Responding to Child Fatalities
The most tragic consequence of child abuse and neglect is a child fatality. Child protective services, law enforcement, and medical professionals often work together to investigate and respond in cases of possible child maltreatment deaths. The following resources provide strategies for responding collaboratively to investigate child fatalities, including State and local examples.
National Center for Child Death Review
Maternal and Child Health Bureau
The resource center offers training and technical assistance to State and local child death review programs. Their website includes information on tools, curricula, data, and more.
Battered Child Syndrome: Investigating Physical Abuse and Homicide
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2002)
Presents practical information on the circumstances that point to the willful, rather than accidental, injury or death of an infant or child and the evidence required to prove it, as well as the techniques for obtaining such evidence. (PDF - 174 KB)
|Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities 2011: Statistics and Interventions|
|Series Title:||Numbers and Trends|
|Author(s):||Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 354KB)
Order (Free) - Add to Cart
|Year Published:||2013 - 11 pages|
|Presents statistics and information on child fatalities due to abuse and neglect in the United States during Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2011 as compiled and reported in Child Maltreatment 2011. This summary of national and State data includes information on fatalities due to abuse and neglect, child and perpetrator characteristics, and communities' responses to child fatalities.|
Distinguishing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome From Child Abuse Fatalities
Pediatrics, 118(1), 2006
Provides professionals with information and suggestions for procedures to help avoid stigmatizing families of sudden infant death syndrome victims while allowing accumulation of appropriate evidence in potential cases of infanticide.
Investigating Child Fatalities (PDF - 482 KB)
Awareness of some basic dynamics and issues is critical to effective investigations of child fatalities.
Policy Statement: Child Fatality Review
Christian, Sege, Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, & Council on Community Pediatrics
Pediatrics, 126(3), 2010
Discusses the development of Federal and State legislation to enhance the child fatality review process and recommends that pediatricians become involved in local and State child death reviews.
Serving Those Left Behind: Crisis Intervention in Child Fatality Cases
Walters & Killen-Harvey
APRI Update, 17(4), 2004
Reviews strategies for helping parents as they experience shock, awareness of loss, guilt, healing, and renewal.
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Initiative
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Offers training materials on infant death scene investigations to improve the accuracy of reporting and classification of SUID deaths. The website includes a reporting form and information on a SUID case registry.
State and local examples
Dangerous Mistakes: Analysis of ACS Corrective Actions Involving Child Fatalities in 2005 (PDF - 109 KB)
Office of the New York City Public Advocate (2007)
Discusses the outcomes of a review of all child fatalities investigated by the New York Administration for Children's Services in 2005, including recommendations for strengthening the child welfare system's response to child fatalities.
Facing the Facts: Criminal Consequences of Child Abuse Homicides (PDF - 37 KB)
North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute (2005)
Presents statistics on the number of child abuse fatalities in North Carolina and makes recommendations designed to achieve a balance between equity in cases that have similar circumstances, justice for the victims, and protection for other children that may be under the perpetrator's sphere of influence.