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 strategic protocols for responding collaboratively to investigate child fatalities or near fatalities, including State and local examples.
Are There Good Examples of How Child Welfare Agencies Are Collaborating With Law Enforcement?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Describes three distinct models for collaboration between child welfare agencies and law enforcement. The report also includes examples of how this partnership has been implemented in several States as well as data on its effectiveness.
Child Death Scene Investigation Learning Series
National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (2021)
Reviews the key component of a child death scene investigation with a focus on sudden and unexplained death. This requires a free log in to access the course.
Rapid Response and Child Death Protocol for Unexpected Deaths
Safegarding Children Board (2016)
Clarifies the process of responding to unexpected deaths of children and classifies the roles and responsibilities for agencies involved.
Child Fatality Protocol Handbook (PDF - 320 KB)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2018)
Provides a statewide model for best practices for reviewing child fatality cases and provides task-specific details.
Child Fatality Response (PDF - 117 KB)
State of Florida Department of Children and Families (2018)
Provides operating procedures for notification, collaboration, consultation, and investigative activities specific to child fatality investigations in the State of Florida.