16 hr. Child Abuse Investigations: Accident or Abuse-Freeport

Registrations are closed for this event
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Registration Deadline: Thursday, December 27, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Instructor Location:
Stewart Center West
2900 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL
Instructor: Detective Harold Rollins, Jr.
Melinda Gronen, MA, LCSW
Member's Fee: $0
Non-Member & Civilian Fee: $85

Class size limit of 35

Description: Childhood injuries are extremely common. Accidents happen - but so does child abuse. Child abuse affects over one hundred thousand children, with over 100 abusive deaths, in Illinois every year. Law enforcement personnel play a critical role in investigating injuries to a child and determining if a crime has been committed. With stakes this high, how does an investigator determine if an injury to a child is abuse or simply an accident?

Medical information can be one of the most effective tools in child physical abuse and death investigations, if investigators know the right questions to ask and how to interpret "medical lingo".

Overview: This sixteen-hour course is specifically designed to provide law enforcement investigators with the tools necessary to effectively assess child physical abuse injuries and child death cases. This dynamic and interactive course relies on the intuition of participants to “investigate” real cases by examining evidence from injury photos, medical information, scene investigation, and interviews.

Topical Overview

Knowledge of Child Abuse and Neglect

• Medical and Physical Findings

    o Physical Abuse

  • head injuries/ ”shaken baby syndrome”
  • abdominal trauma
  • burns
  • broken bones
  • bruises/marks/welts

    o Neglect

  • medical neglect,
  • failure to thrive/starvation
  • Lack of supervision/preventable deaths

    o Medical Child Abuse/Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

  • Understanding types of infant death cases


  • Understanding “medical speak” and getting what you need from doctors
  • Using medical information to help differentiate abuse from an accident
  • Understanding the triggers/causes for child abuse and neglect
  • What’s important
  • Evidence preservation/Photo Documentation – “It’s the little things”
  • Matching evidence with medical findings

Interview/Interrogation Strategies

  • Specific questions to ask in child abuse investigations
  • Sensitivity to the situation
  • The importance of family dynamics
  • Cultural/language issues
  • Getting to the “truth”
  • The importance of documentation

Working with Multi-Disciplinary Teams

  • How to ask the right questions to get the information you need
  • Navigating the complexities of the DCFS system
  • Collaborating with medical teams/social workers
  • Working with the coroner and the autopsy process

Emotional Impact

  • Why it’s worth the effort
  • Keeping your bias in check
  • The importance of debriefing and multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Taking it home: How to Cope

Upon Completion the Participant Will Have Acquired:

  1. Knowledge of the prevalence of child abuse and the children at greatest risk
  2. Working knowledge of child maltreatment terminology
  3. Working knowledge of the medical assessment of child physical abuse
  4. Skills on how to integrate the unique dynamics of child abuse into your investigation
  5. Specific information needed to gather for every type of child abuse/neglect/death case
  6. Insight into the behavior of victimized children/Working with non-verbal victims
  7. Understanding how to interpret “medical speak” and gain solid medical information
  8. Skills to collaborate effectively with a multi-disciplinary team
  9. Enhanced ability to effectively present cases to the state’s attorney


Presenter Bios:

Harold Rollins, Jr is a Lead Juvenile Detective, distinguished law enforcement professional with over seventeen years of community policing experience, and co-owner of Caped Crusader Consulting. Harold is a three-time recipient of the Officer of the Year Award, was awarded the 2017 Lake County (IL) Juvenile Officer of the Year Award and has earned numerous law enforcement certifications related to school safety assessment and forensic interviewing of children. Harold holds a number of prominent positions in the law enforcement community that includes: leading complex juvenile investigations, providing staff and community trainings across the country, and developing and implementing action plans to promote school safety. Harold has developed, facilitated, and implemented numerous programs to interrupt violence and respond to issues that effect at risk children in his community including Upstanding Police Students, Holy Spokes, Teen Court, and Tutoring the Vision.

Melinda Gronen is a licensed clinical social worker with over seventeen years of child welfare experience. Melinda received her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and has over 10 years of experience performing forensic child abuse assessments as part of the multi-disciplinary Protective Services Team at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Melinda is currently the owner of Melinda Gronen Counseling, LLC where she specializes in providing counseling for adults and children who have experienced trauma. Melinda also provides trauma therapy for students in Chicago Public Schools in the Englewood Neighborhood and for the Barr Harris Children’s Grief Center. As co-owner of Caped Crusader Consulting, Melinda trains in the area of child maltreatment at organizations across the country and is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Erikson Institute’s School of Social Work, and the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. 


This course has been certified by the ILETSB and approved to meet the following mandates:

  Law Updates    

☐  Use of Force (must include scenario based or similar approved

☐ Civil Rights                                       

☐  Constitutional and proper use of law enforcement authority

☒ Cultural competency       

☒  Procedural Justice                

☒ Human Rights

☐ Trauma Informed Response & Investigation of Sexual Assault & Abuse

☐ Mental Health Awareness   

☒ Lead Homicide Investigator training

☐  Domestic Violence Act.