The Child Abuse and Neglect Service provides medical evaluations for alleged sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect for children. The team provides 24-hour consultation services for patients within the Duke medical system, as well as scheduled outpatient medical evaluations.

The mission the Duke Child Abuse and Neglect Medical Evaluation Clinic (CANMEC) team is to provide expert evaluation and treatment for children and families where there are concerns for child abuse and neglect. 

According to the CDC, "Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death. As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes."

Children and families coping with concerns for abuse/neglect require skilled medical assessment and treatment to help ensure their safety and health. To that end, our team supports children, families, the Duke Health medical system, and the community through a variety of services. The team’s faculty and staff include nationally recognized experts with years of clinical and teaching experience. We continually strive to provide the highest quality of patient care, while disseminating knowledge through research and training of other professionals.

Our team wishes to acknowledge the contributions of former colleagues who paved the way for our team’s existence. Dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s, individuals such as Drs. Peter English and Thomas Frothingham, physician assistant Marcia Herman-Giddens, and clinical social workers Susan Quinn-Pierce and Nancy Berson pioneered the first Duke child abuse/neglect medical assessment teams. From that time, providers such as Dr. Karen St. Claire guided the program forward, allowing our team to serve thousands of children to the present day. 

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