AH CARE center

Audrey Hepburn CARE center
at Children's Hospital in New Orleans

In 1985, Children's Hospital began offering services specifically for the medical diagnosis and treatment of children suspected of being sexually abused. Since then services have been added to handle cases of severe physical abuse, neglect and false allegations, as well as offering consultations and injury prevention.

In June 2003, the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund and co-sponsor International House Hotel, began a new affiliation with Children's Hospital and The Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center. The Center, renamed Audrey Hepburn CARE Center, strives to practice and teach state-of-the-art pediatric forensic medicine to aid in the proper recognition, intervention, protection, prevention and care of maltreated children.

When a child goes to the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center, physicians explain to the child and accompanying adult the details of the evaluation. After a medical history is obtained, the child is interviewed alone and then examined head to toe to ensure that the physicians evaluate every part of the child's body that may have been injured. Services include expert assistance in the following areas: head trauma, child fatalities, burns, abdominal injury, poisoning, bruises, skeletal fractures, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, sexual abuse, pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, neglect and non-organic failure to thrive.

Child abuse is an epidemic in our nation. More than a million children are beaten, sexually molested or profoundly neglected in their homes each year.

Last year, nearly 1,500 children were evaluated at the CARE Center at Children's Hospital in New Orleans. In about 90% of these cases, conclusive evidence of abuse or neglect was found.

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All Photographs: Copyright © Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti unless otherwise indicated