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The Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship program offers extensive clinical subspecialty training at Indiana’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.
A group of six faculty physicians in white coats walk down the hall together while talking

Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship

The Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children is a three year ACGME accredited program. Our fellowship program offers extensive clinical subspecialty training in child abuse pediatrics at Indiana’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Our five full-time and one part-time faculty physicians are all board-certified child abuse pediatricians. Our division also includes pediatric nurse practitioners, social workers, registered nurses, and data entry/research staff. Fellows have opportunities to work closely with a wide variety of other medical and surgical subspecialists and community partners.

The IU Child Protection Program (CPP) was founded in 1985 and provides consultation services to children, families and professionals involved with child maltreatment. The CPP mission is to improve care, evaluation and coordination of services to children who are suspected victims of child abuse or neglect. We strive to provide objective evidence-based clinical evaluations and are committed to advancing health equity. Collaboration with professionals from other disciplines that work in this field and work with multidisciplinary teams is an important component of the CPP work. We offer:

  • Comprehensive medical evaluations for children about whom abuse or neglect is suspected
  • Comprehensive medical evaluations for children recently entering the foster care system
  • Professional consultation for health care providers, child protective services (CPS), law enforcement officers or other professionals
  • Expert testimony in legal settings
  • Professional education
  • Parent education
  • Prevention efforts
  • Leadership in identifying and solving community issues dealing with child maltreatment

The aims of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship program are to provide subspecialty training experiences that allow pediatricians to:

  • Become excellent clinicians, educators and scholars in child abuse pediatrics
  • Be able to work collaboratively with professionals in other disciplines in the field
  • Qualify for child abuse pediatrics subspecialty certification by the American Board of Pediatrics
  • Become recognized experts and leaders in their local communities related to their professional expertise

Committed to diversity, equity and inclusion

IU School of Medicine is committed to advancing culturally competent medical education, clinical care and research. Focused, systematic and sustained programs are offered, aligned with three foundational pillars: representational diversity, inclusive working and learning environment, and cultural competence. Learn more.

It is the mission of the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and justice among students, trainees, faculty and staff as a prerequisite in advancing innovation and excellence in education, research and patient-centered care. Learn more.

Our division is a participant in the Underrepresented in Medicine Visiting Residency program. This program offers an opportunity for residents from minoritized backgrounds, interested in pursuing this subspecialty, to do a visiting rotation in child abuse pediatrics. Learn more.

GME Diversity

Pediatrics Diversity

Find out about all the Child Protection fellowship program has to offer

Program Leadership

Fellowship Director
18688-Hicks, Ralph

Ralph A. Hicks, MD

Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Read Bio Ralph A. Hicks, MD

Division Chief
22742-Thompson, Shannon

Shannon L. Thompson, MD, BA, FAAP

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Read Bio Shannon L. Thompson, MD, BA, FAAP

Program Coordinator
Pediatric Nephrology fellowship coordinator

Lyn Terrell

Our Services

  • Child Abuse Consultation Service

    The Child Abuse Consultation Service provides comprehensive medical evaluations for children alleged to have been abused or neglected. Our program receives approximately 5,500 referrals each year concerning children with concerns for any type of child maltreatment. This includes approximately 550 patient examinations performed at Riley Hospital for Children (~ 40% sexual abuse exams, ~ 60% physical abuse/other). Requests for consultation come from health care providers, CPS, law enforcement, attorneys and other professionals.

  • PEDS Program

    PEDS Program (Pediatric Evaluation and Diagnostic Services): Since 2008, in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Child Services (which houses CPS), CPP physicians have provided formal consultation for agency case managers throughout the state. The goal of the PEDS Program is to provide expert knowledge from child abuse pediatricians to assist case managers in understanding medical aspects of their cases, including differentiating abusive injuries, accidental injuries, and medical conditions.

  • Pediatric Center of Hope

    The Pediatric Center of Hope (child sexual abuse program) provides comprehensive medical evaluation for children alleged to have been sexually abused. Children are referred primarily by CPS, law enforcement, and health care providers. Patients are seen for both scheduled and acute examinations (the latter often involving forensic evidence collection).

  • Foster Care Bridge Clinic

    Foster Care Bridge Clinic (FCBC) is the newest CPP program and opened in May 2019. The FCBC addresses the limited health care access and unmet health needs (medical, dental, mental health, developmental, and psychosocial) of children recently placed in foster care until a permanent medical home is identified. Children seen in FCBC receive a multidisciplinary trauma-informed (1) comprehensive medical evaluation; (2) developmental screening, social-emotional screening, and behavioral surveillance; and (3) social determinants/safety assessment.

  • Liaison Child Abuse Forum

    The School Liaison Child Abuse Forum is a community coordination effort founded and directed by the Child Protection Program. This forum meets regularly and brings together Marion County CPS, law enforcement, prosecutor, and public school system representatives to solve community problems in the identification, evaluation, and handling of child abuse cases.

  • Marion County Child Fatality Review Team

    The Marion County Child Fatality Review Team was developed in 1994 under the leadership of the CPP. This multidisciplinary/multiagency team meets monthly and reviews child fatalities in Marion County to assess the (1) epidemiology of child deaths not due to natural causes, and (2) potential to better understand child deaths and their prevention.

  • Educational Efforts

    Our team has regular multi-disciplinary case review and educational sessions. They include a weekly review of CPP consultations, a monthly radiology/neuroradiology child abuse case review conference, and a monthly review of acute sexual assault examinations. Team members are regularly asked to provide trainings for professionals in various disciplines locally and statewide. Currently we have 17 general pediatricians around the state who have joined with us to assist with the medical evaluations of children reported to CPS, and they are invited to participate virtually in our case reviews. We also provide and host an annual educational conference for our general pediatrician partners.

Application Requirements

Physicians interested in applying for a pediatrics fellowship program at IU School of Medicine should submit an application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Prerequisites and required materials for acceptance into the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship program are:

  • Graduation from an accredited U.S. and U.S. territories medical schools (or for International Medical Graduates a valid unexpired ECFMG certificate)
  • Successful completion of a 3-year accredited U.S. residency in general pediatrics
  • U.S. citizen, have permanent residence status (green card holder), or a J-1 visa
  • Three letters of recommendation (one must be from applicant’s residency program director)
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • USMLE transcript for MD applicants or COMLEX transcript for DO applicants
  • ECFMG Status Report (International Medical Graduates only)
  • Applications should be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

Our program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and therefore complies with the NRMP policies and rules.


Contact Us

For more information:

Lyn Terrell, C-TAGME
Program Coordinator

Ralph A. Hicks, MD
Program Director