VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A former Department of Children and Families child protective investigator has been arrested and charged with falsifying records after she failed to report a child's injuries to the child protection team and law enforcement, and then subsequently changed her notes on the case, officials said.
The FDLE investigation into Doreece Hines began in April 2017 for an incident that happened on Feb. 5, 2016, after a guidance counselor reported that a child had injuries to their cheek, arm and right thigh after the child's mother hit them with a jump rope multiple times.
The child's face was cut and bruised from the incident, the report said.
The case was referred to Hines on Feb. 6, 2016, and she completed an assessment of the incident on Feb 7., 2016.
Hines' supervisor completed the initial phone consultation, and Hines documented there was "no present danger" and mother admitted to hitting the child with a jump rope. Additionally, she reported the injuries.
Hines documented that a "small mark on the child's thigh and one on the arm."
Hines also reported that she did a home visit on Feb. 6 and there was no answer at the door. Three days later, she noted that the made a home visit and had a face-to-face contact with the mother and her children that evening.
Days later, while visiting on an unrelated matter, officials inquired at the school where the incident was reported, and were they informed about the case.
The detective sent an email to Hines about her home visit with the victim and their family.
Hines told her that she went to the home the prior day and would attempt to return to the home the next day. She was also asked if she contacted the child protection team. Hines told the detective that she had made a referral to them. The same detective contacted the child protection team and discovered that Hines had never made contact with them.
Officials said because of the nature of the injury to the child's face, that it is automatically referred to CPT and law enforcement.
Hines told her supervisor that she made a mistake and she did not meet with the mother as she initially reported. She amended the report, but did not include the field visit and mother's home on her initial present danger assessment.
"CPI updated notes with corrected information as PDA and notes were incorrect when entered initially," officials said.
When DCF officials met with Hines, she did not deny that she failed to contact the child protection team in a timely manner or document the activity on the case. Hines told officials that she had met with the victim on Feb. 6.
The mother told officials that Hines never conducted a home visit as she stated on Feb. 6 or any other time that the report mentions. The mother also denied that she left the child in the care of someone else at another residence mentioned, with the child's father and when she was at work.
The mother said that the victim on the child's face for three days and that it was bruised. She also disclosed that she knew Hines and had other cases involving her children with the agency with Hines.
A child in the home who was present when the mother was being questioned told officials that Hines did make a home visit, but it was in the morning and not on the evening of Feb. 6.
Hines was booked into the Volusia County Jail.