Our Mission: To provide comprehensive, specialized, trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate care to all children who have been affected by child maltreatment issues.
Child abuse pediatrics is a subspecialty certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). This specialty is exclusively focused on evaluation, treatment and prevention of all forms of child abuse and neglect. Physicians are dedicated to addressing the unique physical, emotional, behavioral and psychosocial needs affecting maltreated children and their families.
If not appropriately addressed, the physical and emotional sequellae of abuse, neglect and exposure to violence in childhood can result in chronic health problems later in life. Our goal is to not only treat current health issues, but to ensure adequate wraparound services can be accessed to mitigate the effects of trauma on the youth that we serve.
Our Child Abuse Pediatric Clinic is a referral-only program providing services to potential victims up to age 18. Referrals can be made by physicians, advanced practice providers, Child Welfare Services investigators and law enforcement officials. In addition to providing direct patient care, we are committed to training the next generation of child abuse pediatricians through our three-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited fellowship program.
For more information, please visit our fellowship website.
The Chadwick Center for Children & Families is one of the nation’s largest hospital-based Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). It is housed in a freestanding facility near the main campus of Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego. The building is equipped with a fully functional medical clinic where physicians perform outpatient medical evaluations for children who are suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, neglect, medical child abuse or exploitation. These evaluations are referred to the Child Abuse Clinic by physicians, law enforcement agencies or Child Welfare Services. All services are available during business hours. Emergency sexual assault evaluations are provided after-hours as well and are coordinated with law enforcement officials.
Child abuse pediatricians are available 24/7 for physicians and/or investigators who have questions regarding the possibility of abuse/neglect. They can be reached via the Rady Children’s Hospital Operator System.
Inpatient consultations can be performed, by the attending physician’s request, at Rady Children’s Hospital and the UC San Diego Burn Center. The on-call provider can be reached via the Rady Operator or the Intranet paging system. It is preferable that the child abuse pediatrician is contacted directly by the treating team to discuss the case specifics.
*Child abuse evaluations cannot be requested directly by parents or caregivers. If you are a parent or caregiver who has concerns for abuse or neglect of your child, please report directly to Child Welfare Services or law enforcement. If the investigators determine that a medical evaluation is warranted, they will refer your child for our services.
In the News
- Opinion: I’m a Child Abuse Pediatrician. Here Are Four Things We Can All Do to Protect Children, The San Diego Union-Tribune, by Shalon Nienow, M.D.
- Law Enforcement Using New App to Alert Teachers When Students Experience Trauma Off Campus, features Shalon Nienow, M.D.
- In-Depth: COVID-19 Pandemic Raises Child Abuse Concerns, 10news.com, features Shalon Nienow, M.D.
- Child Abuse and Neglect Cases up Nearly 80% Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, kusi.com, features Shalon Nienow, M.D.
- Child-Abuse Reports Are Falling, and That’s Bad News for Children, The Wall Street Journal, features Shalon Nienow, M.D.
- Successful Coronado Turkey Trot Benefits the Chadwick Center at Rady Children’s Hospital, Coronado Eagle and Journal, mentions Chadwick Center for Children & Families
- Dr. David Chadwick, Pioneer in Child-Abuse Treatment, Dies at 93, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Support Our Program
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