Every child, every time: hospital-wide child abuse screening increases awareness and state reporting
A review of our child abuse evaluation system demonstrated a lack of standardization leading to low reporting levels. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to develop a standard child abuse screening tool; an education program increasing awareness to child abuse; and to measure the impact of the screening tool in reporting.
A screening tool was developed and implemented for all trauma patients < 15 years of age; staff was educated; and a child protection team (CPT) was established. Within 9 months, screening was extended to all patients admitted to the children’s hospital. Screening compliance, number of child abuse reporting forms (CY-47) filed, and consultations to the CPT were monitored.
Initially, there was an average screening compliance of 56%. After making the program hospital-wide, the compliance rate increased to an average of 96%; and the average number of CPT consults increased from 2 to 10 per month. Over this study period, the average number of CY-47s filed increased from 6.1 to 7.3 per month.
Hospital-wide use of an objective screening tool, frequent re-education, and the support of an experienced child protection team led to improved child abuse screening compliance and more consistent suspected-abuse reporting rates.
KeywordsChild abuse Universal screening Quality improvement Non-accidental trauma (NAT)
Compliance with ethical standards
Research involving human participants and/or animals
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
- 1.Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Annual Child Abuse Report (2015) http://www.dhs.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/report/c_208256.pdf. Accessed 5 May 2016
- 4.The Child Protective Services Law (2012) 23 Pa.C.S. § § 6301–6385Google Scholar