Child Abuse Assessments
A Resource to Keeping Children Safe
CHRISTUS Health strives to be a resource to keeping children safe. We provide comprehensive assessments and evaluations for suspected child abuse or neglect on a referral-only basis. The goal of our assessments is to provide accurate and complete medical information to agencies investigating child abuse and to identify any needs of the family that may improve the child's health and safety. In addition, we provide families with referrals to appropriate resources so they can fulfill these needs.
Assessments & Evaluations
We do a thorough medical examination to determine any injuries that the child may have. If necessary, the doctor may order lab work, x-rays or any other tests needed to confirm or rule out abuse.
Our medical team will document photos of skin findings including bruises, lacerations, scars, and skin markings that may be confused with trauma. This documentation is then used to help confirm or rule out abuse.
When needed, our child protection team will conduct psychosocial evaluations of the child, parent, sibling, caregiver or witness of abuse.
Our doctors will provide the Child Protective Services caseworker with a complete report of the findings. That report will help CPS make the best decision for that child's safety and well-being.
When necessary, our professionals testify in court to explain their findings and to help the jury or judge make important decisions about the child's health and safety.
We offer additional services, including short-term counseling, physician consultations, mental health staffing, physical abuse and neglect staffing, as well as inpatient consultations.
Our mission at the Center for Miracles is to provide timely and accurate medical assessments of children who are suspected victims of abuse or neglect and in doing so; we ensure that better decisions are made for the protection of that child.
Since opening our doors in 2006, more than 8,000 children have been seen or assessed by our team of child abuse experts. Considered pediatric subspecialists, our pediatricians are part of a small, elite group of child abuse specialists. Our child protection team works on a referral-only basis and can provide a comprehensive medical and psychosocial evaluation of children who come to the center.
In an effort to better serve the children, the Center for Miracles also has a pediatric nurse practitioner on staff to help assess children. In cases where abuse and neglect are not found, the Center for Miracles will provide referrals and resources for families at risk or in need.
It is important to remember that suspected child abuse or neglect should be reported to Child Protective Services, whether or not a child is referred to the Center for Miracles.
CHRISTUS Health does not provide medical treatment or assessment for children with serious emergent injuries, but we do sometimes see children after their injuries are treated or are healing. We do not make legal decisions about the disposition (abuse, no abuse, or unable to determine) of a CPS case. We do not arrest people, nor do we make legal decisions about a person's guilt.