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Child Care Clinic Highlighted During Crime Prevention Week

 Cindy Weisbart raised awareness for her clinic during Crime Prevention Week.

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine has always made children its priority. Now a special clinic within the department’s Division of Child Protection is giving voice to the often-silent cries of children who have been exposed to violence, both as victims of physical and sexual abuse and as witnesses to domestic violence.


Tucked behind historic Davidge Hall, the Care Clinic is funded by a Department of Human Resources grant from the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice. The Care Clinic provides free, intensive mental health services to abused children ages 3-18 (and their non-offending family members). "We assess whether there is a need for treatment as well as provide the treatment here," says Cindy Weisbart, PsyD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, who oversees the clinic.


A wide variety of students have been able to learn from Weisbart's clinic experience. "My students are residents, medical students and Masters-level clinicians," she explains. "I teach on the topic of child maltreatment – signs to look for, as well as treatment. We also have folks who rotate through with us to observe treatment and get a sense of what therapy looks like for kids. Often physicians don't get exposure to mental health treatment, they don’t know what it is, but they're front line, they're the folks who are seeing the kid and can right then and there intervene. And the earlier we intervene, the more likely we are to be able to help."


Weisbart collaborated with the University of Maryland Hospital’s Child Protection Team, Department of Social Work and Human Services and Violence Prevention Program to set up booths at the Hospital during Crime Prevention Week, April 22-28. The Care Clinic’s booth aimed to spread awareness about the clinic and its mission. "Most of the children that we serve are, of course, victims of crime, of child abuse," says Weisbart. "So it was a good fit for us and nice opportunity to show what we do."

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