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Department of Pediatrics
TEDI BEAR - Children's Advocacy Center




When children and caregivers are referred to TEDI BEAR following alleged abuse, the child typically receives child advocacy services, a forensic interview, and a medical examination. Many children and their family members also receive therapy at TEDI BEAR. These four services are described more fully below.

Child Advocacy (click here): The child and his or her caregiver first meet with a trained Child Life Specialist who will describe the assessment process, answer any questions, and help to ensure that the child's needs are met. At first, many children and caregivers are nervous about going through the assessment process. The Child Life Specialist can usually help them to feel more relaxed, confident, and supported.

Forensic Interviewing (click here): In most cases, the child is interviewed to learn more about the alleged abuse. This interview is conducted by a TEDI BEAR staff member with special training in how children of different ages think, feel, and communicate. It is recorded on video so that the child will not have to repeat this painful information more than necessary during the investigation process. With the child's and caregiver's consent, the interview may also be observed over closed-circuit television by law enforcement and other appropriate professionals. The child's caregiver is interviewed separately.

Medical Examination (click here): A medical examination identifies any signs of physical trauma, ensures that any lab work or other tests are performed, and evaluates the child's overall health. This exam is conducted by a pediatrician, a physician assistant, or a family nurse practitioner with special training in child abuse.

Individual and Family Therapy (click here): Many children and their non-offending caregivers find that therapy helps them to heal from abuse. TEDI BEAR has therapists whose special training in child abuse allows them to help victims and family members to resolve the trauma and move forward in their recovery.



Much of the TEDI BEAR Center's work focuses on training others to better address child abuse. This includes our colleagues in healthcare, social services, law enforcement, and other professionals, as well as students, families, and other people who care about kids. TEDI BEAR also works throughout eastern North Carolina to bring training, prevention, and follow up services to our communities.

Community Outreach & Multi-Disciplinary Teams (click here): Community-based multidisciplinary teams serve children who are alleged victims of child sexual abuse throughout eastern North Carolina. The team approach facilitates collaboration among professionals from various disciplines within each community. The goal is to enhance the system's response to child abuse, and to facilitate recovery for the victims of child abuse.

ECU Professional Education: TEDI BEAR also helps train others at East Carolina University who are beginning careers in caring for children. For example, physicians who are completing their residency training in pediatrics regularly spend time at TEDI BEAR learning how to identify and treat the effects of child abuse and neglect. Similarly, students enrolled in ECU's Child Life programs serve internships and practicums at TEDI BEAR. And TEDI BEAR staff provide training for ECU students enrolled in nursing, dentistry, and social service programs to help them better understand and prevent child abuse.

Community Education (click here): TEDI BEAR's educators provide training in child sexual abuse recognition, response, and prevention for professionals and non-professionals at schools, churches, day care centers, mental health agencies, and many other community groups. This training is provided at no charge. Nurses, therapists, social workers, and members of other licensed professions often can use the training to help meet their continuing education requirements.