Pediatric Protection Specialists Services

The board-certified child abuse pediatricians with Norton Children’s Pediatric Protection Specialists, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, treat possible child abuse and neglect. They provide formal consultations and medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation, and follow up of suspected cases of child maltreatment. We provide assessments in Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as for all 120 counties in Kentucky.

Conditions We Assess

  • Child neglect
    • General neglect
    • Medical neglect
    • Nutritional neglect
    • Environmental neglect (usually in the form of illicit drug exposure)
  • Child physical abuse
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Psychological maltreatment
  • Pediatric condition falsification (commonly referred to as Munchausen syndrome by proxy)

Child Abuse Resources

Kentucky and Indiana have some of the highest rates of child physical abuse and neglect in the country — affecting more than 40,000 kids a year. Families of all races, backgrounds and economic statuses experience the effects of child maltreatment. Abuse of any kind is 100% preventable — here are some resources to help children and families:

Child Abuse Education for Providers

Educational materials are available for health care providers on pediatric abusive head trauma and related topics.

Excellence in Child Maltreatment Medicine

Norton Children’s Pediatric Protection Specialists have and continue to be on the forefront of preventing and treating child abuse in Kentucky. Our program was the first pediatrics-based medical consultation service in Kentucky to evaluate suspected victims of physical abuse and neglect.

Melissa Currie, M.D., was the first board-certified child abuse pediatrician in Kentucky. Vinod Rao, M.D., is the second board-certified child abuse pediatrician in the program.  As a result of Kentucky House Bill 285, our team created the core content for statewide training modules on pediatric abusive head trauma prevention. Our faculty and many of our staff members also sit on a number of state and local committees that impact child safety.

Collaboration With UofL School of Medicine

Our providers offer highly skilled care. Norton Children’s Hospital serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. These doctors are professors and active researchers helping to advance medical care through clinical research and education.

The Norton Children’s Difference

The care your child needs is close to home at Norton Children’s. With a 125-year presence in Louisville, Norton Children’s is a leader in pediatric care across Kentucky and Southern Indiana, providing an expanded footprint that includes:

  • Norton Children’s Hospital – The region’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital and Louisville’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Norton Children’s Hospital also has one of the largest Level IV (highest level) neonatal intensive care units in the country.
  • Numerous regional outpatient centers and extensive pediatrician and pediatric specialist offices throughout the area.
  • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital – The only women’s hospital in Louisville, providing care dedicated to the needs of women and children.
  • Norton Children’s Medical Center – A unique regional outpatient facility designed “Just for Kids,” bringing pediatric care to northeastern Jefferson County and the surrounding area.

Norton Children’s offers specialized programs and services, including:

  • Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, and the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center, which is one of the oldest oncology programs continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Norton Children’s heart transplant surgeons performed Kentucky’s first heart transplant in a newborn in 1986, making the hospital the second site in the United States for infant transplants. Norton Children’s Hospital is home to the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
  • Pediatric neurology and neurosurgery through Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, including a Level 4 epilepsy center
  • Orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation
  • The Wendy Novak Diabetes Center
Child Protection

Is It Abuse?

Even if you’re not sure, you are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect. Anonymous calls are accepted.

Kentucky: Call (877) KYSAFE1 (1-877-597-2331)

Indiana: (800) 800-5556

If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

Norton Children’s Pediatric Protection Specialists

Child Protection Team

Team members are available 24 /7

(502) 629-6000

The role a father plays in child abuse prevention

A child’s well-being is based on many social factors tied to their parents. According to David Cozart, director of the Lexington Leadership Foundation’s Fatherhood Initiative, a critical social factor influencing the health and well-being of […]

Read Full Story

How to tell if a bruise is from abuse

A bruise means that a child is just rambunctious, right? Possibly, but some bruising can signify something much more serious: child abuse. Bruises are a commonly overlooked sign of abuse. Many people have the misconception […]

Read Full Story

COVID-19 stresses could lead to more child abuse, but families can reduce risks

Families having to face financial, emotional and other stresses — combined with long periods of time isolated at home with a lack of structure during the COVID-19 pandemic — can lead to potentially dangerous situations […]

Read Full Story

Kentucky child abuse rate highest in U.S. for 2nd year

For the second year in a row, Kentucky had the highest child abuse rate in the country — and it’s not even close. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau “Child Maltreatment […]

Read Full Story

From a pediatrician: Why you shouldn’t spank your child

I’m in Walmart, picking up art supplies for my kid’s school project, when I hear “the warning” in the next aisle. “You better knock it off, or you’re going to get a spanking.” The hair […]

Read Full Story
Related Stories

The role a father plays in child abuse prevention

A child’s well-being is based on many social factors tied to their parents. According to David Cozart, director of the Lexington Leadership Foundation’s Fatherhood Initiative, a critical social factor influencing the health and well-being of […]

Read Full Story

How to tell if a bruise is from abuse

A bruise means that a child is just rambunctious, right? Possibly, but some bruising can signify something much more serious: child abuse. Bruises are a commonly overlooked sign of abuse. Many people have the misconception […]

Read Full Story

COVID-19 stresses could lead to more child abuse, but families can reduce risks

Families having to face financial, emotional and other stresses — combined with long periods of time isolated at home with a lack of structure during the COVID-19 pandemic — can lead to potentially dangerous situations […]

Read Full Story

Kentucky child abuse rate highest in U.S. for 2nd year

For the second year in a row, Kentucky had the highest child abuse rate in the country — and it’s not even close. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau “Child Maltreatment […]

Read Full Story

From a pediatrician: Why you shouldn’t spank your child

I’m in Walmart, picking up art supplies for my kid’s school project, when I hear “the warning” in the next aisle. “You better knock it off, or you’re going to get a spanking.” The hair […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.