CARES Northwest is a collaborative, community-based medical program for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse. We provide a safe, child-friendly environment for the assessment of children for whom there are concerns of physical or sexual abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence. Physical examinations and interviews are conducted in a comfortable environment to help children feel safe.
Founded in 1987, the program is a collaborative effort among four of the region’s leading health systems — Kaiser Permanente, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Providence Health & Services, and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. CARES Northwest was the first program in Oregon to pair physicians and nurse practitioners with child interviewers in a medical setting to provide child abuse evaluations. Coordinating experts in medicine, mental health, child protective services and law enforcement agencies, CARES Northwest ensures that children obtain needed professional services in one child-friendly location. This approach to intervention increases effectiveness, which minimizes trauma to the child, helps prevent future abuse and sets them on the road to healing.
CARES Northwest is one of the oldest and largest child abuse assessment centers in the nation, serving more than 5,000 children annually. Approximately 1,500 children are seen at the program each year. We are the only program serving Multnomah and Washington Counties; we also serve children throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
Statistics related to the incidence of child abuse can be overwhelming. Some health care professionals refer to child abuse as a national epidemic. Studies estimate that as many as one in three girls and one in six boys will experience some form of child abuse by the time they reach the age of 18.