Medical professionals are an essential component of a child welfare case. Medical professionals can identify cases of abuse/neglect, provide treatment to children and families, prescribe medication and testify in court regarding a case.
Medical professionals are also an important party during the life of a case. Medical and mental health evaluations are an important tool for courts and agencies. Medical professionals can assess medical conditions associated with physical, sexual and mental health complaints. They often diagnose development of any medical problems that may develop and can recommend appropriate treatment options to aid with the problem. Additionally, these professionals may be able to treat the medical condition through a variety of arenas, which may include medication. Medical professionals can also testify in court as to findings of an evaluation, progress of treatment and identification of any long term affects.
Becoming aware of medical resources in your community, knowing how to link families to those resources and teaching parents how to advocate for their child or adolescent in the medical field is essential in providing optimal treatment for abused and neglected children. These resources should be included in local partnerships that relate to the child welfare system.
For information on how to report suspected abuse, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.