The Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team primarily provides medical forensic services to children with concerns of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. The team consists of board-certified child abuse pediatricians, forensic nurse examiners, social workers and support staff with involvement from hospital administration.

The team works closely with numerous medical subspecialists while providing the following services to children and their families being evaluated and treated by the CARE Team, Emergency Department and Trauma Services:

Common Referrals

  • Head injury
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Sexual assault
  • Internet exploitation
  • Drug ingestion
  • Poisoning
  • Failure to thrive
  • Torture
  • Medical child abuse
  • Medical neglect


The following services are provided on an inpatient and outpatient basis 24 hours a day:

  • Forensic photo documentation
  • Comprehensive, written assessment of the evaluation, including detailed documentation of injuries and medical diagnoses
Comprehensive medical examinations for concerns of abuse:
  • Fractures
  • Head injury
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Involuntary drug ingestion
  • Failure to thrive
  • Neglect
  • Medical child abuse
Comprehensive, medical forensic examination for concerns of sexual assault including:
  • Detailed verbatim history
  • Complete head-to-toe assessment
  • Visualization of the genitalia with a colposcope
  • Collection of potential DNA recovery
  • Provision of prophylactic antibiotics for STIs, HIV-PEP and emergency contraception, as indicated
Social work intervention includes:
  • Psychosocial assessment of families
  • Crisis intervention
  • Prevention education
An outreach component that provides:
  • Expert and fact witness testimony
  • Professional education
  • Community awareness
Liaison/collaboration with community multidisciplinary agencies:
  • Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend
  • Law enforcement
  • Child Protective Services
  • County, district and federal attorneys

Seamless Specialist Care

Visit all your child's specialists in one trip to Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Contact any of our specialty clinics to schedule a convenient one-day visit to all your child’s specialists.

Call 361-694-5000 or your 
specialty clinic.

Meet the Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation Team

Raquel A. Vargas-Whale MD, MS, MSc, FAAP
Raquel A. Vargas-Whale
Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation
See All Driscoll Children’s Doctors

Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation Locations

Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Christi

3533 S. Alameda St.
Corpus Christi
(361) 694-5000
Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation
Main Building
(361) 694-2273

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Our experts put their passion to work every day, helping kids defy incredible odds on their health journeys here at Driscoll.
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