The Division of Child Abuse Pediatrics and Protective Services Team (PST), identifies and treats children that are victims of abuse and neglect. The team’s goal is to ensure that all children served by the hospital are in a safe and healthy environment.
We train professionals, parents and the community about the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect, including:
The division also offers the Safety and Well-Being (SAW) Clinic. This multidisciplinary clinic provides a wide range of clinical services and support to patients and families in cases where child maltreatment is either suspected or has been identified.
In order to provide the best care and safety for the patients, please be aware that it may be important to discuss the concerns and patient presentation — as well as how to proceed — with the SAW team when calling with a referral to the clinic.
These services may include:
Medical assessment of children, including medical imaging and laboratory tests
Psychosocial evaluation of children and families by a licensed clinical social worker
Coordination of various disciplines and professionals within the hospital, as well as with collaborating agencies
Help with resources for families, providers and collaborating agencies
The multidisciplinary team includes the following disciplines:
Fellow Physician: Pediatrician in training to become a child abuse specialist
Social Worker: Performs psychosocial evaluations, provides social and emotional support and assists caregivers throughout the assessment process
Child Life Specialist: Expert in child development who helps minimize stress for children during potentially challenging experiences and promotes coping through play and age-appropriate preparation and education
Nurse: Provides care by assisting the team in exams, treatments and routine care
An outpatient therapist is available to work with caregivers and children (ages 5–17 years) to develop coping skills, help to identify and regulate emotions and directly address traumatic events a child may have experienced. The therapeutic approach used in clinic is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT is highly studied and is found to be one of the most effective types of therapy to help children who have experienced physical or sexual abuse. The therapy involves the caregiver and the child to help the entire family heal.
Consulting and educating the various disciplines and professions serving children and families in the hospital and community are essential parts of our team's focus. Our annual Annual Child Maltreatment Symposium allows us to reach out to other child abuse pediatricians, community physicians and pediatricians, social workers, teachers, attorneys, DCFS workers, nurses and anyone else whose discipline involves care for children to ensure that everyone is prepared to recognize and respond to suspected cases of child maltreatment.
Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.227.7500.