Skip to Main Content

Center for Child Protection

Every year, nearly 20,000 cases of suspected child abuse are reported in Alameda County. Hundreds of those children receive care at the UCSF Center for Child Protection in Oakland, which offers comprehensive medical services to victims of physical or sexual abuse. Our staff also sees hundreds of children from other Bay Area counties and throughout the northern and central regions of California every year.

Our center was established in 1984 to foster a strong collaborative relationship between the medical and legal systems that ensures abused children receive the care they need. We work with children of all ages, from infants to adolescents. Our team of doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers is specially trained to evaluate children and provide physical and mental health care when abuse is suspected. Our team provides forensic medical assessments and works closely with families, law enforcement and child protective services.

The center is led by a pediatrician who is fellowship-trained and board-certified in child abuse pediatrics. He is one of only a handful of doctors in Northern California with those credentials and one of only three Bay Area pediatricians with this specialty. The Children's Hospital Association named us a center of excellence in recognition of our expertise, the many services we offer and our role as the designated provider of pediatric forensic evaluations for Alameda County.

Our medical services include medical consultations in the hospital; forensic medical examinations in the emergency department and clinics; consultations to law enforcement, child welfare agencies and doctors in the community; and expert witness testimony. We operate a special around-the-clock team of doctors and advanced practice practitioners – the SAFE team – to conduct medical evaluations in acute cases (when an alleged sexual assault took place within the previous 72 hours). In non-acute cases (when an alleged assault occurred more than 72 hours previously), we provide forensic examinations in our clinic, at the request of law enforcement and by appointment only. We also accept referrals from community doctors when children need gynecological exams.

In addition to medical care immediately following abuse, our team provides an array of mental health and educational services for children affected by abuse and for their families. These include:

  • Crisis assessment and intervention. The center's social workers serve as first responders in alleged child abuse cases in the emergency room, responding to the immediate physical, psychological, emotional and legal needs of children and non-offending family members.
  • Clinical case management. Our social workers work with patients and families to ensure they comply with post-forensic medical care. We provide support and guidance for navigating the criminal justice process and connecting with relevant community resources.
  • Psychotherapy services. We provide short- and long-term therapy for victims under 18 and non-offending family members, using strategies specifically designed to address trauma and its impact over time.
  • Camp Creating Confident People. This children's program combines the typical summer camp experience with group talk therapy for kids with trauma related to abuse or other violence.
  • Parenting After Trauma group workshops. These aim to provide support and guidance to parents of children affected by abuse.

Our locations (1)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    Plan your visit

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

    Learn more

    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

    Learn more

    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Learn more

    Our research initiatives

    • ucsf-department-of-psychiatry-research-2x

      UCSF Department of Psychiatry Research

    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Learning never stops

    Our classroom and bedside classes help kids get credit and keep learning during treatment.

    See our school program