What is CARES?

For over 25 years, the CARES Institute at Rowan University – School of Osteopathic Medicine has provided help and compassion – and ultimately, hope – for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. The CARES Institute is nationally recognized as a model of excellence in healing children and families who have experienced abuse, neglect, and violence.

Vision

The CARES Institute will be a leader in advancing coordinated responses and evidence-based mental health and medical services to help heal every child and family that experiences child sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and violence.

Mission

Helping children and families heal from abuse, neglect and violence with evidence-based services, training, research and system collaboration.

The Art & Science of Healing Children

For more than two decades, the CARES Institute has provided help and compassion and ultimately, hope for children who have experienced abuse. The CARES Institute is acknowledged as a model of excellence in healing children and families who have experienced abuse, neglect and violence.

Education, Experience & Empathy

The CARES Institute provides an array of medical and mental health services developed to meet the diagnostic and therapeutic needs of children through an individualized plan for the specific circumstances of each child and family.

The children visiting the CARES Institute are comforted by the safe, predictable and healing environment provided by our medical and mental health professionals who are regarded as experts in the specialized field of child abuse.

Our inter-disciplinary approach utilizes evidenced-based mental health and medical services to support the overall health and well-being of children and families. The staff members at the CARES Institute provide a nurturing environment in which children and families can heal.

The pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers at the CARES Institute also provide training and education to medical, mental health, child protection and law enforcement professionals. In addition, we host an annual symposium and lectures where internationally-recognized experts in the field of child abuse share their skills and knowledge about best practices.

Medical and Mental Health Services to Help Children & Families Heal

The CARES Institute provides direct services to children and families that have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect or domestic violence. The CARES Institute’s core service components are: Medical Services, Mental Health Treatment Services and Psychiatric and Evaluative Services. The Institute provides high quality, child-sensitive and coordinated diagnostic and treatment services, while minimizing the stress experienced by the children and their families during and after the investigatory and prosecutorial proceedings related to the abuse.

The Institute has adopted a multi-disciplinary approach, and works closely and cooperatively with local law enforcement agencies including county prosecutors’ offices and the Division of Youth and Family Services to achieve this goal. To assist in the detection, assessment and treatment of child abuse (sexual, physical and neglect) and the associated reactions in children, the Institute provides a full spectrum of services, including medical exams and psychiatric and psychological evaluations, as well as individual, group and family therapy. Our interdisciplinary team of pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers serves approximately 1800 children per year, many of them from underserved and impoverished families in the southern New Jersey counties. Although the Institute is located in Stratford in Camden County, services were expanded to include outreach therapy for children at DYFS offices throughout the seven southern counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem). These are vital services that ensure that children receive high quality, abuse-focused treatment provided in a child-sensitive manner by experts in the area of child sexual and physical abuse.

CARES Founders

Martin A. Finkel, DO, FACOP, FAAP, is the Medical Director and Co-Founder of the CARES Institute and Professor of Pediatrics at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Finkel is an internationally recognized authority on the medical evaluation and treatment of the child alleged to have been sexually abused. He has been instrumental in developing New Jersey’s statewide network of regional child abuse diagnostic and treatment centers.

Esther Deblinger, PhD, is the Clinical Director and Co-Founder of the CARES Institute and Professor of Psychiatry at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Deblinger has extensive research, teaching and clinical experience in the field of child abuse. Dr. Deblinger has been recognized by the federal government as a leader in developing empirically-supported therapy models for children and families who have experienced childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse and exposure to domesticviolence. Currently, she is on the editorial board for the journal Trauma Practice, and she is a frequent invited guest at regional, national and international conferences.

Visit the CARES Institute website.