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Child Abuse and Neglect

 

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The information below is meant only as a starting place for pediatric medical home teams to begin addressing child abuse and neglect. In no way are these resources exhaustive. Your local child protective services agency will have important information for you to consider, as well as the policies and guidance that you find in the sections below. In addition, you can find a child abuse pediatrician in your state with whom you can consult. For more background on using the materials below, go to the Overview.​ 

Note: There are 2 sections below - one that addresses the pediatricians exam of the child and one that addresses the discussion with the parent.

Addressing the Child

Recognizing​​ Child Abuse

  • Child discloses abuse or neglect
  • A child has injuries which are not consistent with the stated mechanism and/or developmental abilities.
  • Are there other signs or symptoms which are concerning for abuse or neglect or sexual abuse?
  • Additional resources for evaluating and responding to sexual abuse (may require log-in or purchase)

Actions​​ to Take​

  • Ensure that the practice has a protocol in place to respond that is consistent with legal reporting requirements, state-based statutes, and utilizes appropriate community resources
  • If abuse or neglect is suspected, report to the appropriate authorities and ensure child will be in safe location
  • Contact your local child abuse pediatrician if there are further questions or concerns

Tools to Educate

Related AAP​​​ Policy

Learn More about CEV

Addressing ​​the Parent

Before Child Abuse is Id​​entified 

  • How are you coping with some of the behaviors (use developmentally appropriate examples: infancy – crying, toddler – potty training, etc) your child is exhibiting?
  • Bright Futures provides anticipatory guidance on this, as well.​ 

After Abuse is Identified
  • Ask parent how they are coping with the allegations or investigation
  • Abuse neglect has been disclosed or there is an ongoing investigation

Actions ​​to Take

  • Provide resources to support positive parenting: Connected KidsPracticing Safety.
  • Make referral to appropriate community resource for additional support, as needed.
  • Ensure that the practice has a protocol in place to respond that is consistent with legal reporting requirements and utilizes appropriate community resources.
  • If abuse is identified, report to the appropriate authorities and ensure child will be in safe location.​

Tools to E​​ducate

Related AAP ​​Policy

Learn More abo​​ut CEV


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