Child and Youth Protection

child and youth protection

The Division of Child and Youth Protection (CYP) at CHEO provides leadership within the hospital and community in assessing children and youth for suspected maltreatment (abuse and/or neglect). Our major emphasis is the provision of specialized medical services to children, youth and families where there is a question of abuse or neglect.

Who are we?

  • We are a hospital-based, consulting, multidisciplinary health team.
  • We are pediatricians, a nurse, a social worker, and an administrative assistant. 
  • We also have a liaison worker from the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, and we work closely with the Emergency Department Sexual Assault/Abuse Program.

What do we do?

  • We provide specialized health assessments, medical opinions, and care for children, youth and families when there is a question of maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect).
  • We provide consultation on medical aspects of maltreatment to healthcare providers, child welfare agencies, police, lawyers, and others.

How do we do this?

  • We assess children and families for urgent and elective consultation (as in-patients, in our clinic, and in the emergency department).
  • We consult to health professionals to provide support and guidance in possible maltreatment cases.
  • We consult to non-health professionals to review cases, provide health opinions and educate on health aspects of child maltreatment cases.
  • We review ALL cases that CHEO staff and physicians report to a child welfare agency.

When should you consult CYP?

  • You are looking for a medical assessment regarding possible child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect). 
  • You are looking for an opinion on medical aspects of possible child maltreatment (eg injuries and their causes, underlying medical conditions).
  • You are looking for general information about medical aspects of child maltreatment.
  • You would like to partner with CYP for the purpose of case management, research, education, or advocacy. 

The division's services are based at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), which not only serves Ottawa but also Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut, and parts of Northern Ontario. The Children's Aid Societies in Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, and the Department of Family Services in Nunavut are the legal child welfare authorities in CHEO’s catchment area to which suspected abuse and neglect must, by law, be reported. These agencies are responsible (sometimes with police) for the investigation of the reports.

Faculty members within the division teach medical undergraduates, medical residents, practicing physicians, allied health professionals and others. Faculty also conduct research and contribute to publications related to child abuse and neglect.

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