Scope of the problem

An estimated one-and-a-half to two million children are abused and/or neglected in the United States each year. Approximately 3,000 children die each year at the hands of a caretaker. Child maltreatment occurs in all segments of our society and crosses all socioeconomic and cultural lines. It is, therefore, an important aspect of pediatrics and must be included in a diagnosis when evaluating trauma, illness of unknown etiology, and conflicting or inconsistent histories.

Reporting guidelines

Physicians, social workers, nurses, and other medical personnel are among those mandated by law to report all cases of suspected abuse or neglect. Recent changes in Missouri law require healthcare providers to report all cases of abuse or neglect of a child, regardless of whom the alleged perpetrator might be. Furthermore, anyone reporting abuse is protected by law from any civil or criminal liability when acting in good faith.

Meet the Child Protection Program medical team

  • Dr. Adrienne Atzemis, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Fellowship Director
    Child Abuse Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jamie Kondis, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics
  • Kathleen Houston, DNP, APRN, PNP-BC, SANE-P
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner 
  • Larissa Zguta, MSW, LCSW

Medical Providers requesting consultation with a Child Protection Team physician should contact Children’s Direct Physician’s Access Line: 800.678.4357

Child Protection Clinic: 314.454.2879

24-hour child abuse hotlines

Missouri Children’s Division (CD): 800.392.3738
Illinois Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS): 800.252.2873