The services of the Arkansas Children’s House reflect a partnership of  the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The atmosphere at the Children’s House is warm and friendly, creating a needed sense of comfort and security for children. The staff, known as the Team for Children at Risk (TCAR), prides itself on providing evaluations in the least traumatic manner possible.

Arkansas Children’s House primarily examines children thought to have been sexually abused. We perform over 400 sexual abuse evaluations per year. We also provide evaluations for physical abuse that is not acute (no fresh marks, abrasions, or fractures).

The Arkansas Children’s House is located at 1600 Maryland Street on the campus of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  A map will be sent to a parent or guardian to assist them in locating our facility. Parking is located behind and on the two blocks in front of the building.


Who May Refer Children

We accept referrals for appointments from Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services, local law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, courts, physicians and other health care professionals.  A report of a suspicion of abuse must have been made to the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline and an investigation initiated.  An interview of the child must have been conducted before an appointment can be scheduled, since the results of the interview can guide the tests to be performed.


Intake

To refer a patient for an appointment, you may call us at (501) 364-2680.  We will complete an intake form and determine whether the child meets the criteria for an appointment.  Download a copy of the intake form.

You may also print and complete the needed information on the attached form and fax to us at (501) 364-3939; then call us to confirm our receipt and obtain the appointment date/time.

However, please note that all “criteria” must be met in order for us to give an appointment.  The criteria are listed on the attached form.  If a child does not meet any one of these criteria, the child likely will need an immediate examination in the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.  If all the criteria is not met, call (501) 364-1185 and ask to speak to the admitting resident or nurse, OR you may call us and we can help you determine that need and notify the Emergency Department for you.

Note:  In order to ensure that every child who comes to the Arkansas Children’s House feels safe, we do not permit access of alleged offenders. We follow strict policies and procedures regarding patient confidentiality, and we are cautious about releasing information regarding a child’s visit over the telephone.


Insurance

When a child is covered under Medicaid, ArKids First, Champus, or Tricare Foundation, we will bill those programs if we receive a referral from the child’s primary care physician. If a child has private insurance or no insurance coverage, the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board will almost always pay the cost of the medical evaluations when law enforcement or the Department of Human Services is involved. The parent must provide the child’s social security number at the time of the visit in order to file the necessary paperwork. In the rare cases in which law enforcement is not involved, it may be necessary for us to bill private medical insurance or the parent. We encourage parents to contact their medical insurance company for pre-authorization and/or referral before their child’s appointment.


Services

Services provided to parents, their children, and referral agencies include:

  •  Preparation of the child and parent before the examination
  •  Comprehensive general and colposcopic genital and anal examinations
  •  Needed laboratory and radiographic tests
  •  Conference with the parent or guardian to assist in understanding the examination and other related issues
  •  Crisis intervention
  •  Guidance for resources that are available to families from community agencies
  •  Counseling resources for the child and family
  •  Prompt reports to the referral and other involved investigating  agencies
  •  Telephone consultations and case conferences
  • Court testimony

Medical Evaluations

The sexual abuse evaluations performed at the Arkansas Children’s House are not physically traumatic to children, and they are rarely emotionally traumatic. A parent may bring a child to our facility and meet the staff before the scheduled appointment time. Our staff spends as much time as possible at the time of the evaluations interacting with children to prepare them for their examinations. We use innovative techniques that include multiple methods of distraction to ease children’s fears. A video colposcope is used in our examinations for magnification, photo documentation and as a lighting source. It does not touch a child’s body at any time during the evaluation.   Very rarely is a speculum utilized or needed for these exams, even in adolescents.  However, some laboratory tests of the genital and/or anal areas might be needed. The parent will be able to stay with the child during the examination.

After the examination, the physician or nurse practitioner and social worker will meet with the parents to discuss the examination and other related issues.  The child will be in the waiting room, and the family will need to bring someone with them to watch over their child at this time. At the close of the visit, it may be necessary for the child to have laboratory tests performed.

