The West Virginia Child Abuse Medical Program (WV-CHAMP) is a project of WVCAN designed to give every abused or neglected child in West Virginia equal access to a specially-trained child abuse medical provider who works in collaboration with our CACs and their local teams.

What is WV-CHAMP? 

The West Virginia Child Abuse Medical Program (WV-CHAMP) is a project of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN). This project began in 2011 with a group of stakeholders coming together to improve the statewide medical response to child abuse, with input and support from:

  • WV’s 2 board-certified child abuse pediatricians
  • Local child abuse healthcare providers
  • WV Hospital Association
  • WV Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • WV Child Fatality Review Team
  • WV Crimes Against Children Unit
  • WV Foundation for Rape Information and Services
  • WV State Senate
  • WV Prosecuting Attorneys Institute
  • WV Department of Health and Human Services
  • Child Advocacy Center (CAC) staff

We are also very grateful for the support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Bernard McDonough Foundation, and the WV Bureau for Public Health throughout the life of this project. Currently, this program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Our goal is to give every abused or neglected child in West Virginia equal access to a specially-trained child abuse medical provider who works in collaboration with local multidisciplinary investigative teams (MDITs) and Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) to protect children and strengthen West Virginia families. The core of the project’s activities is ensuring that CAC and MDIT professionals, both medical and non-medical, are equipped with the education and resources that help them meet national standards when providing specialized medical care to child abuse victims and their families.

Professional Development

Core Medical Training

According to CACs’ national standards: “Medical evaluations are conducted by health care providers with specific training in child sexual abuse that meets one of the following training standards.”

The most consistently available training opportunities for medical providers are through the Midwest Regional CAC’s Online Medical Training Academy or the National CAC’s Medical Training Academy/Legal Training Academy: Concurrent Course. In-person and in-state training is infrequent, but you can always check the WVCAN calendar for opportunities.

Ongoing Education

The annual WVCAN Conference, usually held in April, has always offered CME and CNE credits specific to the medical evaluation and treatment of child abuse. Other opportunities include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Midwest Regional CAC EduNet 2.0 is a series of expert webinars on a variety of multidisciplinary topics. All webinars are offered FREE of charge and will be archived for later viewing. Topics are chosen for this series based on the NCA Accreditation Standards and will be of interest to the entire multidisciplinary team. Continuing Education: Approved by Minnesota Continuing Medical Education Board for 2 hours of CME, Board of Social Work for 2 hours of CEU, and 2 Post Credits by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officers. Select courses also offer 2 CLEs by the Minnesota Board of Legal Education.
  • NY-CHAMP: In addition to a large website with educational resources, NY-CHAMP’s webcasts are intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other health care professionals who may respond to suspected child abuse. Pre-registration for each webcast is required for AMA Category 1 Credit Award.

Expert Review

Participation in myCasereview, the Midwest Regional CAC’s anonymous online expert review program, will meet NCA’s expert review standard and provide child abuse medical examiners a benchmark against which they can measure their level of diagnostic agreement with expert diagnosticians.

Participation in myCasereview is not to be utilized for “second opinions” or initial diagnoses. Rather, it is to be used for medical expert review of examination findings in sexual abuse cases, to further facilitate accurate diagnoses by medical providers examining children who have been sexually abused. Although CACs, providers, and clinics may pay for their own annual subscription, WVCAN has a limited number of scholarships available. Click here to download the scholarship application.

Clinical Preceptorship

The Midwest Regional CAC also offers a clinical preceptorship program. The Child Abuse Medical Preceptorship program builds upon the foundational medical education programs by connecting providers with highly qualified centers of practice in their region to receive hands-on technical skills and education. Click here to learn more.

In-State Networking Opportunities

The CAC movement is built on collaboration, so we believe it is critical for child abuse medical providers to be familiar with and have opportunities to network with their peers throughout the state. WV-CHAMP offers a quarterly online medical educational case review. This activity is an informal online meeting of child abuse healthcare professionals who regularly treat West Virginia children in collaboration with their local CAC and multidisciplinary team. Presenters guide conversations on a given topic in the medical evaluation and treatment of child abuse through case presentations. Check back here or the WVCAN events calendar for upcoming opportunities to participate.

Protocols, Guidelines, and Useful Links

Medical Child Sexual Abuse Protocols

This protocol walks non-specialized medical providers through making appropriate and timely referrals when there is a suspicion or report of child sexual abuse. Beyond situations needing emergency medical intervention, referrals are steered towards the CAC and their child abuse medical provider with specialized training. The flowchart contained in the protocol is designed to be printed and posted on a wall for easy access when such situations arise in medical facilities.



Medical Child Physical Abuse Protocols

This protocol, also designed for medical professionals without specialized child abuse training and experience, helps distinguish between injuries indicative of accidental and non-accidental trauma. The checklist of injuries characteristic of non-accidental trauma also gives guidance for timely referral and intervention. The non-accidental injury checklist is also designed to be printed and posted on a wall for easy access in medical facilities that may encounter children who have been abused.



CAC Medical Referral Guidelines

This document guides CAC staff, who typically are not medical professionals, through considerations when deciding whether or not to refer a child for medical evaluation. Many more children may benefit from a medical exam from a child abuse medical provider based on these considerations. This has been adapted from a CACTX guideline that West Virginia medical providers and CAC staff edited to make applicable to our state. WVCAN recommends reviewing this document when your CAC is writing or editing its local medical protocols.



American Academy of Pediatrics Resources

AAP Section on Child Abuse and Neglect

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention

Sexual Assault and Abuse and STDs


Child Protector App – This app will assist Children’s Protective Services, law enforcement and medical personnel when evaluating children who may have been physically abused.

WV Help App – WV HELP provides instant access to telephone numbers and resources available in West Virginia when you are dealing with a victim experiencing crime, violence, or abuse.

For Families

The Child Abuse Medical Exam – Questions & Answers

It is upsetting for parents and caregivers to think that their child may have been sexually or physically abused. One thing that can be helpful to both children and caregivers, and may be recommended by the CAC and team, is a head-to-toe medical exam. In addition to ensuring your child is healthy, a medical exam can also help take care of any problems like infection or injury. Click here to download this printable handout about child abuse medical exams.