Child Protection

The Division of Child Protection, also known as the Center for Families, is focused on the problem of child abuse and neglect.


Contact the Division of Child Protection at: 410-706-5543

Contact Us

520 W Lombard St, 1st Floor 
Baltimore, MD 21201

Howard Dubowitz, MD, MS, FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics
Head, Division of Child Protection; Director, Center for Families
[email protected]

Child Protection Program Goals

  • Provide support and consults for children who have been abused or neglected, or who may be at risk
  • Provide education and training on child abuse, neglect and intimate partner (or domestic) violence
  • Build collaborative relationships within the UMMC and with the community for addressing and preventing maltreatment
  • Engage in continuous quality improvement
  • Develop policies for UMMC pertaining to child maltreatment

Clinical Programs

  • The Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK) project focuses on identifying and addressing major psychosocial problems (depression, substance abuse, intimate partner violence) that families may be facing. 

  • Our UMMS Child Protection Team (CPT) provides 24/7 consultation to staff when concerns of possible abuse or neglect arise. In addition, the CPT offers training and helps develop policies concerning child abuse and neglect.

  • Our Care Clinic, funded by the Maryland Department of Human Resources and the United Way, provides treatment to abused and neglected children and their families free of charge. 

  • The Maryland Child Abuse Medical Providers (CHAMP) program, funded by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is developing a statewide network of doctors and nurses, expert in the area of child maltreatment. 

  • Our Child Advocacy Centers coordinate the evaluation of children suspected of having been sexually abused.

  • The Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) specializes in the evaluation and management of children and young adults who are suspected of having been sexually abused or assaulted.

Research Efforts

  • The Prevention of Child Maltreatment. Funded by the US DHHS, Administration for Children and Families, the CDC and the Doris Duke Foundation. 

  • Understanding the Antecedents and Outcomes of Child Maltreatment. This project, LONGitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN), is funded by the US DHHS, Administration for Children and Families.

  • Epidemiology of Abusive Abdominal Trauma in Young Children. Identifies the frequency, risk factors, and outcomes for children hospitalized with abusive abdominal trauma. (Supported by the National Institute on Child Health and Development of the NIH).

  • Epidemiology of Occult (Masked) Abdominal Trauma in Physically Abused Children. This research project will examine the frequency of and risk factors for occult abdominal trauma in children who come to the hospital with other child abuse-related injuries. (Supported by the National Institute on Child Health and Development of the NIH.


Our faculty and staff are active in advocating for improved laws, policies and programs concerning child maltreatment at the local, state, and national levels.