A comprehensive program for identification, evaluation, and case management of children who may be victims of maltreatmentThe GBMC Center for the Protection of Children works with victims across the spectrum of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, human trafficking, neglect, and substance-exposed newborns.
Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of a pediatrician, social workers, emergency medicine providers, child life specialists, pediatric nurses, and forensic nurses who are committed to ensuring the safety of every child that visits our hospital. This team is available 24/7 and services are provided at no additional cost to the patient.
The team works to:
- Consult on and help coordinate the medical evaluation and treatment of all pediatric patients who are suspected to be victims of abuse or neglect
- Serve as a liaison between GBMC and government agencies that investigate child abuse, neglect, and human trafficking
- Educate both medical providers and families on the recognition, reporting, and prevention of child abuse, neglect, and human trafficking
- Respond to acute/emergent pediatric abuse and neglect consultations
- Assist with assessments for child maltreatment and file mandatory reports with the appropriate investigative agencies
- Perform pre- and post-natal interventions with substance exposed newborns and their families
- Coordinate care for pediatric sexual abuse and trafficking patients with the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) team
- Educate parents, medical providers, and the community about child abuse and neglect
Frequently Asked Questions
- If you suspect any form of child maltreatment, please contact your local Child Protective Services agency to file a report immediately.
- Baltimore County Child Protective Services: 410-887-TIME (8463)
- Baltimore City Child Protective Services: 410-361-2235
- If you think a child is in immediate danger, please contact 911.
The GBMC Center for the Protection of Children Coordinator is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 443-849-STOP (7867).
During weekends, after business hours, and on holidays, please contact the GBMC Pediatric Emergency Department at 443-849-3900 and ask to speak to the pediatrician on duty.
What are the signs of physical and/or sexual abuse?
- Disclosure of abuse from child or parent
- No explanation or vague explanation given for a significant injury
- Injury that is not consistent with a child’s developmental abilities
- Explicit denial of trauma in a child with obvious injury
- Sudden, unexplained changes in the child’s behavior or school performance
- Frequently appearing injuries, such as bruising, cuts, or burns
- Frequent urinary tract infections or genital irritation
- Age-inappropriate sexual behavior
- Fear of going home or fear of a specific adult
- Stealing or begging for food
- Poor hygiene
- Clothing that is inappropriate for the season
- Untreated medical needs (glasses, dental care, etc.)
- Toxic ingestion
- Lack of supervision
If sexual abuse is known or suspected, GBMC’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) team may become involved with the patient’s care. Unlike adult and adolescent sexual assault, county investigative agencies will help determine whether a child victim will require a forensic examination.
What are the long-term effects of child abuse?
The effects of abuse or neglect as a child continue long after the abuse has stopped — sometimes for a victim’s entire life. Victims of child abuse are at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, among other diseases. They are also more likely to experience negative psychological health consequences, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide. Child abuse is a significant risk factor for substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and the perpetration of abuse towards others.
How common is child abuse?
- One in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18 and 90% of child abuse victims know their abuser. While child physical abuse occurs at all ages, infants and toddlers are at highest risk of fatal and severe abuse because of their small size and vulnerability.
- Nationwide, Child Protection Services investigates more than 5 million reports of suspected child maltreatment each year, 18% of which involve concerns of physical abuse.
- More than 1,500 child deaths are attributed to child abuse or neglect annually; 80% of these deaths are in children under 4 years of age.
- Incidents of sexual abuse increase around the holidays and family occasions.
Community/Family Resources:Baltimore County Child Advocacy Center
- 800-656-HOPE (4673)