The Freddie Mac Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center is the only medical center in the District of Columbia with a team of health professionals dedicated to victims of child abuse and their families, and Children's National Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the country using a team approach to assessing and treating these victims.
The District of Columbia continues to have twice the national rate of child abuse, making the Center's work more important than ever. The staff treats more than 1,300 children annually from D.C. and surrounding jurisdictions, and serves more than 1,800 children annually through its participation in the D.C.'s Multidisciplinary Team on Child Abuse.
The Center's team of medical professionals provides comprehensive examinations (conducted by pediatricians and nurses who specialize in forensic issues), treatment of sexually transmitted diseases or injuries, and trauma counseling for child victims of all forms of maltreatment (provided by psychologists and clinical social workers who specialize in childhood trauma and abuse).
The Center's other services include:
- Advocacy for victims and families
- Psychological testing
- Juvenile offender counseling services
- Educational, psychological, developmental and parent-child relationship assessments
- Individual and family therapy for victimized children (age 4-22 years for non-offending mental health services)
- Parenting education/therapy classes
- Case management
- Referral services for victims and their families
Mental health services are provided by clinical social workers and psychologists who are child victimization specialists. Our psychologist also can provide educational, psychological, developmental, psychosexual and parent-child relationship assessments.
The Center staff also provides consultation to colleagues inside and outside the hospital. Medical services are available by appointment or on an emergency basis, and forensic medical examinations for recent sexual abuse/assault are available after normal business hours. Additionally, the Center’s team members provide training to a variety of professionals, both medical and non-medical, for whom the identification, intervention and treatment of child abuse is necessary.
Children's National also offers a free training called Stewards of Children for child sexual abuse prevention. More information about the training can be found on the website of Darkness to Light, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse. To schedule a training please email Victim Services Coordinator Siobhan Copeland or call her at 202-476-6718.
It is important to educate ourselves, our colleagues and the community on the effects of child abuse including how to identify it, steps after identifying and how we can become more involved in preventing it. Please stop by the Child and Adolescent Protection Center for more information or visit U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Child Abuse Prevention Month website.
The District of Columbia's Multidisciplinary Team includes the Freddie Mac Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center as well as the following agencies: