In 1958, the first multidisciplinary Child Protection Teams (CPTs) were formed. This year marks 60 years of progress in the recognition and response to child maltreatment. As we look to April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and to celebrate this accomplishment, we also reflect on the history of child maltreatment, to anticipate the many more children we will care for, and to consider further prevention models for our communities.
The concept of hospital-based child protection “teams” started with C. Henry Kempe, M.D. of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver and two of his colleagues, Betty Elmer, M.S.W, of the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, and Helen Broadman, M.S.W., of the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. This shared effort to address the problem of child abuse laid the ground work for a tradition of support for children in need of protection.
Dr. Kempe established the first of these child protection teams in the country with his colleagues and today over 1,000 such teams now exist in the U.S. and abroad. Through this effort began Dr. Kempe’s quest to protect the abused and neglected child and his work as America’s pioneer in the field.
Learn more about the history of the Child Protection Team.