They diagnose child sexual abuse and provide medical treatment or psychiatric counselling.
Child sexual abuse cases can also be reported at the A&E (Accident & Emergency) unit or the OSCC (One-Stop Crisis Centre) at your local General Hospital.
Child abuse cases will be attended to by the SCAN (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) team, if available at your local hospital.
THE SCAN* TEAM
The SCAN team comprises Paediatricians, Gynaecologists, Psychiatrists, Medical Social Workers, Social Welfare Officers and the Police.
*NOTE: SCAN teams are not available at all General Hospitals. Specific procedures may vary from Hospital to Hospital.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Their role is to assess and provide treatment and follow-up services for the abused children.
It also provides a legal context that can help you make further relevant recommendations that is in the best interest of the abused child.
Members of this team are trained to help children feel comfortable about being examined and questioned. They use words children understand and will explain carefully what they are going to do.
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURES
- At the hospital, the abuse should be reported first to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit or the One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC).
- The A&E Doctor in attendance or an on-call Paediatrician will be called in to talk with the child and/or the parents. It will be useful to bring along the following documents:
- A copy of the Police report (if a Police report has been made)
- For the child: Identity card and/or birth certificate
- For the parent/guardian: Identity card and/or birth certificate
- The child may then be admitted to the ward for assessment and treatment by members of the SCAN team.
- The following procedures will be conducted as part of the evaluation by the SCAN team:
- Ascertaining the history or relevant circumstances surrounding the suspected abuse
- Obtaining information about the suspected abuse
- Examination of the child, including a general physical examination and a gynaecological examination if relevant
- Blood tests, X-rays or other special investigations if necessary
- Evaluating the psychological state of the child
- The members of the SCAN team will also carry out the following:
- Providing medical treatment or referring to specific specialists for evaluation and treatment, depending on the needs of the individual child and family
- Reporting to the District Welfare Department and liasing with the Welfare Department to ensure the child's safety
- Providing medical reports as requested by the Police personnel investigating the case
- Providing follow-up medical and psychological treatment or counselling services as required
- The team of Doctors looking after the child will explain the type of examination and any tests or treatment procedures that may be necessary in each case.
- Occasionally the Doctor may advise that a difficult examination be carried out under sedation or anesthesia in a young child. This is to enable a thorough examination to be done while at the same time causing minimal discomfort and pain to the child.
NOTE: A victim of child sexual abuse can also be taken immediately to any government hospital without first making a Police report. In any event the abuse is confirmed, the hospital will make a Police report. In any event the abuse is confirmed, the Hospital will make a Police report. However, for some Hospitals, the Police report is preferably be lodged by the guardian at the nearest Police Station where the incident happened prior to coming for medical examination.