookey
Northwest Region Communications Director
(850) 509-2675

~ Agency wants to remind families that our investigators carry identification;
three reports referred to law enforcement

PANAMA CITY, FLA. – The Department of Children and Families has received reports regarding three separate instances of unknown persons impersonating DCF child protective investigators since January 1, 2012. All three reports have been referred to law enforcement.

DCF would like to remind parents and anyone involved with children that our investigators will never post allegations or information concerning investigations of abuse or neglect to any public websites, including Facebook. Once a report is made to the Hotline, DCF attempts to respond immediately in person and without notice.

On January 2, an unknown male calling from an unknown number identified himself as "Brian" on a woman’s voicemail message. The woman contacted the local DCF office and said the unknown male stated the Department had received a report saying she was a drug dealer and that they would be coming to her home the following day between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. He asked that she call the office if this time did not work out for her. A search of the state's automated child welfare information system revealed no current or prior reports on the family.

On January 9, an unknown female named "Isabella" posted on a man's Facebook page that she was with the Florida Department of Children and Families and was investigating allegations that his child was being neglected and needed to be seen. The post alleged that the child was being “mistreated, neglected and that the child did not have enough food.” The man replied to the post that he would contact the local office to verify her identity. The man then called the DCF Hotline to report the contact and was later informed there was no current or past investigation.

A man contacted the local DCF office on January 12 and indicated that in November 2011 and again on January 10, an unknown female identifying herself as "Jessica" with the Department of Children and Families left a message for him on his former employer's voicemail. The unknown female did not leave a return phone number. A review of the system shows that our agency has no active investigations (either currently or from November).

If you are contacted by someone representing our Department and want to verify the identity of an investigator, you can call the state Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-962-2873 or your local DCF office. If approached by someone claiming to be a DCF investigator, know that our investigators always carry proper identification while investigating cases of child abuse and neglect and must produce their credentials.