Reporting and treating suspected child abuse
A mother says her 2-year-old broke his arm falling off his bicycle. A 7-year-old girl shies away from touch or seems afraid to go home. Another youngster wearing soiled clothing appears painfully thin. Any of these scenarios may indicate possible child abuse or neglect when an injury causes serious harm or is unlikely given the child’s age or ability.
Sometimes the child’s pediatrician or other medical caregiver serves as the only link to getting help and ending the abuse. State law requires professionals such as doctors, teachers and lawyers to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the authorities – even if they aren’t sure a crime was committed.
Dedicated to thwarting this scourge on society, The Guilds Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Center at Children’s can answer questions about signs that may indicate abuse, how to make a child abuse report, and community resources for patient families. In collaboration with our emergency department, our child abuse specialists evaluate patients for possible physical or sexual abuse – including the collection of forensic evidence during a child’s examination as needed for Child Protective Services or law enforcement – and recommend a treatment plan. The Center can be contacted for emergencies 24 hours, seven days a week. Non-emergency cases are handled during the Center’s daytime clinic.
For medical professionals who would like to discuss a patient or make a referral, contact The Guilds Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Center at Children’s: 559.353.6022.