About the Safe Place

Over the last 40 years, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has developed the region's — and one of the nation's — most comprehensive programs to address the critical issues of child abuse, neglect and placement in substitute care.

Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers and other Hospital personnel. Our mission is to provide compassionate, high quality care to children and families dealing with child abuse or neglect, either as a diagnostic assessment to evaluate concerns of abuse or neglect, or to coordinate medical and behavioral care for children placed in foster care.

Clinical services

Child Protection (SCAN) Team

For children admitted to CHOP where there is a concern for child maltreatment, our Child Protection Team, also known as the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) team, includes physicians and social workers, and provides inpatient consultations to determine if a child has experienced abuse.

CARE clinic

The CARE (Child Abuse, Referral and Evaluation) Clinic provides medical assessment and physical and behavioral treatment for suspected child abuse victims, supports parents (biologic and foster) in the care of abused and neglected children, and is the outpatient clinical service at CHOP for abused and/or neglected children.

Fostering Health Program

The Fostering Health Program (FHP) is an outpatient assessment program designed to support the healthcare needs of children in foster care.

Safe Place Telemedicine Program

Pediatricians at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who work with child abuse victims successfully launched a telemedicine/telecolposcopy program in 2016. High-quality telemedicine care enables pediatricians to interact with the patient and family, participate in telecolposcopy, obtain diagnostic-quality photo documentation, and provide recommendations for sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing.

Safe Place Treatment and Support Program

The Safe Place Treatment and Support Program provides therapeutic services, including outpatient treatment, family and support counseling, psychoeducation, referrals and resources to children and families where there is known or suspected child sexual abuse.

Sexual Assault Response Team

In collaboration with the CHOP Emergency Department, Safe Place faculty and staff work with ED providers as part of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in the care of the acute sexual assault patient. Providing real-time consultative support, and care coordination for the follow-up needs after the ED evaluation, our team provides seamless care to children and their families affected by acute sexual assault.

Education and research

Our center is a national leader in providing professional training, including a three-year ACGME accredited fellowship in child abuse pediatrics. Our research has advanced our understanding of child maltreatment and child welfare, and has been utilized to support policy changes to improve the quality of life for maltreated children and their families.


Safe Place provides help to patients and families, community and legislative advocacy for maltreated children by:

  • Participating in interdisciplinary case reviews and court testimony for child welfare, law enforcement and the legal community
  • Providing medical expertise for community partners to facilitate decision-making and best practices
  • Serving in leadership roles at Philadelphia Department of Human Services to influence health policies for maltreated children
  • Providing leadership for national child maltreatment organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ray E. Helfer Society, Academy on Violence and Abuse, and the Academic Pediatric Association