Medical professionals play an important role in assessing and documenting the nature and extent of injuries due to possible abuse or neglect. On this page, find information on recognizing and responding to suspected child maltreatment. Resources include State and local examples.
Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (COCAN)
American Academy of Pediatrics
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 and Neglect.
The Evaluation of Suspected Child Physical Abuse
American Academy of Pediatrics
Provides guidance for pediatricians regarding indicators and the 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 in which 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.
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 (2021)
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 the types of training these professionals have, types of services they provide, and more.
Child Abuse and Neglect Services
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Provides information on the child abuse program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, which offers consultation, assessment, treatment, and referral services for children and youth who have experienced maltreatment.
Child Protection Team
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Describes Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team, which comprises f physicians and social workers who identify and respond to child maltreatment.
Recognizing and Responding to Possible Child Maltreatment: A Guide for Maryland Primary Healthcare Professionals (PDF - 317 KB)
Maryland Department of Health (2104)
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 System
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.