The Children’s Health Board has been a partner to the Child and Adolescent Protection Center for several decades. The Center is a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychotherapists, nurses, and social workers who provide services to 1300-1500 child victims of physical/sexual abuse and to their families. DC’s child abuse rate (25/1000) is twice the national average. Between ninety and one hundred children receive ongoing mental health services each year. Medicaid does not cover mental health services. Children’s National’s Dr. Frederick Green created the nation’s first pediatric Office of Advocacy in 1973, one year after CHCB was designated as the Advocacy and Outreach Board of CNMC. With the support of CHCB, Dr. Green set up the Child Protection Center in 1975 that became known as the Child and Adolescent Protection Center, and Dr. Green added the Child Protection/Special Unit sexual abuse program in 1977. The CAP Center provides training and consultation to child welfare agencies, social workers, police officers, attorneys, judges, physicians, teachers and day care workers to increase the knowledge and skills they need to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to child abuse. The Center provides help and mental health services for sexually aggressive children, juvenile sex offenders and to parents needing better parenting skills to fight the urge to abuse their children. The Center trains nurses who are already on staff at CNMC to become Sex Abuse Nurse Examiners (SANE). These nurses are on call for the emergency room where they provide specialized services to sexually abused children and assistance to their families. The nurses are equipped with kits that maintain the chain of evidence for judicial proceedings within the required 72 hours between an incident and the exam. They are highly skilled, sensitive to the needs of these children and provide comfort to them. The Center established the Hope Chest Clothing closet to give children new clothing when their clothing is kept for court evidence. CHB has contributed to the Hope Chest Clothing closet and funds the Center’s Team Development retreat. CHB has been an integral partner in the ongoing work of the CAP Center since its inception and has provided funding for the training of the SANE nurses and other professionals who serve abused children. The Center’s Director, Dr. Allison McCauley Jackson is well known in the field and is called on as a consultant and lecturer in local and national forums.
The Center is a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychotherapists, nurses, and social workers who provide services to 1300-1500 child victims of physical/sexual abuse and to their families.