Clinical training during the fellowship includes extensive experience with The Kempe Child Protection Team, a shared multidisciplinary program of Children's Hospital Colorado and The Kempe Center. The team is the only hospital based multidisciplinary child abuse team in the state, The team evaluates and provides treatment annually for children who are suspected child abuse victims. Physicians, healthcare professionals, families, human services, law enforcement, and others in the Rocky Mountain Region refer to the team for consultation, treatment services, and support. Children's Colorado is the only Level One Pediatric Trauma Center in Colorado with very active Emergency Medicine, Trauma, General Surgery and Neurosurgery, and Burn Unit services.
Fellows participate in the medical diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of children who are admitted to Children's Hospital Colorado for serious injuries resulting from suspected physical abuse or neglect and sexual assault. The team also consults on factitious illness, non-organic failure to thrive, neglect, child deaths, and sexual abuse cases. A weekly clinic evaluates cases of child sexual abuse in an interdisciplinary team approach. Fellows learn how to obtain a detailed child abuse history, how to recognize and diagnose abusive injuries, how to analyze the mechanics of inflicted injury, how to interview families and children in the hospital setting, and how to use diagnostic tests to document abuse. Fellows will attend and participate in forensic autopsies of children who die from child abuse or other injuries and can participate in local child fatality review teams. Clinical call is shared with attending faculty who are based at Children’s Colorado and our teaching affiliate Denver Health Medical Center. Rotations at the Denver County Family Crisis Center and local child advocacy centers are part of training.
Integral to medical evaluation is learning how to work with social service and law enforcement agencies to protect children at risk for abuse, death, or serious disability from abuse and neglect. Fellows learn about the legal systems involved in child protection and child abuse prosecution through didactic lectures, weekly child protection team interdisciplinary review, and direct court experience. The fellows learn state child abuse laws, how to be an effective witness, and how to document and present cases for the legal system. Court testimony by fellows is an expected part of training.
Fellows will interact with the staff psychologist, Child Trauma Program and IMHOFF Clinic for exposure to the mental health outcomes of child abuse and neglect. Fellows can also interact with and participate in other programs of the Kempe Center.