Title : Behavioral health consultant trauma-informed approach when examining child abuse and neglect in a pediatric clinic
According to the Children’s Bureau, child abuse and neglect is any action, whether physical, emotional, sexual or the failure to provide necessities and safety of a child (i.e., food, shelter, clothing, water, medical care, supervision, etc.). The unfortunate reality is that many children suffer such conditions, which are often unreported, thus resulting in death. In fact, “an estimated 1,840 children died due to abuse or neglect in the Federal fiscal year 2019” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). While not all cases result in death, the long-term consequences of experiencing abuse or neglect can affect individuals emotionally, mentally, and physically throughout their lifetime.
While pediatric medical staff have training focusing on detecting child abuse and neglect, it can be challenging and difficult to determine (Christian, 2019). A study found that “more than one-quarter of children with severe physical abuse had previous sentinel injuries missed by physicians” (Narang et al., 2018). Behavioral health consultants (BHC) will educate pediatric primary care medical staff on a trauma-informed method that is utilized in detecting child abuse and neglect. This approach from a BHC framework will provide staff with a sensitive and evidence-based approach to aid in the prevention of abuse and neglect.