The Loma Linda University Child Abuse Fellowship Training Program has 5 main components
- Out-Patient Clinics
- In-Patient Consults
- Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings
- Prevention Program
There are two out-patient clinics where fellows will gain hands-on experience.
The Children's Assessment Center, in San Bernardino County, is fully accredited by the National Children's Alliance. This clinic evaluates approximately 1600 child abuse cases annually, with about 60% being for allegations of sexual abuse and the remainder physical abuse, failure to thrive and severe neglect.
The Riverside Regional Medical Center, in Riverside County, is fully accredited by the National Children's Alliance. The medical center treats about 1200 new cases of abuse annually, with most children falling victim to physical abuse.
The fellow will receive training under therapists who meet National Children's Alliance standards.
Throughout the fellowship, participants will receive training in crisis intervention and an overview of the various therapeutic modalities used when treating child victims of abuse.
Program participants will have the opportunity to observe forensic interviews, which often involve witnesses to crimes and domestic violence, as well as victims of physical and sexual abuse. The age of patients range from infancy to 17 years.
The team responds to about 200 in-patient consults a year. The majority are for head trauma and fractures. At the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, weekly meetings with forensic physicians and the hospital social workers are held to discuss these issues within the hospital. At any one time, there are at least 10 children in our hospital, under the supervision of Child Protective Services (CPS), who are experiencing issues resulting from physical abuse, general to severe medical neglect, drug-dependency, and more.
There are frequent cases of children, who are victims of abusive head trauma. Of these children, 10 will die from their injuries. In these instances, the fellow is encouraged to attend all relevant autopsies.
Surviving children may be brought to our Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury clinic, where the children are followed by neurologists,neuropsychologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists. During this process fellows will have frequent contact with the neurosurgeons, neurologists, and the neuro-imaging department.
Monthly multi-disciplinary team meetings (MDT) are held to review the entire range of our work. These meetings are well-attended by representatives from the District Attorney's Office, various Law Enforcement jurisdictions and CPS, as well as representatives from juvenile court and mental health institutions.
Among Loma Linda University's many research activities is the Research Division of the Department of Pediatrics. All fellows in pediatric subspecialties receive grounding in research methodology through formal lectures, and support in choosing their research topic and negotiating with the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Given the large volume of abuse cases in our catchment area, we have instituted a hospital-based Prevention Program.
The prevention program includes two annual conferences aimed at educating best parenting practices and prevention of child abuse. Over 15,000 families have received this training through our program and we recently received funding for a prevention specialist who can carry the prevention message to the wider community.
We have three Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) board certified pediatricians, and another physician is forensically trained in Family Practice.
There are currently three Forensic Nurse Practitioners.
We have a program coordinator for the Division of Forensic Pediatrics, who manages the fellowship program, and full-time managers who oversee, train and support the outpatient clinics.
For further information or to schedule a site visit please email CAPfellowship@llu.edu