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Child Protection Program (CPP)

Child maltreatment is a mental health problem not properly addressed in Lebanon. The lack of descriptive data and the fragmented initiatives by lawmakers and healthcare providers prevent stakeholders from developing a need-based strategy and a protocol of care.

AUBMC is the first medical center in Lebanon to establish a Child Protection Program (CPP). The program is directed by Dr. Leila Dirani Since its initiation in April 2010, the CPP has been intervening in any suspected child maltreatment encountered by any healthcare professional at AUBMC.

The CPP, a multidisciplinary team, is composed of a family medicine physician, two pediatricians, a social worker, a pediatric nurse, a child psychologist, a child psychiatrist, a risk management officer and a bioethicist. Aligned with its mission, the CPC has been raising awareness regarding signs and symptoms of child maltreatment among healthcare professionals. The CPC also has had many cases that have been evaluated and either connected with local community resources for follow-ups or referred to the legal system.

Health care professionals are not often familiar and comfortable with the identification of child maltreatment, unless the physical harm is obvious. They are not cognizant of the risk factors that put the child at a high suspicion of maltreatment and are not skilled to interview a potential victim and suspected perpetrator. In addition, health care professionals feel unprotected when reporting child abuse and avoid doing it by fear of retaliation. The CPP fills in the gap.  ​