Alignment between hospital child abuse teams, state child protection units, and law enforcement can lead to false accusations of abuse, depriving parents of due process and destroying innocent families in the process.

Key Points:

  • The alignment of child abuse pediatric teams with child protective services, law enforcement, and state prosecutors compromises the objectivity of medical examinations of suspected child abuse victims and has led to wrongful convictions of innocent caregivers.
  • New medical research along with a string of recent acquittals and conviction reversals have raised questions about the reliability of the diagnoses provided by child abuse pediatric teams.
  • Texas distributes roughly $5.5 million each biennium to hospital child abuse pediatric teams who work with DFPS to provide medical consultation, case reviews, and testimony in child abuse cases.
  • While there is a proper role for medical professionals to play in child abuse investigations, safeguards should be put into place to ensure objective decision-making and eliminate conflicts of interest among child abuse pediatric teams.