Welcome from the Chief
Thank you for your interest in the Children at Risk program within the Department of Pediatrics! I have had the privilege to serve as section chief of our unique and specialized group since 2014. One component of the section is comprised of a team of medical providers (nurses, advance practice nurses and child abuse pediatricians) that work alongside hospital social workers within AR Children’s Hospital as the Team for Children at Risk (TCAR). Our role is to provide specialty medical evaluations for children when there are concerns of maltreatment (abuse or neglect). The Family Treatment Program (FTP) is the other component of our section. This team of psychologists and licensed therapists provide specialized assessments and trauma-focused therapy to children and their families impacted by child sexual abuse and other forms of childhood trauma.
TCAR and FTP staff are located in the David M. Clark Center for Safe and Healthy Children on the campus of ACH. The Clark Center is also home to the Children’s Protection Center which is the children’s advocacy center serving Pulaski County and the Child Study Center (a Division of UAMS Psychiatry) which provides comprehensive counseling and psychiatry services for pediatric patients. The Clark Center was envisioned and designed to specifically house these four programs to better align services for this vulnerable population. The work of the programs in the Clark Center has strong support and connection to the community as evidenced by the fact that the design and construction of the building was covered completely by philanthropy.
While the work of TCAR and FTP focuses on delivery of evidence-based and compassionate clinical care to patients and their families, section members are also heavily involved in the education of medical and non-medical personnel on the campuses of ACH/UAMS, across the state and nationally. Several section members serve as appointed members of state legislative and commissioned work groups that address the statewide response to child maltreatment. Both TCAR and FTP professionals have also contributed through publications and presentations at national meetings to advancing the standard of care for this patient population.
I invite you to learn more about our team members and scope of our work by exploring more of our web site. UAMS and ACH are innovative and influential healthcare leaders in the state and nation. Having the opportunity to draw from the resources and relationships of both organizations is one of the main reasons that I chose to spend my career as a UAMS faculty member working to improve the response to child maltreatment. I am proud of the growth and positive impact of our team, but we still have work to do and look forward to ongoing collaborative work on behalf of the children and families in our state.
Karen Farst M.D., MPH
Professor of Pediatrics, UAMS College of Medicine
Section Chief, Children at Risk, Department of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Team for Children at Risk, Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Dr. Jerry G. Jones and ACH Auxiliary Endowed Chair in Child Maltreatment