Medical professionals may be involved in assessing and documenting the nature and extent of injuries due to possible abuse or neglect. Resources include State and local examples.
Clinical Report: The Evaluation of Children in the Primary Care Setting When Sexual Abuse is Suspected (PDF - 786 KB)
Jenny & Crawford-Jakubiak (2013)
Provides updates from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the evaluation of sexual abuse in children in the primary care setting. The medical assessment of suspected child sex abuse should include obtaining a history, performing a physical evaluation, and obtaining appropriate lab tests.
The Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
American Academy of Pediatrics (2017)
Works to improve the care of abused and neglected infants, children, and youth by providing an educational forum for the discussion of problems and treatments relating to child abuse and neglect and its prevention. The information is designed for child abuse pediatricians, other clinicians, or anyone who wishes to learn more about this topic. The website also provides links to explore additional resources relevant to the Council on Child Abuse & Neglect.
Defining the Children's Hospital Role in Child Maltreatment, Second Edition (PDF - 1,516 KB)
National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions
Outlines what a child protection team at a children's hospital should offer in terms of infrastructure, staffing, functions, and systems to be considered basic, advanced, or a center of excellence. The purpose of this guide is to help child protection teams assess where they are and augment their strengths while raising awareness of the leadership role that children's hospitals play in responding to, treating, investigating, studying, and preventing child maltreatment.
Diagnosing Child Abuse: The Role of the Nurse Practitioner (PDF - 991 KB)
Caneira & Myrick (2015)
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11(6)
Discusses what a nurse practitioner should know about screening, diagnosing, and caring for children in cases of child maltreatment. Accurate and timely diagnosis of child abuse will facilitate care of the children and could help to minimize effects experienced later in life.
The Evaluation of Suspected Child Physical Abuse (PDF - 862 KB)
American Academy of Pediatrics
Provides guidance for pediatricians regarding indicators and evaluation of suspected abuse in children. The role of the physician may include identifying abused children with suspicious injuries, reporting suspected abuse to a child protection agency for investigation, supporting families who are affected by child maltreatment, coordinating with other professionals and community agencies, giving court testimony, providing preventive care and anticipatory guidance, and advocating for policies and programs that support families and protect vulnerable children.
How Are Public Health Nurses Assisting With Child Protection Investigations?
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Explains how a multidisciplinary approach to child protection using public health nurses teaming with child welfare caseworkers can help children, especially those with special medical or developmental needs. Families also may be more willing to open up about health and well-being challenges with a nurse than a caseworker.
Interventions to Improve the Response of Professionals to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence and Abuse: A Systematic Review
Broad, Drinkwater, Feder, Firth, Hester, Stanley, Turner, et al. (2015)
Child Abuse Review, 26(1)
Discusses exposure to domestic violence as a form of child maltreatment and how health care professionals should respond. The article includes best practices with regards to children's health care professionals and their role in a multiagency response to this form of child maltreatment.
Multidisciplinary Approach: Medical Providers
Examines the role of medical providers in prevention, recognition, treatment, and follow-up of children and youth who have been abused. Describes how medical providers involved in child abuse cases are often physicians such as pediatricians, family practitioners, emergency medicine physicians, gynecologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, or others who provide medical care. They should know about the special developmental and emotional needs of child abuse victims.
What is a Child Abuse Pediatrician?
American Academy of Pediatrics (2017)
Explains the concept of child abuse pediatricians: doctors with specialized training, experience, and skills in evaluating children who may be victims of abuse or neglect. The article provides information on types of training these professionals have, types of services they provide, and more.
Child Abuse Medical Evaluations in Texas: Current Practices & Challenges (PDF - 2,929 KB)
Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas (2013)
Evaluated multidisciplinary teams responding to child abuse/neglect to explore medical evaluations in alleged abuse cases, barriers to evaluations, and possible strategies to increase evaluation rates in Texas.
Child Physical Abuse Medical Response Protocol (PDF - 405 KB)
American College of Emergency Physicians, West Virginia Chapter (2017)
Outlines guidelines for health care providers in West Virginia to help them identify children who may be victims of physical abuse and gives information on how to report suspected abuse, how to refer cases to a medical provider with specialized training in this area, and which steps to take in addition to serving the child's basic medical needs.
Recognizing and Responding to Possible Child Maltreatment: A Guide for Maryland Primary Healthcare Professionals
Maryland Department of Health
Presents a guide to assist pediatric primary care professionals in Maryland in recognizing and responding to possible child maltreatment. The guide defines maltreatment and provides information on understanding State law, ways abuse may present itself, talking with children, talking with families and reporting abuse, working with child protective services, and more.
Striving to Improve the Quality of Medical Assessments for Child Abuse and Neglect
South Carolina Children's Advocacy Medical Response Team (2017)
Provides and administers a resource system to assist South Carolina's children's hospitals and children's advocacy centers with the development and sustainability of a consistent quality of care and practice when it comes to delivering medical services to victims of child maltreatment.