Dr. C. Henry Kempe - Founder of The Kempe Center and Kempe Foundation

The Kempe Center Mission Statement

The Kempe Center will provide and improve direct clinical services, improve clinical service delivery systems, and provide training, education and consultation programs to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect in Colorado, throughout the nation, and around the world.

The Kempe Foundation Mission Statement

The Kempe Foundation will increase awareness, engage in advocacy, and secure and provide resources for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

We were founded by the doctor who pioneered this field. We never, ever forget his mission, his vision, and his belief that change is possible.


In 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and his colleagues led the identification and recognition of child abuse with their defining paper, The Battered Child Syndrome. This paper was regarded as the single most significant event in creating awareness and exposing the reality of child abuse. It gave doctors a way to understand and do something about child abuse and neglect. Dr. Kempe was a tenacious researcher and a relentless advocate, working tirelessly to change policy, laws and perceptions to better protect children. He was our founder, and is always our inspiration. We are proud to carry on his important work.

The Kempe Center opened in 1972 with one vision: to recognize that children were being abused, the threat was real, and we must do something about it.

A section of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, The Kempe Center has built a reputation as a world leader in the child protection movement by:

  • Evaluating and diagnosing children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect.
  • Providing treatment and therapy for abused and neglected children and their families.
  • Developing and testing new programs to help children.
  • Training professionals such as doctors, teachers and social workers to protect and heal abused children and support good parenting skills.
  • Conducting studies that assist in program development and public policy making.

Dr. Kempe also recognized that practitioners and professionals would need the help of the entire community to end child abuse. The Kempe Foundation was established and community leaders, philanthropists and business people were called upon to spearhead fundraising and awareness and advocacy efforts in order to recognize and do something about child abuse and neglect.

The Battered Child Syndrome

The Battered Child Syndrome
(1.4 MB)

Historical Milestones

Legacy and History of Kempe
(11 KB)

Good Knight for Children

Escaping Nazi Germany, young Henry Kempe immigrated to the United States, and became a pediatrician and virologist specializing in smallpox. But ever the medical maverick, he would make his greatest contribution to medicine by exposing, treating, and preventing child abuse.

By Annie Kempe, the second of C. Henry Kempe's five daughters, she adds a personal perspective to the story of this influential physician and advocate for children everywhere.

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The Gary Pavilion at Children's Hospital Colorado | Anschutz Medical Campus | 13123 E. 16th Ave., B390 | Aurora, CO 80045


The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect - Copyright (c) 2008

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