Children's and Mom's Project

The Children's and Mom's Project (CAMP) is a multi-component, collaborative program designed to address intimate partner violence (IPV) and teen dating violence, while also considering the impact of child abuse and community violence on individuals and families. The goal of CAMP is to provide support for IPV screening by healthcare providers in order to identify families experiencing IPV and minimize the adverse effects of childhood IPV exposure. CAMP was developed by the Institute for Safe Families and the Lutheran Settlement House’s Bilingual Domestic Violence Program (LSH) and is currently maintained at CHOP through LSH.

The Issue: Intimate Partner Violence, Domestic Violence

More than 15.5 million children in the U.S. are exposed to IPV annually. One study found that 44 percent of mothers who had experienced IPV reported that their children had been exposed to their IPV victimization.

The impact can be severe and long-lasting: Children exposed to IPV have been shown to be at an increased risk of poor health, substance use, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Further, these children have been found to display greater internalizing, externalizing, and problem behaviors compared to unexposed children.

Scientific evidence of the negative health consequences of IPV and other adverse childhood experiences places this work squarely in the purview of a pediatric healthcare system. By providing families with access to an IPV educator and counselor, CAMP at CHOP enhances the potential likelihood and benefits of routinely asking about IPV, and provides children and families with further support if needed. Learn more about IPV and domestic violence.

CAMP’s Approach

CAMP aims to create a culture within CHOP where asking about IPV exposure is routine and disclosure results in appropriate responses and referrals to services. Through CAMP, CHOP patients and families have access to an on-site IPV counselor located at Karabots Pediatric Care Center. In addition to providing direct support to families, the IPV counselor, who is also available to hospital staff that self-identify as experiencing IPV, supports CHOP clinicians through trainings and case consultations for healthcare providers whose patients are not ready to speak directly with the IPV counselor.

CAMP provides a comprehensive model for incorporating IPV prevention into routine pediatric practice through education and training of physicians, social workers, nurses, and other staff, along with expert clinical consultation and linkage to community-based parenting education programs for referrals. CAMP is sensitive to the impact of adverse experiences, such as child abuse and community violence on individuals and families, creating a safe place to discuss these issues and receive extra support when needed.

How CAMP Works

Dealing with IPV is difficult for everyone. With CAMP, the IPV counselor services are free, confidential and maintained through the Lutheran Settlement House’s Bilingual Domestic Violence Program. CHOP clinical staff can contact a CHOP IPV counselor for help if:

  • An adolescent patient or patient's caregiver screens positive for IPV and wants to talk
  • They have a question or suspicion about a patient or family and would like a case consult
  • They or someone they know is struggling iwth IPV or family violence
  • They are interested in any education. training, or materials for their own use of use by their department