START (State and Regional Team against crimes on children) is a multi-disciplinary service that consults with professionals throughout Colorado and other western states to help resolve complex problems of child maltreatment evaluation and management. By engaging experts in pediatric medicine, the law and mental health, Kempe START increases the chances that the best possible decisions will be made in child abuse and neglect cases. Independent evaluations show that 100% of referring professionals obtain “missing expertise” needed to address their cases. Over 90% of the time, referring questions were resolved and confidence about the course of the case was restored. In about a third of cases referred, the course of action was changed as a result of information provided by the START team.
Referral to and participation in START consultations confers advanced knowledge from disciplines including medicine, nursing, behavioral and addiction treatment, law, ethics and social work. START demonstrates the power of practice using interdisciplinary teams while helping address current difficult child abuse and neglect cases. This model provides mentorship through examples of how to productively engage persons from different communities, including the communities of science and law. Please contact Don Bross (Donald.Bross@childrenscolorado.org) or Diane Baird (Diane.Baird@childrenscolorado.org) for additional information.