The Audrey Hepburn CARES Center provides services for suspected victims of child abuse and their families. The Team’s medical experts provide comprehensive medical evaluations for suspected child abuse cases in the hospital, from sexual and physical abuse to neglect and HIV-infected victims. Among its patients are children with developmental disabilities, who are at a statistically higher risk of abuse.
The hospital houses a team with extensive training in both child abuse and behavioral and developmental pediatrics, a dual focus that enables staff to achieve more thorough assessments. Through Project HEAL, the Team offers mental health services in a child-friendly environment to children and families. Team members also conduct education, training and research efforts within Children's Hospital Los Angeles, as well as regionally and nationwide.
Unfortunately, the incidence of child abuse continues to rise in Los Angeles. The number of child abuse cases evaluated at Children's Hospital Los Angeles also is on the increase. Reflecting local statistics, the hospital reports between 500 to 600 suspected cases of abuse annually. Sexual abuse comprises 42 percent of these cases.
Tragically, each year approximately 30 to 35 victims of child abuse lose their lives in Los Angeles County – 85 percent are younger than age five and 43 percent are younger than the age of one. The Audrey Hepburn CARES Center confronts these alarming statistics with a multifaceted program of evaluation, treatment, prevention, education and research.
The need for the program is great. If you are concerned about a possible victim of child abuse or seeking services, we encourage you to contact any of these organizations:
The Audrey Hepburn CARES Center engages in prevention, education and research activities designed to educate the community in order to:
Accurately identify child abuse when it happens
Assist community healthcare organizations in providing compassionate and developmentally-appropriate care
Improve the initial treatment and after-care provided for victims
To do this, the Center provides training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and within the community in all aspects of child maltreatment, including preventive efforts. Members also identify and pursue independent research projects focused on child abuse trends and prevention.
The Center networks with other child abuse organizations in the community and nationally to strengthen professional relationships and collaborative efforts.
Project Heal is community-based program provides comprehensive services to address the many mental health needs of child abuse victims, including those with developmental disabilities. Trained bilingual practitioners also provide a variety of services and treatment programs to the victim and their family. Services include: