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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:



Health Services



Health Services




Health Services



The Child Health Unit



Types of Services Available        11-20-2001


The Child Health Unit, located in the CP&P Central Office, provides professional medical support services to CP&P field staff at no cost to the Local Office. The unit consists of part time licensed pediatric professionals who offer the following services:


·              case consultation,


·              second opinions,


·              medical examinations,


·              psychiatric and psychological evaluations,


·              court testimony,


·              training and community education, and


·              referral services.


Services are coordinated by the Child Health Unit Supervisor during normal work hours. Services are available through SCR after five p.m., weekends and on holidays.


Case Consultation 8-1-79


CP&P Workers frequently require medical information related to specific conditions, diseases or syndromes in order to develop and implement an appropriate case plan. Case consultation services include interpretation and review of medical records and x-rays.




1.   Do frequent recurrences of head lice within a large poor family constitute medical neglect?

2.   Should SCR staff give consent for medical treatment to a physician waiting to perform a spinal tap on a two-week old infant?

3.   Is a child in a residential center being over medicated?

4.   To provide information to resource parents who have children with medical/behavioral problems that regular pediatric care does not help, e.g., scabies, severe masturbation, feces-eating.

5.   What should staff do when exposed to clients with T.B., Meningitis, other safety             issues?


Medical Examinations and Evaluations          11-20-2001


Child Health Unit professionals are available to perform physical examinations and psychiatric/psychological evaluations at sites convenient to the physicians and chosen in light of the urgency of the case situation. These services are provided when physicians and other professionals in the community are unavailable or unwilling to assist. Included in their services are:


·         providing pre-placement examinations,


·         determining the presence of sexual or physical abuse, and


·         distinguishing between accidental and inflicted injuries.


Second Opinions   11-20-2001


CP&P Workers may require second opinions when there is a suspicion of abuse and/or neglect, but the attending physician is either unable or unwilling to make such a diagnosis. In this instance, the doctors in the Child Health Unit may be contacted to provide a second opinion. Usually the second opinion will involve contact with the attending physician and may include contact with the child in question and caregiver.


Psychiatric and Psychological Evaluations   11-20-2001


Psychiatric and psychological professionals are available through the Child Health Unit to provide evaluations, and technical assistance in their fields. Their advice, recommendations, and evaluations may be used in the formulation of appropriate case plans in residential and other referral packages. These services are most appropriate in those situations where community resources are unavailable or unwilling to give assistance.


Court Testimony    11-20-2001


All professional consultants affiliated with the CP&P Child Health Unit routinely provide written and verbal court testimony on behalf of CP&P in civil or criminal litigation resulting from CP&P involvement.


Training and Community Education    11-20-2001


The Child Health Unit develops and provides training programs in many areas of interest to CP&P field staff, resource parents, and community groups. Requests for specific training programs can be made directly from the field through the Child Health Unit Supervisor. Training is done at a variety of sites throughout the state.


Referral Services   11-20-2001


In medical situations requiring the intervention of specialists, the consultants in the Child Health Unit refer to specialists who they know will be most appropriate and most skilled in dealing with the specific condition presented. Medicaid is the preferred method of payment to specialists when reimbursement for services is requested.