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School of Community Medicine

Children's Justice Center

The Children's Justice Center, located on the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa campus, in collaboration with the Child Abuse Network, is designated as a University of Oklahoma Center for Excellence. This innovative center serves as a national model for the multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse investigation and prosecution. The following agencies have staff at the Center:

  • Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, OU-Tulsa (includes 4 pediatricians, a PNP, and a pediatrician in our child abuse fellowship)
  • Child Abuse Network, Inc.
  • Child Welfare, Department of Human Services
  • Child Crisis Unit, Tulsa Police Department
  • Tulsa County District Attorney's Office
Justice Center

Child abuse damages our community's most vulnerable citizens, and often has generational implications. In the context of violence, child abuse is a public health problem that presents complex social and moral dilemmas concerning its cause, effect and remedy. Addressing child abuse requires a comprehensive plan with multiple, coordinated strategies.

Through its public/private partnerships and alliances, the Child Abuse Network centralizes the community's expertise on investigating child abuse. The result is a collaborative and non-duplicated interagency response to reported child abuse. Through medical evaluations, forensic investigative interviews, mental health consultation and case reviews, the Center's team has proved effective in determining whether child abuse has happened or not. The benefits of the team approach include:

  • less traumatic investigations;
  • more efficient and accurate investigations;
  • one centralized facility for questions and referrals.

 

The Center focuses on:

  • services (Investigators from more than twenty-five surrounding counties have utilized the Center's medical and interviewing expertise.)
  • training/education (In addition to working with graduate programs, the Center's staff have provided training to local, state, national, and international communities.)
  • research (The Center has recently been approved to participate in a multi-site NIH grant to study the effects of methamphetamine use during pregnancy on child development.)

 

For additional information about the Center, please call the Child Abuse Network at 918/624-0200.