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Child Abuse Pediatrics Medical Providers

Child Abuse Pediatrics Medical Providers

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Our Story

Over the Years


SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System Formed

In December 2003, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics obtained a 3-year grant from the Duke Endowment to fund the initial stages of a statewide program to address the shortage and training of medical providers specializing in the medical assessment of child abuse and neglect (CAN) and the disparity in quality and delivery of these services. This program is known as the SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System (SCCAMRS).


DHHS Recognized need to collaborate with SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System

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.

2009 – 2010

South Carolina General Assembly funds providers qualified by SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System

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 medical providers qualified by the SCCAMRS program office to provide such services.


South Carolina General Assembly enacted law –SC §63-11-400

In April 2014, the South Carolina General Assembly enacted law –SC §63-11-400– establishing SCCAMRS as the premier program for coordination of statewide medical service resources in response to child abuse investigations.

The SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System has created a statewide network of qualified medical providers with extensive training in child abuse medicine, proper collection of evidence, child abuse law and the provision of responsible medical expert testimony for family and criminal court proceedings. They work closely with the state’s children’s hospitals, Children’s Advocacy Centers, The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SC DSS), law enforcement agencies, solicitors and defense attorneys in the assessment, investigation and prosecution of child abuse.

Annual Reports

2022 Annual Program Service Report

2023 Annual Program Service Report

2021 Annual Program Service Report

Understanding Common Forensic Terms

Pediatric Forensic Medical Evaluation

Consists of a complete and thorough medical history from the child (if verbal) and caregivers and a head to toe physical examination, including the anogenital area. The evaluation may also include diagnostic laboratory tests, radiology studies and photo-documentation of findings, if applicable.


  • To assess the physical, developmental, behavioral and mental health of the child and identify unmet needs
  •  To evaluate the child’s clinical findings or injuries and determine if such findings are physical evidence of abuse or from a non-abuse related medical condition
  • To screen for sexually transmitted infections (STI), when appropriate, to diagnose and treat if an infection is identified and then to interpret the significance of such infections for investigatory agencies
  •  To answer questions about the child’s physical wellbeing, and possible prognosis or outcome and provide recommendations for treatment
  •  To provide accurate documentation for legal purposes and explain to investigatory agencies, a lay jury and judge the results of the evaluation and medical opinion as to the likelihood of abuse. Also, in the absence of physical findings, provide expert opinion or testimony to explain this lack of medical evidence.


Acute Sexual Assault and Forensic Evidentiary Exam

A child 11 years of age or younger presenting within 72 hours or an adolescent presenting within 96 hours from an incident of sexual assault require an emergent exam for evidence collection (formerly known as a rape kit) and to identify, document and assess anogenital injuries.  This evidentiary exam is usually conducted in hospital emergency rooms by trained hospital staff or a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).

A SANE with a pediatric designation/certification (SANE-P) is a registered nurse who has received education and clinical training in the collection of forensic evidence, and treatment of the immediate needs of the sexually assaulted pediatric and adolescent victim (17 years of age and younger).


Foster Care Entrance Evaluations

At the request of the SC Department of Social Services (DSS), upon entering the Foster Care System, a child receives a comprehensive medical evaluation to assess his/her physical and mental health as well as developmental and behavioral needs.


Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP)

A physician with training, experience and skills in evaluating children who may be victims of abuse or neglect.  After graduation from medical school, the Child Abuse Pediatrician must complete:

  • Three or four years of residency training in the medical care of children.
  • Three years of fellowship/subspecialty training in child abuse pediatrics.
  • Obtain certification for the subspecialty from the American Board of Pediatrics.

Child abuse pediatricians often work within a multidisciplinary team that includes other healthcare providers, hospital staff, child protective service agency workers and law enforcement personnel to gather information and make sure that all agencies involved understand the medical concerns related to the child.  They  carefully review information about the child and why the concern for abuse exists.  An evaluation may include, as well, speaking to professionals involved in the care of the child, such as the child’s primary care doctor, subspecialty physician, and/or therapist.

In addition, child abuse pediatricians often testify in court to help a judge and jury understand a child’s medical concerns and injuries (or lack of) and what they mean.

SCCAMRS Qualified Medical Provider

A physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant who has completed the training standards set forth by the program to participate in the delivery of medical evaluations for child abuse and neglect. These providers come from specialties such as General Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine or Acute Primary Care. Properly training these providers to perform forensic medical evaluations for non-complex physical and sexual abuse cases and participate in court proceedings takes an average of six (6) to twelve (12) months.


Children's Advocacy Center (CAC)

A multidisciplinary, child-centered approach to the investigation, assessment and treatment of suspected child victims of abuse through the coordinated provision of forensic interviews, medical evaluations, mental health assessments/ counseling, victim advocacy services and case review.


Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)

The cornerstone of the Children’s Advocacy Center. A group of professionals from specific disciplines – Law Enforcement Agencies, Child Protective Services case workers, medical providers, mental health providers, victim advocates and prosecutors who collaborate from the point of report and throughout a child and family’s involvement with the judicial system.


South Carolina Department of Social Services

Do you have a child with an allegation of abuse or neglect?
What a DSS CPS Case Worker Needs to Bring or Send to an Appointment for a Medical Evaluation at a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC):
  1. Consent for Medical Diagnosis and Treatment (For Spanish Form here)
  2. Consent for Authorization and Release (For Spanish Form here)
  3. Child Health Questionnaires:
How to Notify a Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP) When Convening a Child Fatality Review Committee:

SC Code of Laws

Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect


SC Children’s Code — Title 63
63-7-20 Definitions
63-7-310 Personnel Required to Report Child Maltreatment
63-7-370 Domestic violence reporting
63-7-380 Photos and x-rays without parental consent; release of medical records
63-7-1990 Confidentiality and release of records and information
63-7-40 Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies
63-5-70 Unlawful conduct towards a child

View SC Children's Code — Title 63