TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Florida Department of Children and Families has appointed its first statewide fatality-prevention specialist, a position created by the department’s new interim secretary, Mike Carroll, earlier this month.

Mike Carroll, who replaced interim secretary Esther Jacobo, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott late last month.

Lisa Rivera, a 17-year DCF veteran, started Friday in the Office of Child Welfare.

Rivera will oversee the department’s reporting, data gathering and response to child fatalities. Rivera has a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Florida.
Rivera started at DCF as a child-protective investigator and most recently served as the child-fatality prevention specialist for DCF’s SunCoast region—the region where Carroll has worked previously.

“We are committed to improving our response, consistency and transparency,” he said in a statement. “Lisa has the experience and expertise to lead this effort and engage communities in protecting children from abuse and neglect.”

Rivera also has a background in domestic-violence issues. Before working for DCF, she supervised a domestic violence center in Honolulu, where she also helped develop a curriculum to address the traumatic effects of family violence on children. She currently provides advanced domestic-violence training to the child-protective investigation staff of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”




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