In 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and his colleagues were the first to recognize and identify child abuse and neglect in the 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 identify child abuse and neglect, along with information about how to report suspected abuse. Dr. Kempe was a tenacious researcher and a relentless advocate, working tirelessly to change policy, laws and perceptions to better protect children.
A decade after The Battered Child Syndrome paper was published, Dr. Kempe founded The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. Professionals at the Kempe Center work to improve the care and well-being of all children by strengthening families, communities, and the systems that serve them.
A few years later, in 1976, The Kempe Foundation was formed to engage community, professionals and business leaders to increase awareness of the issue of child abuse and neglect, advocate for children and secure resources for the ongoing work of the Kempe Center.
Today, The Kempe Center is recognized as a world leader that is finding innovative ways to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. The Kempe Foundation has grown to support experts in the field in Colorado and across the world, as well as to advocate for children through legislation both locally and nationally, and to engage with communities to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.
Kempe is located at the Gary Pavilion on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.
Kempe Foundation Milestones
- In May 2019, House Bill 1133 became law, creating Colorado’s Child Abuse Response and Evaluation (CARE) Network, building local capacity to identify child trauma and provide quality medical and behavioral assessments for suspected victims of child abuse and neglect.
- Child Welfare Training System launched in partnership with the State of Colorado.
- IMHOFF Clinic opens to provide behavioral health treatment to children and families who are dealing with the mental health consequences of child abuse or neglect.
- SafeCare® Colorado launched in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services.
- Berger Fellow secured (a two-year endowed, postdoctoral research fellowship).
- Kempe hosts 14th International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect.
- Kempe moves to Gary Pavilion at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO
- Launch of Fostering Healthy Futures®.
- Kempe partners with groups across the country to establish survivors of childhood incest research and support groups.
- Kempe secures 1st Endowed Chair – the Jack and Viki Thompson Chair in Child Maltreatment and Family Health.
Kempe partners with groups across the country to launch:
- Family Evaluation Program established to assist local agencies and courts in assessment of complex cases of suspected abuse.
- National Adolescent Network created to provide information to professionals working with adolescent sex offenders.
- Third Party Program began to provide treatment services to families when a child has been molested by someone outside of the family.
- The Kempe Center opens with one vision: to recognize that children were being abused, the threat was real, and we must do something about it.
- The Kempe Foundation was founded to support the work of The Kempe Center
- Dr. C. Henry Kempe and Brandt F. Steele publish “The Battered Child Syndrome” research
- Dr. C. Henry Kempe establishes the first national Child Protection Team.