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Fall conference offers you new tools to address child abuse
e-Reports, Sept. 17, 2012
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Roberta Hibbard, M.D., often receives calls from physicians across the state seeking her expertise about suspicious child injuries. She is happy to help her colleagues make decisions that can save lives.

However, Dr. Hibbard noted that in one study almost 30 percent of physicians did not report child abuse when they suspected it. In response, she is chairing the Oct. 26 conference, Indiana’s Multi-Disciplinary Response to Child Maltreatment, to help you formulate strategies to improve reporting and identifying child abuse and neglect in Indiana.

“The conference is an excellent opportunity for physicians to receive multidisciplinary training in child abuse identification, reporting and working with the system,” she explained. “There will be new information for doctors to think about.”

Dr. Hibbard said the sessions will help you learn to:

  • Identify abuse and neglect
  • Become comfortable talking with caseworkers
  • Identify the most common injuries associated with abuse, including shaken baby syndrome
  • Outline the medical evaluation necessary for an infant or toddler with suspicious injuries.
  • Identify three family systems and the types of abuse likely in each system

“I think the conference will help address many of the common concerns physicians have when dealing with families involved in child abuse situations,” said Dr. Hibbard.

The conference, funded by the Children’s Justice Act, will be held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel on the city’s west side. For more information and to register call Tina Mahern at (317) 313-4046.

Note changes in state’s Safe Haven Law

As of July 1, 2012, Indiana’s Safe Haven law now allows parents to give up their unwanted infant at 3 days old, rather than 45 days.

The law allows a distressed parent to legally and confidentially give up an unwanted infant at any emergency medical services provider, including emergency departments. It also preserves the parent from arrest or prosecution for abandonment.

The state passed the Safe Haven Law in 2000 to protect unwanted babies from being hurt or killed when abandoned. Read more here.

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