C.A.R.E. (Child Advocacy Resources and Evaluation) Team
Childhood should be a happy, carefree time. Sadly, that's not always the case. According to a recent survey completed in the six-county area served by Cook Children's, nearly 34,000 children have been abused physically, psychologically and/or sexually. That is 34,000 children too many.
Child abuse is never an easy topic to talk about. But we cannot afford to ignore it. As part of our promise, the C.A.R.E. (Child Advocacy Resources and Evaluation) Team is dedicated to creating a safer, healthier community for all children that we serve, and that includes providing the care, support and tools to bring an end to child abuse.
Types of abuse and when to report it
Led by pediatricians who are board-certified in child abuse medicine, Cook Children's C.A.R.E. Team provides medical evaluations, psychosocial assessments and preventive education. Most C.A.R.E. Team examinations are conducted following a referral from Child Protective Services, a law enforcement agency or a medical provider.
- Sexual abuse
Most examinations are scheduled in the C.A.R.E. Team clinic, not performed on an emergency basis, because most child abuse situations involve delayed discovery. It is never too late to report suspected abuse. When child abuse is suspected, days, months or even years after the event, the chances of finding evidence of injury decrease significantly. As many as 95 percent of physical examinations for suspected child sexual abuse do not show diagnostic injuries.
- Physical abuse
A physician or pediatric nurse practitioner will complete a thorough medical examination of the child to determine any injuries that the child may have. This may include labs and/or X-rays.
- Other forms of child maltreatment
While physical and sexual abuse are the topics that are most prominent in the media, there are other forms of child abuse that we evaluate for that can have devastating consequences on a child. These include:
- Drug exposure
- Medical child abuse
Community education and training
Abuse hurts us all. Becoming aware of abuse in our communities is the first step toward stopping it. That's why our C.A.R.E. Team offers community-based training on the medical aspects of child abuse and neglect for health professionals and others, such as law enforcement and child protection workers. We also provide training to various community agencies on the dynamics of child sexual and physical abuse and related topics.
Cook Children's is committed to the prevention of child maltreatment. C.A.R.E. Team employees provide training on topics such as abusive head-trauma prevention through The Period of Purple Crying, as well as child sexual abuse prevention and minor sex trafficking through Stewards of Children-Darkness to Light, a collaborative effort with Alliance for Children.
For more information on scheduling community education and training, call Cook Children's C.A.R.E. Team at 682-885-3953.
Resources and education
The following links provide access to information about abuse, including helpful guidelines for parents, kids and teens. Community leaders and members can access useful data and statistics on abuse in the six-county area served by Cook Children's. We have also included resources for reporting abuse and for families in need of support services related to abuse.
- C.A.R.E. Team handbook for parents
- Center for Children's Health six-county abuse profile
- Wise County Coalition - focusing on child abuse prevention
- Hood County - focusing on child abuse prevention
- Center for Children's Health PEP report on abuse
- What is child abuse?
- Guidelines and help for teens
- Child abuse - what kids should know
- For teens - are you in an abusive relationship?
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Bullying is abuse
To report suspected child abuse or neglect in Texas, call Child Protective Services at 800-252-5400 or contact your local police department. If there are concerns for the immediate safety of a child, please call 911.