CHKD Child Abuse Program
Michelle Clayton, MD
Suzanne Starling, MD

Executive Director

Jane Hollingsworth, Psy.D.

Professional Staff

  • Carole Campbell Swiecicki Ph.D., Mental Health Director
  • Nell Duff, LCSW
  • Darci Fritz, MS
  • Joanne Glass, LCSW, BCD
  • Laura Kanter, LCSW
  • Nancy Nixon, LCSW
  • Erinn Portnoy, LCSW
  • Kathy Reid-Quinones, Ph.D.
  • Anne Russell, LCSW
  • Dawn Scaff, RN, BSN
  • Daisy Schuurman, DCFI
  • Jenna Spagnuolo, MBA
  • Michele Thames, M.Ed., DCFI

Child Abuse Services

The following services are by referral only.

Forensic Interviews

A forensic interview is a neutral, fact-finding interview utilized when an allegation of abuse is made. A forensic interview provides a comfortable, unbiased, child-friendly setting and uses non-suggestive, non-leading interview techniques. Great care is taken in the child’s comfort level, minimizing the number of interviews and conducting the interview in a child-friendly atmosphere by trained professionals.

Case Management

Case managers screen referrals for our program and schedule services for children. They also act as liaisons between parents, investigators and the community. They facilitate Multidisciplinary teams and participate in community education.


Our medical team includes two attending child abuse pediatricians, two child abuse pediatric fellows, a forensic nursing coordinator, a medical case manager and our team of pediatric forensic nurse examiners.

Forensic Medical Clinic

A forensic medical examination allows for the evaluation of children suspected to have been sexually abused or to have suffered minor physical abuse.

Consultative Services for Investigators

When a child has been evaluated at an outside hospital or has not been evaluated by a medical provider, consultative services allow for expert physician consultation regarding suspicion of abuse.

Inpatient Consultative Services

Inpatient consultative services provide expert physician consultation for hospitalized CHKD patients with suspected abuse or neglect.

Observation room for Child Abuse Program at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Va.

Pediatric Forensic Nurse Examination

CHKD’s pediatric forensic nurse examiners provide emergency medical evaluations and evidence collection for children who have been sexually assaulted at the request of law enforcement agencies. When an emergency evaluation is needed, a qualified forensic nurse examiner is available 24 hours a day.

Mental Health Services

Our program’s mental health team comprises of licensed clinical social workers and licensed clinical psychologists. Referrals are accepted from Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) agencies such as Child Protective Services, law enforcement, or military family advocacy programs. Our services include:

Parenting Capacity Evaluation (PCE)

A PCE is an objective evaluation of a caregiver that aims to help social services organizations and the courts make informed decisions regarding caregiver risks and the fit among a caregiver and child. The PCE is a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted jointly by a licensed clinical social worker and clinical psychologist.

Psychological Evaluation

A psychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of children’s personality, cognitive, behavioral and/or emotional functioning, including an examination of the impact of trauma. Psychological evaluations are completed with children who are receiving other mental health services at our program.

Trauma-Specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma-specific cognitive behavioral therapy (TS-CBT; e.g., Cohen, Deblinger & Mannarino, 2004; Kolko & Swenson, 2002) is an evidence-based treatment designed to integrate cognitive behavioral techniques with trauma-specific interventions. The model has been researched in several randomized clinical trials and is considered a Best Practice model for reducing traumatized children’s emotional and behavioral problems. It can be provided alone or together with the Coping-in-Court module (described below).

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT; Eyberg et al., 2001) is an evidence-based treatment for children ages 2 through 8 years with disruptive behavior disorders. It has been further developed to address the emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems that are commonly seen among maltreated children and their caregivers (Urquiza and McNeil, 1996). Both caregivers and children participate together in PCIT. Over 50 randomized controlled trials support the efficacy of PCIT in reducing children’s behavioral problems. In addition, children with histories of sexual abuse who demonstrated predominantly behavioral problems have been included in effectiveness trials for PCIT (Timmer, Ware, Urquiza & Zebell, 2010).

Forensic Interviews

A developmentally-sensitive and legally sound method of gathering factual information regarding allegations of a crime. The interview is conducted by a neutral professional interviewer utilizing research and practice-informed techniques as part of a larger investigation and court process.

Coping-in-Court Therapy Module

Coping in Court is a therapy module that draws upon cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and systems theory to help victims of child abuse or neglect experiencing distress related to the court process. The Coping in Court therapy module is designed to help children manage their distress while remaining sensitive to the legal process.

Further Information

For more information, please call (757) 668-6100.