UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital

Child Protection Center

Prior to the formation of the Child Protection Center, parents often didn't know where to get help for an abused child. Often, the child had to be taken to the police station and would have to tell about their abuse several times to different investigating agencies.

The Center represents a community-wide effort to provide:

  • Centralized access and referral to a system of community services for abused children and their families
  • Coordination of high quality, reliable, consistent interviews and medical exams by specially-trained interviewers and physicians
  • Efforts toward identification, treatment and prevention of child abuse

Referrals

Referrals to the Center are made by the Department of Human Services (DHS), law enforcement agencies and private physicians. The Child Protection Center does not replicate any existing community service. The Center also accepts referrals where a developmentally disabled adult is the alleged victim.

"I believe there are certain ways to interview a child and most police officers are not trained in this correctly. We are trained to interrogate and to find lies or holes in statements. This obviously is not a good way to interview children because young children cannot form and maintain a detailed lie.  But because of where they are developmentally, their story may not necessarily make sense or seem possible at first. Sometimes adults forget that to understand a child's statement, they need to see the occurrence from their level; both physically and at their level of functioning. The staff at CPC have extensive training in correctly interviewing children to not only find out what happened, but to do so in a non-traumatizing atmosphere," said Charity Hansel Cedar Rapids Police Investigator .

Our team approach

The Center's team works in coordination with DHS and law enforcement. After an interview and medical exam, the Child Protection Center staff, a DHS assessment worker and a law enforcement officer reviews the information together. They make recommendations and referrals to community services and specify any investigative action.

If you suspect child abuse

If you suspect child abuse, call 800/362-2178 or 319/369-7908. A trained professional will answer your call. For information about the Child Protection Center email us or call (800) 444-0224 ext. 7908 or (319) 369-7908.

The hard truth

  • Approximately two-thirds of victims are female.
  • Over 40 percent of victims are under the age of seven at the time they are seen at CPC.
  • Nearly 90 percent are abused by someone they know.  

Coming together to help kids

St. Luke's Health Care Foundation is continuing its fundraising efforts to help St. Luke's Child Protection Center. Learn more about how you can help or call (319) 369-7716.

Family advocacy services

Advocacy is a high priority at the Child Protection Center. The Family Advocate helps children and families navigate through the system, assisting the child and family to receive appropriate services.

2013 Child Protection: Our Responsibility Conference

Program Purpose: An in-depth examination of interdisciplinary approaches to child abuse investigation and prosecution.

Educational Objectives: Following this conference, participants should be able to discuss techniques to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, as well as current child abuse issues.

Target audience: All professionals interested in the protection of children and families including, prosecuting attorneys and judges, law enforcement officers, department of human services (DHS)/ social workers, forensic interviewers, healthcare providers including emergency medicine, ER staff, pediatricians, family practitioners, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical examiners and medical examiner investigators, nurses, psychologists, mental health counselors and therapists, victim advocates and victim witness coordinators and FSRP/Safety Services providers. Click here to register.