We find that parents are almost always more anxious during an examination than their children.  Even children as young as two to three years usually accept the exams quite well.  Older children who were anxious prior to the exam commonly display pride at handling it so well afterward.

We perform”second opinion” evaluations of children suspected of having been physically abused, including appropriate laboratory tests and X-rays.  We also collect evidence of illegal drug exposure, including hair for drug testing.

How to Read the Medical Report  (Suspected Child Sexual Abuse/Assault Medical Record)

The first page of this report will contain the following information:
• Name of the child
• Date of the evaluation
• Where the evaluation took place and which agency or person referred the child for the evaluation
• Other agencies known to be involved
• History of the abuse
The second page of the medical report deals with the general health of the child. The third page describes the findings of the genital and anal examination.  The fourth page lists the tests taken. The investigating agency primarily will be interested in the information on the fifth page.  This is the statement regarding presence or absence of medical findings of sexual abuse/assault.  It also includes a notation that the absence of physical findings does not rule out prior sexual abuse. (More than half of sexually abused boys and girls will have a normal examination). The last page includes our recommendations for the child and the family.

Who Receives the Medical Report

The medical record is released to the referring agency, referring physician and/or primary care physician, the Medical Records Department of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and the offices of the appropriate law enforcement agency and Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Who to Call for Questions

You may contact the Arkansas Children’s House by phone, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 PM. The following is a list of the staff, their phone numbers, and responsibilities.

  • Tracy Abbott, Clinic/Intake Coordinator (501) 364-2680
    • Schedules or cancels appointments
    • Answers questions about examinations and assists with them
    • Assists in obtaining Medicaid transportation
  • Gina McGee, Administrative Assistant (501) 364-1013
    • Handles billing and insurance
    • Schedules case conferences for outside agencies
  • Toss Worthington, Nurse Practitioner (501) 364-2680
    • Explanation of medical reports/findings
    • Consultations
    • Schedule lectures or meetings
  • Jerry G. Jones, M.D., Director, Center for Children at Risk: (501) 364-1013
    • Explanation of medical reports/findings
    • Consultations
  • Karen Farst, M.D., Associate Professor, Center for Children at Risk:  (501)364-2650
    • Explanation of medical reports/findings
    • Consultations
  •  Jenny Miller, SHIPS-Medical Coordinator (501) 364-2071
    • Edits SHIPS’ Log
    • Issues SHIPS CMEs for nurses
    • SHIPS’ Log questions
    • Schedules SHIPS conference
  • Social Workers (501-364-1406)
    • Social issues
    • Resources for services
  • Stan Rauls, Legal Educator
    • Schedules meetings of attorneys with UAMS professionals

We appreciate the opportunity to participate with you in the evaluation and management of abused children and their families. Please call any of us for concerns or questions.
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FAMILY TREATMENT PROGRAM 

The Family Treatment Program provides mental health services to children and families of sexual abuse. It also provides evaluations and treatment of adolescent offenders under the Adolescent Sexual Adjustment Project (ASAP).

Who May Refer Children

Families may call for an appointment for sexual abuse treatment. Referrals for ASAP are accepted only from the AR Department of Human Services (DHS).

Intake

When parents call for an appointment for family treatment services, their name and telephone number will be taken. A therapist will return the call, obtain intake information, and provide further information about the program. When a representative from DHS calls for an ASAP evaluation, an appointment date will be given by the ASAP intake coordinator.

Services

Specialized services in the Family Treatment Program include individual, family, and group therapies for victims, non-offending parents, and non-abused siblings. Treatment is delivered by a multidisciplinary team comprised of psychologists and social workers. ASAP is a specialty treatment program within the Family Treatment Program for the treatment of children and adolescents with sexual behavior disorders (e.g. child molesting). This treatment is critical in reducing the risk for re-offense.