The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Cincinnati Children’s is a premier program that has helped set the national standard for enhancing and strengthening evaluations of child abuse.

Each year, the Child Abuse Team at the Mayerson Center treats more than 2,000 children for whom abuse is suspected – an average of six to seven alleged or suspected abuse cases a day. We collaborate with many community partners in the investigation and treatment of victims at our 7,200-square-foot facility on the hospital’s Burnet Campus.    

Our center is one of a distinct group of 600 child abuse centers in the United States known as Child Advocacy Centers (CAC). What makes a CAC unique is its focus on minimizing stress for the child as he or she is cared for. Recording forensic interviews is one of the key components of a CAC. All CACs must be accredited by the National Children’s Alliance and meet specific requirements. Our center is one of only a few in the nation housed within a children’s hospital.   

The Mayerson Center is a highly community-oriented center, treating children from 22 Ohio counties, as well as children from Kentucky and Indiana.

We Are Advocates for Children and Families

Thirty-four thousand children – or about 100 a day – in Ohio alone are victims of abuse and neglect, and because of under-reporting, the actual number could be three times as high.

Hearing statistics like this is one thing but comprehending the effect child abuse has on an individual child is another. Most child abuse happens during a critical time of development, with statistics showing that more than half of abuse victims are under the age of 5. Not only does the act result in immediate pain, fear, sadness, isolation, emotional instability and loss, but the effects of abuse can last a child's entire life. Child abuse is one of the most devastating traumatic events a person can endure and the emotional trauma remains long after the bruises have healed.

We help to keep children safe by identifying and preventing child abuse and we assist in the differential diagnosis of conditions that may appear to be child abuse but are mimics instead. We assess for and provide mental health services for children exposed to trauma and violence.

Our vision is to assure safe, healthy and nurturing families and communities where all children can achieve their full potential.

Our mission is to be the national leader and resource in the development and validation of best practices for the evaluation, treatment and prevention of child maltreatment.

How We Work

The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children is a premier program that has helped set the national standard for enhancing and strengthening evaluations of child abuse.  We conduct state-of-the-art diagnostic, treatment, prevention and training programs, as well as cutting-edge research in the field of child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, child neglect and parenting.

Our child abuse team is a trained and multidisciplinary group that investigates cases of suspected abuse.

Along with physicians, nurses and social workers, our team includes Cincinnati police and sheriff’s officers, Department of Job and Family Services workers and staff from the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office.  

Our Services

Patient Care. We deliver diagnostic and treatment services when there is a concern of possible child abuse. Each year we evaluate more than 2,000 children for whom abuse is suspected. This is an average of six to seven alleged or suspected abuse cases every day. We collaborate with many community partners in the investigation and treatment of victims within the advocacy center located at Cincinnati Children's.

Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention Clinic (CFTSI) is a 5-8 week evidence-based therapy designed for children, ages 7-18, who have experienced a traumatic event. The therapy works best when provided within two months of the event or disclosure. The goal is to reduce negative stress reactions and to improve communication between the child and caregiver. To learn more about CFTSI and to schedule an appointment, call 513-636-7233

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a 12 week evidence-based therapy designed for adults and older adolescents. The goal is to reduce symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). To learn more about CPT and to schedule an appointment, call 513-636-7233.

Problematic Sexual Behavior-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CPT) is a 12-23 session evidence-based therapy designed for children ages 3-19 who have engaged in problematic sexual behavior. The goal of is to reduce/eliminate problematic sexual behaviors. To learn more about PBS-CPT and to schedule an appointment, call 513-636-7233.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a 12-15 week evidence-based therapy designed for children ages 7-18 who have experienced trauma. The goal is to reduce emotional and behavioral difficulties that arise as a result of trauma. To learn more about TFCBT and to schedule an appointment, call 513-636-7233.

Mental Health Treatment Services. Psychologists within the Mayerson Center and the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology provide outpatient therapy to children and adolescents who have experienced abuse or other kinds of trauma. They work with children and their families to address common reactions to trauma, which may include behavioral difficulties, depressed or angry mood, anxiety and fearfulness, concentration difficulties, and other changes in behavior. Therapy teaches children and families strategies to cope with their reactions to trauma to help them function better at home, at school, and in their relationships with others. To schedule an appointment with one of our psychologists, call Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at 513-636-8107

The Post-Injury Growth and Development Clinic (PIC) follows the development, recovery and needs of infants and children who have been diagnosed with abusive head trauma.  A child abuse pediatrician, a nurse, a social worker and a developmental specialist evaluate every patient at each visit. The patient’s development is assessed using the Mullens Scales of Early Learning. Caregivers fill out forms to help better identify child behaviors and social functioning and the family’s strengths and needs that can be important to recovery. Patients are evaluated within three months from injury and then every 6 to 12 months. We see patients on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  Call Laura Olexa, RN, at 513-636-3234 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

Consultation. We provide consultations for parents, investigators and attorneys.

Education. We offer on-site and internet-based training for physicians, social workers, investigators and nurses.