Child maltreatment is a common and serious public health concern. According to the Maryland Department of Human Services’ Child Protective Services, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 there were 21,989 new cases of alleged child abuse and neglect in Maryland. Child maltreatment results in significant morbidity, mortality, and costs. Maryland Health General Article §13-2201-2207 establishes the Child Abuse Medical Providers (Maryland CHAMP) Initiative in the Maryland Department of Health to identify, recruit, train and provide ongoing support, education and expert consultation in the diagnosis and treatment of child abuse to healthcare providers who evaluate child victims of abuse and neglect served by Child Advocacy Centers (CACs). CACs are child-friendly facilities where child victims of maltreatment may be interviewed, undergo medical examinations, and receive treatment. CACs stress coordination of investigation and intervention services by bringing together professionals and agencies as Multidisciplinary Teams to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases. The CHAMP Network is the group of medical professionals (physicians and nurses) who are experts in the area of child maltreatment and who serve as a resource to the CACs, evaluating suspected abuse or neglect in children, providing consultation and training, and engaging in prevention activities.
CHAMP activities include:
- Recruiting and training medical professionals in the area of child maltreatment.
- Providing ongoing training and support for medical professionals working in this field.
- Providing expert medical evaluations when concerns of child maltreatment arise.
- Providing consultation to Child Protective Services (CPS), Child Advocacy Centers, law enforcement, state's attorney's offices, pediatricians and other professionals in the field.
- Developing policies and practice guidelines to improve the system’s response to children and families with concerns of possible abuse or neglect.
The Maryland CHAMP Program is led by:
Howard Dubowitz, MD, MS, FAAP
Professor and Division Head, Child Protection Division, Department of Pediatrics
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Mitchell Goldstein, MD, MBA
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Faculty, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins
Pamela Holtzinger, RN, FNE-P
SAFE Program Coordinator, Meritus Medical Center
Forensic Nurse Examiner, Frederick County Child Advocacy Center
Scott Krugman, MD, MS
Vice Chair, Pediatrics
Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai
Wendy Lane, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland
Maryland CHAMP Faculty Responsibilities:
- Recruit and train physicians, forensic nurse examiners, and nurse practitioners interested in working in the field of child abuse and neglect
- Provide support, ongoing consultation, and training to medical professionals working in the field of child maltreatment.
- Develop guidelines to help professionals and to improve the system's response to children suspected of having been maltreated and their families.
- Provide guidance to local or regional child maltreatment teams in the medical aspects of child maltreatment investigations to facilitate the prosecution of criminal child abuse and neglect.
- Facilitate a peer review system using a secure Web-based program.
Maryland CHAMP Network Providers:
- Aim to ensure access to competent medical evaluations and treatment for every child suspected of having been maltreated.
- Consult to CPS, law enforcement, the state's attorney's office, as well as pediatricians and other professionals.
- Collaborate closely with CACs.
- Provide training regarding how to assess and address child maltreatment.