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IDCFS and SIU Partner to Provide
Downstate Network for Child Abuse Cases

Anna -- Today marks a new beginning for children in Southern Illinois. In an effort to better help victims of child abuse and neglect in the southern section of the state, a partnership between Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has resulted in the creation of the Children's Medical Resource Network (CMRN).

Children's Medical Resource Network, which was developed from recommendations presented by the Illinois Children's Justice Task Force, will provide comprehensive medical assessments, diagnosis, treatment and documentation of child sexual and physical abuse in children from birth through age 17. Funding has been made possible through the Children's Justice renewable federal grant from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Dr. Deanne St. Germain has been selected as the medical director for CMRN and is guaranteed to provide top-notch guidance and leadership to all physicians and nurses involved. Dr. St. Germain is an osteopathic family physician and is the outpatient medical director for Union County Hospital. She is also an assistant professor at SIU and chairs the Child Death Review Team in the Marion area. Dr. St. Germain received medical training for child sexual abuse at Cardinal Glennon Hospital and served on the Governor's Advisory Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Medical providers located in Carmi, Centreville, Effingham, Mattoon, Metropolis, Mt. Carmel and Mt. Vernon will be on hand to provide medical support for signs of abuse to social workers and law enforcement personnel determining evidence in child abuse cases. Children's Advocacy Centers in seven downstate locations can consult with the CMRN if they have concerns about children involved in a child abuse investigation.

Although the service area covers the 45 most southern counties of the state, an emphasis is being placed on the 34 counties identified in the DCFS Southern Region.

This team concept is something DCFS is committed to and it will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of children by meeting the needs of the abused and neglected in the Southern region of the state. We congratulate all our partners - physicians, law enforcement officials and our caseworkers - who have worked hard to make this a reality

Jill Manuel
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services



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