Mission, Aims, Goals and Objectives

Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship

Mission Statement

Our mission is to advance the recognition, treatment and prevention of the health effects of violence, abuse and neglect within the healthcare system and community on children.

Program Aims

  • To provide the scientific, academic and advocacy systems perspective that creates a child abuse pediatrician who can practice effectively anywhere they choose, in settings compatible with their interests
  • To enable the acquisition and maturation of skills needed to establish effective and sustainable community partnerships that create a healthy community response to child maltreatment
  • To strive to provide an environment that promotes learning and academic growth through evidence-based teaching, the 360 evaluation and feedback process and ongoing physician and fellow wellness

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of the pediatric child abuse fellowship is to prepare qualified physicians for a career in pediatric child abuse. At the completion of the program, successful trainees will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Diagnose children who are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and/or psychological maltreatment
  • Work with others in the community to advocate for children
  • Teach others about aspects of child abuse
  • Demonstrate research capability in the field
  • Maintain a commitment to life-long learning

Upon completion of this program, trainees will be board eligible for the American Board of Pediatrics, sub-board of child abuse pediatrics.

More specific objectives include development of competency in:

  • Providing care for patients who exhibit a broad range of manifestations associated with each type of child abuse
  • The use of appropriate techniques for examining, evaluating and managing anogenital trauma, acute and chronic sexual abuse, sexually transmitted infections
  • Prepubertal and pubertal pelvic exams and sexual abuse/rape protocols
  • Diagnosing and managing child neglect, including medical, supervisory and physical neglect
  • Managing prenatal and perinatal child abuse and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
  • Interpreting and using results from child abuse-related laboratory studies, diagnostic tests, imaging modalities (including x-rays, CT scans and MRIs) and subspecialty examinations (including ophthalmologic examinations)
  • Using the results of sudden unexpected deaths in children using autopsy, death scene investigation, medical history review and interagency case reviews
  • Child abuse examination skills, including:
    • Using digital photodocumentation systems for image capture and secure storage
    • Using magnification systems including a colposcope (still and video)
    • Documenting injury
    • Collecting evidence and cultures and maintaining the chain of custody for evidence
  • Applying treatment approaches that incorporate both medical and mental health therapies in the context of the family
  • Epidemiology of childhood injuries, including risk factors for child abuse/neglect, family violence and the biomechanics of injury
  • Principles of child abuse, partner abuse, psychological abuse, injury prevention and factors leading to domestic and interpersonal violence
  • Typical and atypical child behavior and development as it pertains to child abuse
  • Behavioral and developmental anatomy and pathophysiology of organ systems as they relate to child abuse, including sexual development and anogenital anatomy
  • Forensic pathology related to child abuse
  • Principles of toxicology related to child abuse
  • The elements and functions of community and social services, standards and procedures of child protective services, cultural aspects of child abuse, child welfare services, foster care, home visitation, reunification, mental health services and child death review teams
  • Laws and legal procedures related to child abuse, including:
    • Mandatory reporting
    • Forensic investigation
    • The role of law enforcement
    • Expert witnesses
    • Civil and criminal justice system
    • Ethical issues in expert testimony
    • Child witnesses, courtroom procedures
    • Local and national child abuse statutes
    • Legal definitions of abuse
    • Standards of evidence and legal implications of organ donation in fatal maltreatment cases
  • The role of the family in prevention, perpetuation and reunification, with regard to the assessment and management of child abuse
  • Child abuse prevention
  • Current local and national legislation, funding options for child abuse programs and public testimony related to child abuse legislation
  • Systems of child abuse including Florida’s unique statewide Child Protection Team system