About the Safe Place

Over the last 45 years, 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 out-of-home care. Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art,evidence-based, trauma-informed care to children with suspected child maltreatment and support to their families. We provide diagnostic assessments to evaluate concerns of child maltreatment as well as coordinate medical and behavioral health care needs for children placed into foster 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. 

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, neglect or other forms of child maltreatment.

CARE clinic

The CARE (Child Abuse, Referral and Evaluation) Clinic provides medical assessment and treatment for children with suspected child abuse, supports non-offending caregivers in their efforts to care for their child, and is the outpatient clinical site for these pediatric patients at CHOP.

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 children with concerns for child abuse or neglect have been used the innovations of telemedicine as a tool in caring for these patients, since 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 outpatient psychotherapy, caregiver psychoeducation and support, 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.

Adolescent Protection Collaborative

The Adolescent Protection Collaborative (APC) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is dedicated to providing a specialized medical home for youth who have experienced or are at high risk for sex trafficking.

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, their families and to facilitate prevention interventions in reducing risks for children.


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 the local and state government levels 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, Prevent Child Abuse America, and the Academic Pediatric Association