Frequently Asked Questions

A child was spanked with a belt, but there are no marks. Do I need to report this?

Spanking is not illegal in the District of Columbia, but leaving marks on a child is. We, however, do not condone spanking as a form of discipline. Discipline is important, but there are other ways to discipline children that are usually more effective.

Is my child going to have a pap smear?

The medical exam for sexual abuse/sexual assault is not the same as a gynecological exam. The exam is not painful, and in most cases is not invasive.

Are you Child Protective Services?

The Freddie Mac Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center is a department within Children’s National Medical Center, not a governmental agency. We do not remove children from the home. We are a team of healthcare professionals who seek to identify child abuse and to work with children, families, and other agencies to promote the safety and well being of children.

Is this information confidential?

All health-related information is confidential. However, when abuse is suspected all healthcare providers are required by law to report those concerns to child protective services/social services and/or the police.

Children's National in Your Neighborhood

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Did you know Children’s National has more than 50 locations throughout the region? Find one that’s convenient for your family.

Find a Children's Location Near You