TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis spoke at Eglin Air Force Base Wednesday morning. Signage at the event read “Continue the Mission.” DeSantis said the state was asking veterans to sign up as “CPIs” or Child Protective Investigators as an opportunity “to continue their service.”

The first lady also said the state was looking to give opportunities to military spouses and former law enforcement officers to work as CPIs.

The ‘Continue the Mission’ program is aimed at recruiting veterans, military spouses, and former law enforcement to work in the child welfare system of Florida.

“I am excited there is a new pathway for these heroes to ‘Continue the Mission’ through rewarding career and mentorship opportunities protecting Florida’s children,” DeSantis said. “We are not only helping children across the state, but also helping veterans and retired law enforcement with their mental and emotional well-being who may feel as though they’ve lost their purpose once they’ve left active duty or have retired.”

According to the governor’s office, the partnership between the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs will ” identify candidates to serve as mentors for children in need, new case managers and child protective investigators.”

Shevaun Harris, the DCF Secretary, said the child welfare system was “a rewarding but demanding career path,” which made it a “challenge” to find and retain talent in the system. She said the initiative to provide opportunities for veterans and former law enforcement, and military spouses, would allow mentorship opportunities and help address the needs of the state and provide “meaningful jobs” for Florida residents.

“We’re always in recruitment mode, but we’ll be expanding that on an ongoing basis,” Harris said. She said there will also be expanded training programs going forward.

Those gathered to speak about the program encouraged veterans and former officers to consider entering the program, saying the opportunity was a good way to use their skills and reduce barriers to entry for new jobs after their time in active service ends.

The first lady encouraged sign-up as well.

“One of the great things they’ve done too, in talking with a lot of our veterans, they want to serve but sometimes they can’t do so in a full-time capacity,” DeSantis said. “We’ve been able to work it so we can work with their schedules. So if they want to do this part time, we will take whatever time that you’ve done so you that can continue to serve in the great way you have done. So, with that, I say God bless you, thank you to our veterans, our great law enforcement, our military spouses, our law enforcement spouses, for everything you’ve done to protect our state.”

Answering a question about the new Continue the Mission, Harris said veterans and former law enforcement would be able to go online to the DCF website to apply for jobs working with the department in CPI positions.

Recruitment events are planned for July and August across the state of Florida.