The mission of the Child Protection Program (CPP) at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital in Boston is to:
The program is a resource for hospital staff and affiliates, families and the community in navigating issues of child abuse and neglect.
The Child Protection Program is staffed by two full-time, experienced clinicians: Heather McKeag, MD, a board-certified Child Abuse Pediatrician, and Aine Blanchard, a Pediatric Clinical Social Worker.
Direct Clinical Services
The Child Protection Program provides:
Education and Training
We provide education and training to hospital staff, trainees and community partners about child maltreatment and protection.
Policy and Program Development
We review and develop policies relevant to the protection of children and families receiving hospital services.
For Tufts Medical Center Providers and Hospital Affiliates
Providers can request a Child Protection consult at any time. A Child Protection consultation can assist you in managing a case where there are concerns for abuse. We offer supportive discussion of the case and expert recommendations.
A consultation may include the CPP social worker and/or the CPP MD. A medical consultation will specifically be considered when there is a question about the diagnosis or medical management of any type of maltreatment.
For Parents and Caregivers
If you are concerned that a child might be the victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect, you can call us for guidance and support. Call 617-636-5000, and ask the operator to page "The Child Protection Program."
We can talk the situation through with you and make recommendations for appropriate next steps.
If your child has an injury concerning for abuse, you should seek immediate medical care.
Anyone who has a reasonable suspicion that a child may be at risk or may be experiencing abuse or neglect can report their concerns.
All Tufts Medical Center clinicians are “mandated reporters.” Per Massachusetts law, mandated reporters are required to file a report with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) if they suspect that a child is being physically, emotionally or sexually abused or neglected. The report is called a 51A, after the statute that governs it.
Contact the Child Protection Program for consultation and guidance in any of these situations.
Filing a report
The verbal report must be made immediately by calling the DCF Hotline at 1-800-792-5200. A representative will take your report or direct you to call the appropriate local DCF office to file your report.
The 51A form can be found on the DCF website:
The written report needs to be completed and faxed to DCF within 48 hours.
Additionally, a copy of this report should be faxed to CPP Coordinator Aine Blanchard using fax number 617-636-5138.
The Child Protection Program conducts training for the hospital community in areas such as:
To request training, email Child Protection Program Coordinator Aine Blanchard.