New Resources Help Pediatricians Treat Childhood Violence

Posted by

As a pediatrician dedicated to child health, you know how difficult it can be to treat children who have been exposed to or victimized by violence. You know that these children are typically at higher risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes. You also know that the best time to intervene in these situations is as early as possible.


A grant from the Department of Justice aims to help pediatricians deal more effectively with children and adolescents exposed to violence. The grant has helped launch an AAP Web page.


The new webpage provides pediatricians and medical home teams easy access to the resources they need, resources that will enable them to modify their practice to identify, treat, and refer children and adolescents who have been exposed to or victimized by violence. The webpage includes research and data on childhood violence and its impact on children. It offers sample questions and videos that help families deal with violence. And it includes resources for parents.


A long supporter of medical homes, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that "care therein should be accessible, culturally competent, family-centered and well-coordinated." Medical homes provide children and their families a stable relationship with a pediatrician and medical home team, a relationship that serves to steer them toward a healthy and productive future. Children and adolescents who have suffered violence urgently need the kind of stable relationships these medical homes provide. In many instances, such homes are the “island of safety and comfort” in an otherwise chaotic environment. Once under the umbrella of a medical home, pediatricians can identify the root causes and conditions of childhood violence. At this point, the healing process can begin.


The Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics noted in a National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence that 60 percent of the children surveyed had been directly or indirectly exposed to violence. They described the project Building up the Medical Home for Kids Exposed to Violence, as a collaboration between the AAP and the Office of Victims of Crime (OVIC). The goals are summarized as follows:


  • Identify children exposed to or victimized by violence
  • Provide children and families the resources to stay safe
  • Provide support and treatment for violence-related  issues
  • Lay out plans for a secure, healthy and hopeful future


If you’re interested in getting more information about this important topic, register for the webinar: ”Keep It Real: How One Pediatrician Makes Medical Home Work for Children Exposed to Violence,” which is scheduled for November 30, 2012. Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP, having treated many children exposed to violence, has developed ways to incorporate questions related to adverse childhood events. She has uncovered techniques to begin the difficult conversations of childhood violence and is dedicated to ensuring that these children and their families get the care they need.  


Photo courtesy of


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • arlene f c
    arlene f c
    yes, these comments are very helpful to parents and children.
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thanks for your comments.Sandi & Stefanie: visit this site for more info--National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV)
  • Sandi W
    Sandi W
    I would love the opportunity to work with children and adolescents who have been victimized by violence. I am a very compassionate person  who would relate well with all The children traumatized by this event.
  • C. Adrienne Terzen
    C. Adrienne Terzen
    Violence is increasing and is a constant in many young lives. Exposure to positive options and alternative ways to act needs to be learned and  is crucial. Education on all levels is important. It establishes self-worth and encourages compassion and caring, so that we all can be worthwhile contributors to our world.       
  • stefanie s
    stefanie s
    please send me more information about this research
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you for your comments.
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you for your comments.
  • Angela B
    Angela B
    It's good to know that pediatricians are getting involved. It shows more interest than just money reasons. Thank you
  • Suzanne A
    Suzanne A
    Great idea,remedial psychological care will be a great asset to this healing method of care and I wish this development success.God Bless.
  • Gina V
    Gina V
    This is a great idea!!! Not only will they get the proper medical help but it will help the patients understand what they are experiencing .
  • cindy b
    cindy b
    As the grandmother  and guardian of 2 grandsons that  I fought 5 yrs for to remove from these very conditions,I can tell you first hand the importance of   bringing society up to understanding  that these children need help.The legal system tends to look the other way while more damage is done to them leaving life long scars and damage.God Bless you  for seeing the need and doing something about it!
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you for your comments, Lesa and Sharon. Childhood violence is a real problem that should "see the light of day."
  •  Lesa Davis
    Lesa Davis
    Childhood violence is a DEEP rooted thread and has been for many years. Thank-you for attempting to get this into the medical field. May your efforts be taken seriously and plans be in place and continually upgraded. I had great pediatricians and they missed it with my children.
  • Sharon V
    Sharon V
    I think it is wonderful that pediatricians are being educated in treated the whole patient, i.e., mind, body, spirit.  When someone is violated/traumatized, it is next to impossible to physically get well when they need mental health healing also.
  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you, Alice for your comments. I'm glad you found a better way and I wish you the best of luck in helping others.
  • Alice N
    Alice N
    From the article I read here I think this is an incredible idea. I've seen children in poverty, and their parents unable to care for them due to their own mental illnesses and addictions.Its a very sad state and I would work with in an environment to make changes to help these families.I had encountered pretty severe forms of neglect  I left home at 17 to find a better way. While I did get lucky and found many wonderful people in my life to encourage me, there was still work to do on the past and i did. Today my joy would to be help others

Jobs to Watch