A medical examination is offered to any child who is brought to the CAC for allegations or concerns of child maltreatment. All medical evaluations are performed by a highly trained, board certified pediatrician.
Purpose of Exam
A forensic medical evaluation is performed for the purpose of evaluation and treatment of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. All examinations are comprehensive and carefully conducted in a child friendly setting, and involve a complete medical history and non-invasive, head to toe physical exam. When there are concerns of sexual abuse, the exam might include treatment of exposure to sexually transmitted infections and other testing. Following a report of acute sexual assault, forensic evidence may be collected by the medical staff.
Some children are evaluated for concerns of physical abuse or neglect. In addition to the physical exam, our physician may order X-Rays or laboratory tests to aid in the evaluation. Care coordination can consist of referrals to specialty medical providers and behavioral health therapy. All forensic medical evaluations take into consideration the physical, emotional and behavior consequences of child maltreatment. Children are also provided reassurance that their bodies are “okay.”
What to Expect
- The medical examination will take place at the Children’s Advocacy Center, within the Medical/Therapy Department. The exam will last approximately 2 hours.
- A full medical history will be collected from a parent or guardian. Please provide the name of the child’s primary care provider, for the purpose of coordination of care.
- All exam findings are photographed, with the use of a DSLR camera or special instrument, called a colposcope. Photos allow our physician to interpret findings in greater detail, and permits expert review without the child having to undergo repeat examination.
- Our staff makes every effort to deliver evidence based medical care in a trauma informed manner.