Hawaiian Health Foundation Launches Program to Diagnose and Treat Child Abuse Victims Entering Foster Care

Medical intervention and education for at-risk children or victims of child abuse and their foster caregivers

In 2002, the Kapi'olani Health Foundation created the Child-At-Risk Evaluation (CARE) program, a pediatric specialty clinic specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of child abuse.

The CARE program works to provide children who are entering foster care and those who have been physically abused or neglected with comprehensive medical and forensic evaluations in a compassionate manner.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Local Funding Partnerships.

Key Results:

  • CARE staff provided medical and forensic medical services to 1,881 children entering foster care over the course of the grant.
  • Staff saw 1,501 children for pre-placement exams and diagnostic forensic exams and 380 children for comprehensive medical exams during the grant period.
  • The number of diagnostic forensic exams performed increased from 23 in year one of the grant to 103 in year three—a 348 percent increase.

Evaluation Findings:

  • Foster parents reported that health and developmental status information gathered by CARE staff frequently were inaccessible to them. (CARE staff worked with Hawaii's Department of Human Services to allow CARE staff to communicate directly with foster parents.)
  • Child welfare staff are knowledgeable about CARE services and report that the quality of services provided and the information shared are superior to the services obtained through alternative sites.

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