Child Protection Program

The mission of the Child Protection Program (CPP) at Tufts Medical Center in Boston is to:

  • Provide the highest standard of clinical care to victims of child abuse and neglect
  • Provide expert consultation and training for the hospitals' multidisciplinary staff and trainees
  • Foster the development of collaborative programs with other hospitals and community agencies

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:

  • Consultation and support to staff, trainees, families and community affiliates who have concerns about possible child abuse or neglect
  • Hands-on medical and psychosocial evaluations in cases of suspected physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect of children in our hospital

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:

  • Utilizing the Child Protection Program
  • Recognizing signs of child abuse
  • Managing child abuse cases
  • Internal and external resources and support services for patients and families who have experienced abuse
  • Or any other area of particular relevance to your group or service

To request training, email Child Protection Program Coordinator Aine Blanchard.