Child Abuse Program
Child abuse is a complex problem. Professionals in medicine, mental health, forensic interviewing, child protective services, law enforcement, prosecution, and victim advocacy each have a role in the process of stopping the abuse.
Established in 1998, the Child Abuse Program at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters brings the knowledge of these disciplines together to work as a team to coordinate investigations and interventions for each child abuse case, with the goal of reducing the child's trauma and time in the legal system. Combining the wisdom and professional knowledge of the team reduces re-victimization by the system and provides the support and services these young victims and their families need.
The Child Abuse Program minimizes further stress to these child victims by providing a supportive, child-friendly environment for forensic interviews, conducted by professional interviewers who understand the fears and anxieties of abused children. Interviews are digitally recorded and witnessed by investigators, with the goal of recounting the history of abuse one time only. Victims of abuse and neglect begin the healing process in a program that honors the child’s need for safety, dignity and privacy.
The mission of the CHKD Child Abuse Program is to identify and provide services for child victims of abuse and neglect in a safe, supportive environment while reducing secondary trauma. The program offers an integrated response to child abuse through case coordination with a multidisciplinary team of community professionals. All services are based on the highest professional standards and best practices shown to reduce trauma and generate positive outcomes.
To ensure that all child abuse and neglect victims in Hampton Roads have access to quality child maltreatment services and expertise.
Overview of Services
All Child Abuse Program services and child maltreatment research are conducted at our central office in Norfolk with selected services at our satellite facilities in Newport News and Virginia Beach. The following services are provided:
- Forensic Interviews
- Extended Forensic Evaluations
- Forensic Medical Evaluations
- Acute Sexual Assault Examinations
- Psychological Testing
- Parenting Capacity Evaluations
- Trauma-Specific Therapy
- Case Management and Multidisciplinary Team Coordination
- Expert Testimony
- Training for team professionals and community stakeholders about child maltreatment and program services.
Our Facility Dog
Meet Pecos, a trained service dog who works with traumatized children, and is the newest employee of CHKD's Child Abuse Program. A laid-back fellow, Pecos is happy to have children talk to him and pet him, which helps lessen their anxiety level. He will stay with children during forensic interviews, medical exams and therapy appointments, and soon he will accompany children to court.
The program accepts referrals only from investigative and other approved community agencies that address child maltreatment. These include the following:
- Child Protective Services divisions of the Department of Social/Human Services
- Law Enforcement
- Offices of the Commonwealth's Attorney
- Office of the City Attorney
- The Judiciary
- Military Family Advocacy
- Military Investigative Services
- Military Prosecution
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
Direct referrals for medical evaluations from health care providers are accepted in select situations when the examination performed by the health care provider has raised concerns of abuse or neglect.
Click for directions to our Norfolk
or our Virginia Beach
The CHKD Child Abuse Program offers a Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship through Eastern Virginia Medical School and partners with EVMS to coordinate a Child Maltreatment Research team.
For more information, please call (757) 668-6100.