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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Child Protection Clinical Services (CPCS) includes
medical, developmental, and psychosocial services provided by physicians,
social workers, and nurse practitioners in the outpatient setting. At present, CPCS provides these services in
two specific clinics: a Crisis Response Clinic and a Foster Care
Clinic. Whether referring a child
to the Crisis Response Clinic or the Foster Care Clinic, one of our CPCS social
workers will complete an initial Intake and, together with our Child Protection
medical providers determine the most effective and efficient response
route. To refer a child to either one of
our outpatient clinics, please call 617-355-7979 and ask to speak to the CPCS
Intake social worker to make a referral.
RESPONSE CLINIC – Helping Families From the Start
Children suspected of being sexually abused or who
exhibit problematic sexual behavior are often referred for medical
examinations, mental health evaluations and/or treatment and forensic
interviews to gain a clearer understanding of what has occurred.
The systems that serve children and their families are
complex, overlap and can be a source of confusion not only for children and
their families, but also for the providers that are seeking medical and
Triage of potential sexual abuse cases by clinical and
medical staff in the Child Protection Clinical Services (CPCS) program at
Boston Children’s Hospital, in consultation with the Child Protection Team
consultation service, provides a significant benefit for children and families
by ensuring that children are directed to the most appropriate resource as
quickly as possible.
Too often, children spend unnecessarily long hours
sitting in hospital emergency departments (ED) when they can be seen in the
CPCS clinic or at a community-based child advocacy center (CAC). Conversely,
some children require medical and mental health intervention in an ED following
the disclosure of an acute sexual assault and, without appropriate triage,
important forensic evidence collection and crisis intervention opportunities
may be lost.
to think about when accessing the Child Protection Program at Boston Children’s
following factors can all help you determine which medical route of
intervention is most appropriate:
We may recommend that the child be seen emergently for
acute medical intervention and possible collection of forensic evidence:
Referring a child to Child Protection Clinical Services
Clinic or a community-based Child Advocacy Center may be the most reasonable
option in the following circumstances:
If you are a medical provider or clinician working with
the child and family, you are a mandated reporter, and may be advised to file a
51A with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on behalf of the child.
The CPCS medical providers have all received special
training in the subspecialty of child abuse pediatrics. They are skilled in
examining children of all ages with child abuse or sexual abuse concerns.
When indicated, our child abuse medical providers will
obtain appropriate laboratory/radiographic testing to further evaluate for the
presence of concerning infections or injuries. The results of the testing are
communicated back to the referring provider and caretaker.
mental health clinicians provide support to parents and providers in order to
aid families in coping with the aftermath of sexual assault.
Clinicians provide psychosocial and risk assessment
when a concern of sexual assault or non-normative sexual behavior is present,
as well as provide psycho-education to parents around a child’s response to
sexual assault, sexual behavior and building safety and stability in a child’s
If warranted, clinicians assist families with
connecting to outside providers for more extended evaluation or for ongoing
mental health treatment with trauma-trained mental health clinicians.
CPCS staff may offer expert
consultation on symptoms of trauma, normative child development, navigation of
the child protective service delivery system, and community resources to care
providers and parents.
The CPCS team also provides training
to the hospital and local community agencies, mental health providers and
The AWAKE (Advocacy for Women and
Kids in Emergency) Program at Boston Children's Hospital offers intimate
partner violence (IPV) services to patients, parents of patients and employees.
What does AWAKE do?
We can provide you with a safe and confidential place to talk and share your
experiences. Our services are free, confidential and are offered in English.
Has your partner ever:
· made you feel unsafe at home?
· blamed you for things out of your control?
· said things that made you feel bad about
· threatened to hurt you or someone you love?
· tried to control your time and money?
· forced you to unwillingly perform sexual acts?
· made you feel manipulated and trapped?
· isolated you from other relationships?
If you are in
a domestic violence emergency and need immediate assistance call 911.
are available Monday through Friday 8:30a-5p and can be reached through calling
617-355-6000 and asking to have AWAKE paged
emotional support and resources in Massachusetts call SAFELINK at 877-785-2020
For all other
states, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Remember, nobody deserves
to be abused and you are not alone. Please contact us for help.
FOSTER CARE CLINIC
team is here to address the immediate medical, dental and developmental needs
of children who have newly entered the Department of Children and Families
(DCF) custody and to assist their caregivers in learning about and responding
to the unique child that has entered their care. It has long been recognized that kids who are
placed into foster care often have significant unmet physical, dental,
emotional/behavioral, and developmental health needs that continue even after
they are placed in foster care or short term assessment programs. Children whose needs continue to go
unaddressed are at much higher risk for additional problems that can lead to
increased likelihood of a disrupted placement resulting in poorer outcomes for
those children over time. Our services
are offered in a two-appointment model; with the first visit scheduled within 7
days of placement followed by the second appointment within 30 days of
placement, in keeping with DCF’s Medical Exam Policy.
The Foster Care Clinic Provides:
Medical examinations by medical providers specializing in
Immunizations when clinically indicated
Dental exams and treatment
Developmental and behavioral screenings and referral
Psycho-education and support for foster parents
Psychosocial support and screening of referred children by social
Coordination with DCF to obtain medical records in order to
facilitate referral to an ongoing primary care provider
A comprehensive report is provided to DCF after the second
appointment which summarizes the medical, dental and mental health
recommendations and needed follow-up.
» The patient will be examined by a
physician or nurse practitioner specializing in child maltreatment.
» Acute medical needs will be addressed
and referrals for further intervention may be provided.
» Foster parents
and/or patient will meet with a clinical social worker to discuss any
psycho-social issues which may require immediate intervention.
» Behavioral checklists and screening
tools may be offered.
» A comprehensive dental examination at
Boston Children’s Hospital Dental Clinic can be facilitated.
At the 30 day visit…
» The patient will
receive a follow up medical exam, immunizations and labs if clinically
indicated, and for those children ages 0-7 years old, a developmental screening
will be offered.
» Results from completed and scored
behavioral checklists will be discussed with foster parents and patient.
» Recommendations and referrals for primary
care, psychiatric services, Early Intervention, further developmental testing
or any other clinically indicated service will be provided.
» After the 30 day
visit, feedback is provided to the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”