The Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (COCAN) was created in 2017 as a result of the merge of the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and the Section on Child Abuse and Neglect in an effort to provide a unified home and single point-of-contact for child maltreatment-related issues within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), increasing efficiency and capacity to more cohesively address related policy, information, education, and advocacy needs of the AAP membership, and the children and families they serve.

The COCAN mission is to improve care and outcomes of infants, children and adolescents through the prevention, identification, management and treatment of child abuse and neglect.​ To do this the COCAN will develop policy, build partnerships, educate the pediatric community, and advocate on behalf of children, families and healthcare providers.​​​


We imagine a world without child abuse. Until that time, COCAN imagines the following:

  • Parents are supported in providing safe, stable, and nurturing environments for their children.

  • Child abuse is recognized as a significant form of violence and a preventable public health issue with lifelong impact.

  • Pediatricians understand the long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect and the important role pediatricians play in identifying and preventing child maltreatment and in building resilience in children, families, and communities.

  • Pediatricians feel supported and empowered in identifying and managing the medical care of children who have been abused.

  • Federal, state, and local policies and adequate resources exist to provide appropriate care and support to children, families, and child welfare professionals.​

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American Academy of Pediatrics