Maternal & Child Health (MCH) - Medical Child Abuse Resources and Education System (MEDCARES)

Family Collage

Texas Medical Child Abuse Resources and Education System (MEDCARES)

Senate Bill 2080, 81st Legislative Session, amended sections of the applicable code, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 1001, Subchapter F (§1001.151 - §1001.157) to establish MEDCARES.  The goal is to improve services related to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child abuse and neglect in hospital or academic health care settings through funding, collaboration, and outcome reporting. 

MEDCARES Grant Program

The purpose of the grant program is to provide funds for developing and supporting regional programs to improve the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.  The funds are slated for hospitals or academic health centers with expertise in pediatric health care with a demonstrated commitment to developing basic programs in the same field for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Child Abuse Specialists: 

Child Abuse Pediatricians (CAPs) are highly-trained physicians available for consultation to children and adolescents with suspected child abuse and neglect injuries. Child Abuse Pediatrics is a relatively new subspecialty that provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment for children with suspected child maltreatment injuries.  The CAPs and their team of other trained specialists provide careful, objective and meticulous evaluations with consideration to alternative diagnoses using evidence-based standards and collaboration from multiple outside sources including law enforcement, the judicial system, advocacy centers, Child Protection Services and others.  In simpler terms, child abuse specialists (CAPs, Forensic Nurse Examiners, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Physician Assistants, Psychologists, etc.) improve timely and accurate diagnoses, provide treatment and give support to investigations.  

Medical services include comprehensive medical evaluations in an inpatient or outpatient setting and access to subspecialties like radiology, toxicology, neurology, trauma care, and burn care.  Depending on the type of maltreatment, a child could require access to specialized equipment and/or the care of additional specialized medical professionals. These facilities are equipped to handle such needs or have relationships in place to ensure the child receives the full spectrum of care. 

In addition to providing direct services, these highly trained professionals also provide education and training to those who work on the front lines with children at risk (such as law enforcement, case workers, members of the judiciary) as well as other members of the public (parents, teachers, students, medical professionals).  Information is regularly provided on topics such as how to identify various types of abuse, reporting requirements, abuse mimickers, abusive head trauma, and photodocumentation.

The list below includes the specialists across the state, all of which participate in the MEDCARES Grant Program in some capacity:

NOTE: Those with an asterisk (*) by their name indicate sites that have at least one CAP.

Children’s Medical Center Dallas*
REACH Program
1935 Medical District Drive
Dallas, TX 75235

Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s
Child Protection Team
1901 SW H.K. Dodgen Loop MS-CH 1205
Temple, Texas 76502

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care System*
Center for Miracles
333 N. Santa Rosa Street
San Antonio, TX 78207

University of Texas Health Science Center
Houston*- CARE Center
6410 Fannin Street, Suite 1425
Houston, TX 77030

Cook Children’s Medical Center*
801 Seventh Avenue
Fort Worth, TX  76104

Texas Tech University Health Science Center*
3601 4th Street
Lubbock, TX  79423
806 743-6629

Dell Children's Medical Center*
4900 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX  78723

University of Texas Medical Branch 
301 University Blvd., Route 0359
Galveston, TX 77555

409 772-1444

Driscoll Children’s Hospital* - CARE Team
3533 South Alameda
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
361-694-CARE (2273) 

Texas Children’s Hospital*- CAP Program
6621 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030

El Paso Children’s Hospital
Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
4845 Alameda
El Paso, TX 79905
915-521-7024 or 915-521-7732


Medcares  Contractor Map - 2019

Reports, Protocols, and Guidelines

MEDCARES Grant Report 2018, Revised 09/2019

MedCARES Grant Report 2016
(359 kb, pdf)

MEDCARES Grant Report 2014
(596 kb, pdf)

MEDCARES Grant Report 2012
(480kb, pdf)

Health & Safety Code, Chapter 1001, Section 1001.151
(52 kb, DOC)

Pediatric Centers of Excellence Report
(2,192 kb, PDF)

For more information on MEDCARES contact:

Jeremy Triplett
Maternal Child Health Section Director
Texas Department of State Health Services
1100 W. 49th Street MC1922
Austin, TX 78756

Contact Us

Last updated November 6, 2019