A child-centered response to child abuse

The Mayo Clinic Center for Safe and Healthy Children and Adolescents offers a safe environment where child abuse allegations can be quickly evaluated and victims helped. Its goal is to put the needs of the child first.

It serves children anywhere in Southeastern Minnesota and in locations served by the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Learn more about the center.

Center location

41st Street Professional Building
Level 1, North Entrance
4115 W. Frontage Road
Rochester, MN
Hours: 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
Monday to Friday

Professionals: After hours, call the Mayo Clinic operator at 507-284-2511. Ask to be connected to the on-call provider for the Mayo Clinic Center for Safe and Healthy Children and Adolescents.


Seeking help

Families and children are usually referred to the center by law enforcement or child protective services.

But anyone can call for advice about a possible child abuse situation.

Frequent questions

Some questions and answers about what happens at the center and how to prepare your child.

Child abuse facts and resources

Learn more about the problem of child abuse, including numbers to call to report abuse. See resources.

Children's advocacy centers

Mayo's center is one of over 700 children's advocacy centers in the United States. National Children's Alliance is the national accrediting body for the centers.

Video: Our team approach

Tour of the Child Advocacy Center

Recently, over 3.5 million children are subject to at least one report of child maltreatment. Today, one in five girls and one in ten boys are sexually abused in America before they graduate from high school.

Being a victim of abuse or neglect has often meant the victim and family had to visit multiple locations while seeking medical care and being participants in a police investigation. This can increase the stress on an already traumatized child by requiring the child to repeat his or her story several times.

Now, there's a safe, child-friendly place where specialized medical care and mental health services are available in one facility. Mayo Clinic, working closely with county governments and Youth Services, has opened a new child and family advocacy center in Rochester.

The center is a resource for the entire Mayo Clinic Health System and for communities throughout the region. It's a unique facility-based program where teams of professionals, including health care, law enforcement and child protection and victim advocates work together under one roof. The center specializes in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of child abuse. Specialists conduct assessments, medical examinations, and support a variety of treatment options.

After the initial meeting with a consultation team to discuss your case, your child will be taken to especially designed room to talk. A professional, well-trained interviewer will talk to your child in a safe, non-threatening manner. The interview lasting 20 to 90 minutes is confidential and digitally recorded. Its design and structure to encourage your child to talk.

While your child is being interviewed, you will meet with a victim advocate, mental health provider. The victim advocate will assist you with safety planning and help you understand the investigative process. She'll ask you about how you're handling the situation and refer you to community resources you may need. A mental health provider will support you and your child during the entire process. She'll give you details about how abuse may affect your child and family, and she'll gather information about any concerns you may have regarding your child's mental health.

After the interview, you and your child will go to an exam room. Your child may undergo a physical exam to ensure his or her health and well-being. You will meet with all the team members and you'll be given information about your child's interview and medical exam. And then the team will make recommendations about your next step, including any follow up appointments. You'll also have time to ask them questions. The team will contact you for any further information and assist you throughout the ongoing process. Child protection and law enforcement will also continue to work with you to address your safety concerns.

The most important thing to remember is you don't have to go through this difficult process alone. The center is a regional resource where you and your child can receive professional confidential help.