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Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT)

The MERIT team. MERIT conducts medical examinations of children who are suspected of being abused or neglected and the toys, books, journals, diapers and clothing donated to the clinic helps these vulnerable kids during this first step toward healing.

All children suspected of being abused or neglected deserve a medical exam in a child-sensitive environment with a professional who is specially trained in obtaining medical histories of abuse and identifying and differentiating accidental injuries from abuse.

The Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) is the only program in the area that provides specialized, pediatric expert medical exams in a child-friendly atmosphere to suspected victims of child abuse and neglect.

The Department of Child and Family Services, Children’s Advocacy Centers, law enforcement and physicians in Northern Illinois rely on MERIT to provide objective, balanced and defensible diagnoses and offer insight into children’s experiences and treatment needs. MERIT providers also review medical records to provide second opinions to assist in determining whether abuse has occurred and can provide expert testimony when requested.

Why the need for MERIT? Heading link

Significant barriers exist that prevent suspected victims of child abuse and neglect from receiving help. This has led to problems in the investigation process, making it more difficult for DCFS to intervene appropriately.

In addition, many physicians have not received adequate training in abuse and neglect. This often creates difficulties in the prosecution of offenders. By providing an evidence-based, expertly trained referral source, these problems can be addressed.

Fast Facts From 2022 Heading link

  • 403 Children seen by MERIT providers

  • 108 Prosecutorial cases reviewed

  • 21 Medical and nursing students trained

MERIT Heading link

Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

2350 North Rockton Avenue, Suite 204, Rockford, Illinois 61103

Upcoming events Heading link

Sep 28 2024
A magical evening for MERIT on a night sky

MERIT Gala 2024

Saturday, 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Franchesco's Ristorante