Background

In 2003, the South Carolina Children's Hospital Collaborative and the South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers formed a partnership to address the shortage and training of clinicians specializing in the medical assessment of child abuse and neglect (CAN) and the disparity in quality and delivery of these services.

In December of the same year, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, on behalf of these organizations, obtained a 3-year grant from the Duke Endowment to fund the initial stages of a statewide program to focus on these concerns. This program is known as the South Carolina Children's Advocacy Medical Response System (SCCAMRS). The program office is housed within the Division of Forensic Pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

In July 2007, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, recognizing the complexity of the medical services required for the assessment of child maltreatment and the need for the continued enhancement of the quality and availability of such services to their Medicaid eligible child population, added their collaboration and support to the SCCAMRS framework.

At the start of the state fiscal year 2009 – 2010, the South Carolina General Assembly allocated recurring state funds within the University of South Carolina annual budget to support the delivery of statewide CAN medical services by clinicians qualified by the SCCAMRS program office to provide such services.

Mission

Our mission is to provide and administer a comprehensive resource system to assist the state's children's hospitals and the South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers with the development and sustainability of a consistent quality standard of care and practice in the delivery of medical services for allegations of child maltreatment.

To accomplish this mission, the SCCAMRS program office has developed and continues to update, implement and manage:

  • Educational and clinical training guidelines for primary care providers (PCPs) willing to participate in the medical assessment of child maltreatment
  • Clinical practice guidelines for Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) medical evaluations
  • A supplemental claims – based reimbursement system for CAN medical evaluations meeting compliance with SCCAMRS program office requirements
  • A standardized clinical assessment tool – Child Maltreatment Protocol – with appropriate forms for the State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA), Medicaid and other Third Party Payers.
  • A Child Abuse Pediatrics peer discussion forum and quality assurance system
  • A HIPAA compliant centralized CAN medical database to track children receiving SCCAMRS qualified medical services
  • Guidelines for South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) and Law enforcement agencies on when to obtain a CAN medical evaluation