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The Section on Child Abuse and Neglect (SOCAN) was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to improving the recognition and care of infants, children, and adolescents who are abused and neglected. The SOCAN provides an educational forum for the discussion on the diagnosis, challenges, treatments, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.  In addition, objectives of the Section include fostering research in child abuse and neglect and serving in a consulting capacity to the AAP Board of Directors on policy and other issues in this area. The SOCAN works closely with the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (COCAN) which develops policy recommendations for consideration by the Board of Directors and state legislators.

Membership in SOCAN is open to all Fellows of the AAP.  SOCAN members need not be trained in, have experience or expertise in, or be practicing in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics.  Membership in the Section should not be construed as evidence of certification or expertise in Child Abuse and Neglect. If you are interested in learning more about subspecialty certification in Child Abuse Pediatrics, visit the American Board of Pediatrics Web site.

What's New

Registration is Now Open for Violence, Abuse and Toxic Stress: An Update on Trauma-informed Care in Children and Youth
This course will be taking place July 30-August 2, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. View the course brochure and register here.

Registration is Now Open for Inter-CAP!
Click here
to register and for more information about the course.

New Online Child Abuse Courses
The SOCAN has developed two new Pedialink modules to assist with training residents and others on identifying child abuse. Child Abuse: Abusive Head Trauma and Child Abuse: Cutaneous Injury takes about an hour and qualifies for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM each. There is no cost for residents. A fee of $24 for other AAP members. For more information and to register click here.

SOCAN Salary Survey Report

The Section on Child Abuse and Neglect (SOCAN) received approval from the AAP Office of the Executive Director to field a survey to collect data on salaries of pediatricians who practice in Child Abuse Pediatrics. The results of the survey can be found here (SOCAN members only, sign in required )

Free Webinar Series on Human Trafficking

Understanding Child Abuse & Neglect Infographic from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies.

Scientific Understanding of Abusive Head Trauma for a Non-Technical Audience
Drs. Cindy Christian and Bob Sege presented to the journalism students of the Medill Innocence Project at Northwestern University on Nov. 8th, 2013.  Their presentation to the students presents the scientific understanding of abusive head trauma for a non-technical audience and can be found in the SOCAN members only section (sign in required ). To learn more about the Medill Innocence project, visit

Addressing the Bigger Picture: Adverse Childhood Experiences in Pediatric Settings
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever done to examine the links between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death. This online course will describe three effects of ACEs on children and parents, and offer tools and strategies including video vignettes for parents and caregivers as well as for providers, demonstrating how pediatricians can discuss ACE’s to promote trauma-informed pediatric care. Available in October – for more information

A Resource to Help Pediatricians Identify and Care for Children Exposed to Violence
Children exposed to violence are at higher risk for issues like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  Interventions are most effective when initiated early.  A grant from the Department of Justice has supported the development of a Web portal that provides pediatricians the resources they need in this area.

Visit to get:

  • Research and information on the prevalence and impact
  • Sample questions and video demos on how to address exposure to violence with families
  • Resources for parents
  • Educational opportunities

Upcoming Meetings/Conferences
Click here to see upcoming continuing medical education/trainings.

The number of reported child abuse and neglect incidents has increased for the first time in five years, according to a Child Maltreatment 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The report estimates 686,000 cases of child abuse or neglect across the country in 2012. Children under the age of one continue to have the highest rate of victimization at 21.9 per 1,000 children of the same age in the national population. Child fatalities have also increased with states reporting 1, 593 fatalities.

As in prior years, the greatest percentage of children suffered from neglect. A child may have suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment and was counted once for each maltreatment type. CPS investigations or assessments determined that for unique victims:

  • more than 75 percent (78.3%) suffered neglect
  • more than 15 percent (18.3%) suffered physical abuse
  • fewer than 10 percent (9.3%) suffered sexual abuse

To view the full report, please visit