Kempe Team - Our Vision

About Kempe Center


Dr-KempeatTableIn 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and his colleagues led the identification and recognition of child abusewith their defining paper, The Battered Child Syndrome. This paper was regarded as the single most significant event in creating awareness and exposing the reality of abuse. It gave doctors a way to understand and do something about child abuse and neglect. Dr. Kempe was a tenacious researcher and a relentless advocate, working tirelessly to change policy, laws and perceptions to better protect children. For his efforts, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize. He was our founder, and is always our inspiration. We are proud to carry on his important work.

The Kempe Center opened in 1972 with one vision: to recognize that children were being abused, the threat was real, and we must do something about it.

A section of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, The Kempe Center has built a reputation as a world leader in the child protection movement by:

  • Evaluating and diagnosing children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect.

  • Providing treatment and therapy for abused and neglected children and their families.

  • Developing and testing new programs to help children.

  • Training professionals such as doctors, teachers and social workers to protect and heal abused children and support good parenting skills.
  • Conducting studies that assist in program development and public policy making.

Dr. Kempe also recognized that practitioners and professionals would need the help of the entire community to end child abuse. The Kempe Foundation was established and community leaders, philanthropists and business people were called upon to spearhead fundraising, awareness and advocacy efforts in order to recognize and do something about child abuse and neglect.

In 2012 we celebrated our 40th anniversary. 2012 was also the year we welcomed 17 internationally-recognized research and programmatic scholars to the Kempe faculty. Our new colleagues are working to advance knowledge that guides the child welfare field with the implementation of progressive initiatives such as foster care redesign, disparities research, family group decision making, and differential response within child protection systems. This body of work will continue to grow at Kempe and will reinforce the Center's strategic direction to improve the organization and delivery of services to maltreated children and their families. For a description of Kempe’s current work and programs, please click on Our Work.

The Kempe Foundation proudly supports the work of The Kempe Center. The Kempe Foundation mission is to increase awareness, engage in advocacy and secure and provide resources for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. We were founded by the doctor who pioneered this field. We never, ever forget his mission, his vision, and his belief that change is possible.

Dr. Kempe knew that to solve the problem of child abuse, it would take the collaborative efforts of trained multidisciplinary professionals working with elected officials and community leaders to raise awareness and secure the needed resources for this work. To learn more about the Kempe Foundation go to

The Kempe Center Marks 50 Years of Protecting the World's Children

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