The Section of Public Health Pediatrics will train clinicians of the next generation to provide high-quality care and thoughtful clinical evaluations for children who are suspected victims of child maltreatment. They will learn how to work with families and children who may have been neglected, physically or sexually abused, or subjected to child abuse in a medical setting. We will also encourage the research endeavors of our fellowship trainees, and support clinical, quality, safety, and basic science inquiries made by our fellows. Interests in education, advocacy, maltreatment prevention and community outreach will be fostered.
Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine offers an ACGME-accredited three-year fellowship in child abuse pediatrics. Completion of the program prepares the candidate to sit for the Child Abuse Pediatrics board examination.
One fellowship position is open per academic year and the program accepts applications July through Oct. 15. To foster a deeper understanding of the many implications of childhood maltreatment and adversity to the pediatric population, a Master’s degree will be strongly encouraged in the course of training, and will be facilitated by the program.
The patient population at our clinical sites – including Texas Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Assessment Center, and the Institute of Forensic Sciences - is large and varied, and trainees will have robust exposure to all areas of clinical assessment of child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and medical child abuse. Fellows will have a deep reservoir of clinical experience by the time of their graduation.
Approximately 2,500 suspected victims of abuse and neglect are evaluated annually at Texas Children's and The Children's Assessment Center in Houston. The Children's Assessment Center provides a professional, compassionate and coordinated approach to the treatment of sexually abused children and their families in the greater Houston community. Additional community and Houston medical center partners include the Institute of Forensic Sciences and the Houston District Attorney's Office, where fellows rotate to develop further understanding of the forensic aspects of this subspecialty.
Fellows will evaluate patients when there is a concern for abuse or neglect and will participate in the subset of medical assessments of sexually abused children. Fellows will also serve as expert witnesses when these victims' cases come to trial. Our fellows have exposure to the other aspects of a child abuse investigation and evaluation performed by multiple disciplines, such as forensic interviewing, therapy services, Child Protective Services investigators and directors, and law enforcement officials, as well as a role in multidisciplinary team meetings.
The Child Protection Team is clinical arm of the Section of Public Health Pediatrics. The public health arm of the section is the Center for Adversity, Resilience and Education (CARE) and is composed of doctoral and master’s level public health experts. The main focus of CARE is to identify, promote, and implement strategies to prevent adverse childhood experiences such as poverty, violence, inequality, homelessness, and lack of mental health, education and nutrition. The Section of Public Health Pediatrics has a robust child abuse research agenda including early recognition of physical abuse and neglect, innovative imaging protocols for suspected abuse, injury recognition in the post-mortem evaluation, validation of clinical decision rules and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Additionally, the Section has funded research collaborations on maternal mental health/post-partum depression, community-based parent support programs, abusive head trauma prevention trial, food insecurity, parental opioid usage, early brain and language development, and foster care.
Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) is one of the largest, most comprehensive specialty pediatric health care organizations in the nation. TCH has three locations: the main campus in the Texas Medical Center, the Woodlands Campus, and the West Campus. In 2018, TCH had over four million patient encounters and over 150,000 ER visits across all locations, with over 70,000 of those the medical center campus emergency center. With over 1,500 physicians, the entire spectrum of pediatric care can be found in the TCH system. As a quaternary pediatric referral center and Level 1 Trauma Center, TCH opened the Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower to care for the most critically ill patients with state-of-the-art surgical suites, three ICU floors designed to be family friendly, including dedicated neuro and surgical critical care beds, and a helistop for critically ill patient transport.
As a child abuse pediatrics fellow, the depth and breadth of clinical exposure builds a solid and thorough foundation in the recognition and treatment of all types of child maltreatment.