Child Advocacy Research

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 abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. In step with these services, the research of the CAC focuses on improving the scientific base to diagnose and treat victims of child maltreatment and to improve techniques to differentiate abusive and accidental trauma. The Child Advocacy team also participates in research efforts to improve needed intervention and treatments that allow children in past abusive situations to reach their full potential and that foster resilience in child and family.

Recent research activities in Children's CAC include the following: serum biomarkers as an adjunct in detection of brain injury and as correlation with degree of injury; usefulness of skeletal survey evaluations; practice patterns regarding evaluation of siblings of children suspected to have been abused; and measures useful in distinguishing between inflicted and non-inflicted injuries in children and infants.