This department handles dependency cases. Dependency cases are brought on behalf of children under the age of 18 who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or mistreated in some other manner. The Department works closely with the Department of Children and Families, the Judiciary, State Attorney, Public Defender, law enforcement agencies, Office of the Guardian ad Litem, and many other agencies. Juvenile dependency records are confidential by Florida law and are kept separate from all other records.
Court services for dependency cases are handled only in Bartow at the Polk County Courthouse, 255 North Broadway. The office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.