CARES Northwest

About The Organization

Founded in 1987, CARES Northwest is a community-based medical program for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse  A collaboration of four of the region's leading health systems—Kaiser Permanente, Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Providence Health and Services—the program provides  assessments of children, from birth to age 17, for whom there are concerns of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, neglect or exposure to domestic violence. Physical examinations and interviews are conducted in a comfortable, child-friendly environment to help children feel safe.

CARES Northwest was the first program in Oregon to pair physicians and nurse practitioners with child interviewers in a medical setting to provide child abuse evaluations.  Coordinating experts in medicine, mental health, child protective services and law enforcement, CARES Northwest ensures that children obtain needed professional services in one child-friendly location.  This approach to intervention increases effectiveness, which minimizes trauma to children, sets them on the road to healing, and helps prevent future abuse.

One of the oldest and largest child abuse assessment centers in the nation, CARES Northwest serves more than 5,000 children annually. Of these, approximately 1,800 are seen at the outpatient clinic and 450 in the hospital. The remaining are students who attend prevention trainings presented by CARES Northwest staff.  We are the only such program for children from Multnomah and Washington counties, also serving children throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington.

Statistics related to the incidence of child abuse can be overwhelming.  Child abuse is a national epidemic.  Studies estimate that as many as one in three girls and one in six boys will experience some form of child abuse by the time they reach the age of 18. 

How You Can Help


Here are the types of donated items CARES Northwest needs on a daily basis:

Toiletries: Travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotions, soaps and deodorant, combs, brushes, chapstick, toothpaste & toothbrushes, hair clips or hair bands, washcloths.

New clothing for children of all sizes: sweatpants, hoodies, socks and underwear for boys and girls of all sizes. More urgent need for gender-neutral tees, shirts and sweat pants/sweat shirts in both child and adult sizes.

Gift cards: For local stores, to buy prescriptions, food, clothing and toiletries.

Quilts, blankets, and stuffed animals: Provide new quilts, blankets or stuffed animals for children seen at CARES Northwest.

Waiting Room Toys/Games: Candyland, Guess Who?, Uno, dollhouse, art sets, plastic food for play kitchen.

For more information, contact Lynn Hallbacka at 503-276-9495 or via email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Child/Family Support Volunteer — Entertain, supervise and keep children company in the waiting area and assist the family with completion of forms, as needed.

Special Projects — Use your special talents or skills to help CARES Northwest. Opportunities include website design, database development, and various one-time office projects. Do you have a special skill or interest? Let us know and we’ll try to match you up with our list of special project needs.

Resource Development Board — Members take an active role in all fundraising and community relations efforts.

For more information regarding volunteering at CARES Northwest, please contact Debby Kernan, Volunteer Coordinator, at 503-276-9054 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Info

  • 2800 N Vancouver Avenue, Suite #201
Portland, OR  97227
  • (503) 276-9000