Skip to main content

Child Abuse Research Education and Service Institute

An Informed Diagnosis

The first step toward healing for our most vulnerable children

Every child suspected of having suffered abuse or neglect deserves access to a pediatrician in a child-sensitive environment who can skillfully obtain medical histories of victimization, as well as identify and differentiate accidental injuries. Our specially-trained physicians employ child-friendly approaches to medical evaluation of alleged physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. We believe that when children are spoken to by our doctors in a way that is nonjudgmental, facilitating and empathetic, we obtain better insights into a child’s experience and gain their trust. This affords the doctor the opportunity to address children's worries and concerns.

Child protective services and law enforcement rely on the Institute’s pediatricians to provide objective, balanced and defensible diagnoses that offer insight into the child’s experience and treatment needs. Our physicians also review medical records to provide second opinions to assist in determining whether abuse has occurred and can provide expert testimony when requested.

Here When You Need Us

The Institute provides 24-hour consultation to child protection officials, as well as hospital- and community-based physicians, in cases of possible abuse and neglect. This expert collaboration often assists emergency room physicians in determining the necessary course of initial treatment and whether further intervention by our expert physicians, law enforcement and/or child protection services is warranted.

  • Photo of Dr. Rachel Silliman Cohen
    Rachel Silliman Cohen, MD, FAAP (she/her/hers)

    Director of the Rowan-Virtua CARES Institute, Dr. Silliman Cohen is dual board-certified in pediatrics and the sub-specialty of child abuse pediatrics. As Director for the Rowan-Virtua CARES Institute, she oversees the clinical, educational and academic activities of southern New Jersey’s Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center for child abuse and neglect. In addition to her role at the CARES Institute, she holds the academic appointment of associate professor of pediatrics at Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Silliman Cohen has over 10 years of experience as a pediatrician and is an expert in child abuse and neglect. She has conducted research on child abuse and neglect and has published articles on this subject, including in Pediatrics and Clinical Pediatrics. Dr. Silliman Cohen has specific expertise LGBTQIA+ health, adolescent health and human trafficking.