Forensic Medical Assessment
Assessing a Child's Health and Safety
Amani Center has a Designated Medical Provider (DMP) on staff 5 days a week that can see children suspected to be victims of child abuse or neglect. This ensures children will be seen by a medical provider who is trained to perform child abuse medical assessments as defined by Oregon law (ORS 418.782). Assessments at our Center are a well-child check, which is a head-to-toe assessment, that includes height, weight, vision screening, hearing screening, and collection of vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels). Anogenital assessments are performed when necessary, but there is nothing painful done during any exam. These assessments are done with the medical provider and forensic interviewer in the room. The child has complete control over the voluntary medical assessment and how it is conducted.
The medical assessment allows for the medical provider to document any findings of abuse or neglect that are visible during a medical exam. Often times children who experience abuse or neglect may show no medical findings of these concerns. With the training required to identify and diagnose signs of abuse, medical providers use their findings to make recommendations to law enforcement, child protective workers, and family members.
After the medical assessment the medical provider determines if there is cause to administer labs for drug screening for children endangered by exposure to drug use, distribution, or manufacturing. The medical provider may also order labs for sexually transmitted infections (STI) if applicable.
Medical assessments not only help to ensure the child’s health, safety, and well-being, but also help investigators in law enforcement and DHS to collect, document, and preserve important and often quickly disappearing evidence. After the medical assessment, the child has the opportunity to talk one on one with the medical provider about any concerns they may have.