Child Advocacy Center (CAC)

The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides comprehensive evaluations for children and adolescents who may be victims of physical or sexual abuse, or neglect. Services include forensic interviews, psychosocial history-taking, medical examinations, support service referrals and behavior therapy. All staff members have expertise and experience in the area of child maltreatment. Staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses, advocacy specialists, forensic interviewers, social workers and therapists.

The CAC program has received certification as a child advocacy center and is a full member of the National Children's Alliance, a national organization representing these specialized programs.

Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling the intake line at 412-692-8747.

ARCH Outpatient Clinic

The CAC houses an outpatient clinic that provides several services. The main focus is providing primary medical care to any child involved in the Child Protective Services system, especially when the child is in a nonpermanent living arrangement. This service involves comprehensive age-appropriate medical care, as well as medical case management. The case management team assists in coordination of care, securing past medical records, arranging for subspecialty referrals, obtaining durable medical equipment and medications, and referring to community resources. An emphasis in the clinic is the necessary communication between health care providers, caregivers, caseworkers, families and foster families. Other services provided in this clinic include follow-up for recently hospitalized patients and Emergency Department patients, serial appointments for a specific medical problem involving social concerns, and transfer physical examinations for children in the Allegheny County Children, Youth and Family (CYF) Program.

Appointments can be made by calling 412-692-8662. For children followed in the clinic, medical consultation is available by phone 24 hours a day.

15th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Child Maltreatment

15th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Child Maltreatment logoSAVE THE DATE
April 16-17, 2020 

Sponsored by the Child Advocacy Center at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the conference will:

  • Provide information and skill-building for child protection/welfare professionals and those concerned about the well-being of children
  • Create a forum for sharing information by national and local experts
  • Offer an opportunity for interagency staff networking 

New Location

Pittsburgh Marriott City Center
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Keynote Speakers

Thursday, April 16 — Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP
Primary Care Pediatrician with Partners in Pediatrics, University Hospitals Medical Practices, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, CWRU School of Medicine

Friday, April 17 — Matthew Sandusky
Founder and Executive Director of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, was a victim of childhood sexual abuse from the age of 8 to 17 at the hands of his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky. Matthew is working to turn his traumatic personal experience into a mechanism to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help other survivors heal.

Call For Speakers – Submission Deadline September 30, 2019

Registration to open December 2019

For more information, contact Debra Shane at 412-692-3065 or

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.™

Referral Requirements

Appointments to the forensic program typically follow referrals from a primary care physician, from a subspecialty physician, or from a child protection service agency. However, families in Allegheny County may self-refer, and an intake process will determine the most beneficial evaluation service. Referrals from primary care physicians, as well as prior authorizations from insurance companies, will expedite the process. Patients without insurance or for whom insurance claims are denied will be referred to a state victims compensation program or to Children's Free Care Fund.

Appointments to the ARCH Clinic can be a one-time consultation by a medical specialist, which requires a referral from the primary care provider. Alternatively, the physicians in the ARCH Clinic can serve as a child's primary care provider, especially appropriate for children with active Allegheny County CYF status.

Additional Resources

In the News

Who is the next Larry Nassar?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2/25/2018)

Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids Are in Danger?
New York Times Magazine (1/2/2018)

Clinical Studies



Child Abuse Identification Using Medical Records

Using the Electronic Medical Record to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Disparities in Screening for Child Physical Abuse

Read more
  • Child Advocacy Center

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 2
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224