Dell Children’s reveals child abuse maps


Community leaders gathered to discuss findings, solutions at child maltreatment summit

Unfortunately, doctors see child abuse issues every day. Experts at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, part of Ascension, recently offered data for community leaders and collaborators to consider at a child maltreatment summit. Learn more about the project.

Using information from Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Dell Children’s researchers identified areas in the Greater Austin area most affected by child abuse and maltreatment. The researchers also worked with geographic information system experts at Children’s Optimal Health to create maps showing trends in child maltreatment and areas most affected by child abuse.

Dell Children’s presented the maps to an audience of community leaders who discussed working together to prompt change.

Behind door blurred boy leaning open hand against glass. Toned image.

Guests included staffers from Austin ISD and Child Protective Services, local judges, executive directors of non-profits, and philanthropists.

Initial data shows the child maltreatment area appears to be expanding, or possibly also moving from urban Austin into the outerlying areas of Travis County

There is unequal distribution of mental health and substance abuse services, with most services located on the west side of Interstate 35, while the highest risk area is located east of I-35.

The pattern of child maltreatment in Travis County corresponds to the patterns of various factors in the community including poverty, racial segregation, community violence, family violence, and student obesity.

Dell Children’s stands ready to help lawmakers address child abuse issues. Leaders hope to put their heads together to establish a plan to provide resources to the affected areas.

Learn more about the Trauma and Injury Research Center at Dell Children’s, a Pediatric Level I Trauma Center.

Dell Children’s also has a Child Abuse Resource and Education, or CARE program. This team works with multiple clinical specialists including psychologists, radiologists and other pediatric experts. The team also manages relationships with non-medical community partners such as the legal system, law enforcement and Child Protective Services to provide comprehensive care of children who may be abused or neglected.

News Coverage of the event:


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Austin-American Statesman: