Prevention of Child Abuse
The Center for Prevention of Child Abuse at El Paso Children’s Hospital is the only entity in the Greater El Paso area providing comprehensive medical treatment, psycho-social assessment, counseling, education, referrals and access to Crime Victims Compensation to victims of child abuse, child neglect and sexual assault of all ages and their families.
Regretfully, there is a huge need in El Paso for support of children and families who are coping with the effects of child abuse. Since July 2012 the Clinic staff have provided services to almost 1000 children and their families, the youngest abuse victim only a few months old.
Comprehensive Services for Victims of Abuse, Neglect or Assault
Services provided include forensic medical exams for chronically abused children, follow-up medical exams for child victims of acute sexual and physical abuse, testing for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and HIV, social services, short-term counseling, applications for Crime Victim Compensation, CPS case reviews, court testimony, referrals for long-term counseling and any other necessary medical services.
These coordinated services include referrals by law enforcement and CPS, clinical evaluations by the medical director, team of EPCH physicians or SANE nurses and Nurse Practitioner (NP). Psycho/social assessments and support group therapy for victims and families are provided by the staff of Certified Social Workers, and Certified Child Life Specialists. Clinical services also include physician consultations and case review, follow–up lab services and STD/HIV screening and social work services and chronic and acute forensic examinations with SDFI photo documentation.
Sexually abused children are tested three times in the nine months following the abuse for STDs/HIV. Clinic staff are also available to cover the emergency rooms or to see in-patients who are crime victims, seven days a week and all holidays. Support services are provided to the entire family, not just the abused child. Social services and short term counseling are provided to parents, grandparents and siblings as well. Certified Child Life Specialists provide therapeutic play and emotional support to recovery of victims of abuse and siblings.
Coordination of Care
Center for Prevention of Child Abuse coordinates and refers support services including emergency intervention, shelter services and counseling through other local organizations:
- For victims older than age 14, CAFV (Center Against Family Violence) and STARS (rape crisis support) work in partnership to provide crisis intervention and shelter, counseling and referral services to victims of sexual assault.
- For newborns to age 13, Child Crisis Center provides emergency shelter 24/7 and time-out.
- Advocacy Center for the Children of El Paso serves as a center for law enforcement agencies to do forensic interviews and referrals for Crime Victims Compensation.
- For referrals for long-term counseling, El Paso Child Guidance Center (the only accredited child counseling agency in El Paso County).
Education about Child Abuse
The Center for Prevention of Child Abuse provides important educational training to the communities throughout El Paso County, Hudspeth and Culberson counties and outlying areas along the Texas/Mexico border, and targeted groups such as school nurses, teachers and social workers, on how to recognize and report Child Abuse, where to go for assistance and to create awareness of the multidisciplinary clinical and psycho/social services available for the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of child abuse, sexual assault or neglect of children.
Donors Make a Difference in Prevention of Child Abuse
Secure Digital Forensic Imaging System
The Foundation gifted a SDFI (Secure Digital Forensic Imaging) Camera designed around the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Nurses trained in forensic exams can easily shoot, store and send high resolution images suitable for use as forensic evidence. Stored images become Secure Beyond Reasonable Doubt. Forensic images that need to be moved, or sent, are first secured inside a SDFI Secure File, then sent through a secured File Portal ensuring absolute Chain of Custody.
Healing Arts Program
Evidence based research now strongly recognizes art as an essential component to health, healing and well-being.
Entirely funded through El Paso Children's Foundation, the Healing Arts Program integrates dynamic, inspirational art from local and regional artists in every area of the hospital including the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, improving the hospital experience for patients, families and caregivers.
Donors interested in more information on Center for Prevention of Child Abuse donor opportunities that impact our community's most vulnerable population can email email@example.com or click here to donate now.
Foundation volunteers provide amenities and special support to families of patients at El Paso Children's. To learn how to become a volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org