Child Protection Program Overview

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

The Child Protection Program (CPP) at Boston Children's Hospital was established in 1970 by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who shared a commitment to improve the health and well being of children by addressing the issues of family violence, child maltreatment and neglect. CPP's overarching mission since the time of its inception has been simply to assure that children who are suspected of having been abused or neglected, receive appropriate care and protection.

CPP houses three distinct programs which operate in collaboration to respond to incidents of family violence, suspected child abuse and neglect by providing a range of services including:

1. Evaluation of children referred to the hospital for suspected abuse or neglect and referrals to appropriate services at Children's Hospital and elsewhere.

2. Psycho-educational and clinical services to parents

3. Expert consultation to clinical staff regarding protective issues that may emerge in the treatment of their patients

4. Case coordination with the Department of Children and Families and other agencies

5. The provision of expert testimony in child protection cases

6. Advocacy services to battered women and their children

7. Training for hospital staff

8. Community outreach, prevention and advocacy


The Child Protection Program's three program areas include:

Who we are

The CPP team includes members from the departments of General Pediatrics, Social Work, Nursing, and Psychiatry, and the Office of General Counsel at Boston Children's.

Our team also includes a nurse at Boston Children's who functions as a liaison with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Each member of the CPP plays an important role in our mission to work for child safety and provide care for Children's patients who may have been abused or neglected.

We also work to increase the awareness, knowledge and prevention of child abuse at Boston Children's and within the local community.

What we do

The Child Protection Program:

  • evaluates children referred to Boston Children's for suspected abuse or neglect and refers them to appropriate services within the hospital and in the community
  • educates and provides services for parents and caretakers
  • consults with staff about protective issues, coordinates with DCF and law enforcement, and provides courtroom testimony when necessary
  • provides services to battered women and their children
  • trains Boston Children's staff to recognize and respond to child abuse and neglect
  • works in community outreach and prevention efforts

Commitment to Safety at Boston Children's Hospital

show_more_start 

Boston Children’s Hospital has a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring the safety of all children in our care.  In fact, providing safe and appropriate care in a safe and protective environment is the absolute paramount priority of everyone at Boston Children's.

We have a number of programs and services in place whose mission is to ensure that every member of the Boston Children’s community is knowledgeable about and vigilant in their role in ensuring the safety of our patients.

show_more_end

Hospital-Wide Child Safety Team

show_more_start

Boston Children's has a hospital-wide program to train all staff and employees to recognize signs of child abuse and to educate them about internal and external resources and support services for patients and families who have experienced abuse. 

Boston Children's Hospital’s Child Protection Team is composed of physicians, attorneys, psychologists, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners and advocates.  The team provides 24-hour, on-call coverage, expert consultation services, professional training and case-specific support to hospital staff who suspect maltreatment or abuse of a patient.  The team also includes a Nurse Liaison to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

In addition, a staff member from our Office of Patient Relations is available around the clock to families that may have any questions or concerns about the appropriateness of the care their child has received.

Through the Office of Clinician Support, services are available for clinical staff who need guidance on clinical or professional matters.  This could include supporting a clinician who had suspicions or concerns about a colleague behaving inappropriately with patients.  Confidentiality of all parties is respected, however, information is shared with appropriate authorities if a threat of harm or abuse to the clinician him/herself, staff, patients or families is present or suspected. 

In addition to the ethical imperative to address directly and quickly any concerns about inappropriate care or abuse of a patient, it is a state law.

show_more_end

Mandated Reporting at Boston Children's Hospital

show_more_start

All Boston Children’s clinicians are trained on “51As.”  Under state law, (Massachusetts General Laws  Section 51A) all clinicians are “mandated reporters.”  The law states that “(a) A mandated reporter who, in his professional capacity, has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from: (i) abuse inflicted upon him which causes harm or substantial risk of harm to the child's health or welfare, including sexual abuse; (ii) neglect, including malnutrition; (iii) physical dependence upon an addictive drug at birth, shall immediately communicate with the department orally and, within 48 hours, shall file a written report with the department detailing the suspected abuse or neglect; or (iv) being a sexually exploited child; or (v) being a human trafficking victim as defined by section 20M of chapter 233.”

The law goes on to say “If a mandated reporter is a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school or facility, the mandated reporter may instead notify the person or designated agent in charge of such institution, school or facility who shall become responsible for notifying the department in the manner required by this section.”  In Boston Children’s case, that designated agent is the Child Protection Team member on call, who is available to staff and families 24 hours a day.

Child and family safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please contact our Office of Patient Relations if at any time you have questions or concerns at 617-355-7673 or 617-355-6369 after hours and on weekends.

show_more_end

Why take action?

show_more_start

Child abuse is a major public health concern that transcends racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic boundaries. It’s been found to correlate with problems of violence, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, suicide and other psychopathology.

Studies suggest that the incidence of certain comorbidities are correlated with duration and severity of abuse, suggesting that reports of abuse to appropriate child protection agencies may have long-term, as well as immediate, health benefits for the victim.

show_more_end

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close