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Child Death Review
The Child Death Review Program supports counties throughout Michigan who choose to have Child Death Review Teams (CDRTs). CDRTs are interagency, county-based coalitions that systematically, and in a timely manner, review the causes, circumstances, and issues concerning the deaths of children in the county to better understand why children die and to take or encourage action to prevent future deaths.
Under the leadership of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), Michigan piloted the establishment of Child Death Review Teams during FY 1995-96 in 17 counties, providing technical support, consultation, and training to participating counties. Oversight responsibility for the Child Death Review Program transferred to the Family Independence Agency (FIA) and received an appropriation of $500,000 for FY 97-98. Staff of MDCH continue to work with FIA regarding this program. The program is expanding to support up to 15 additional local CDRTs in FY 1997-98 and will expand statewide in FY 1998-99.
Local teams use the Governor's Task Force on Criminal Justice's Child Death Review Protocol as a template but there are local variations in the manner in which teams are organized and in determining types of deaths to be reviewed. All local teams attempt to attain:
- accurate identification and uniform reporting of the cause of a child's death under the age of 18;
- enhanced communication and coordination among agencies, more timely notification to agencies when a child dies, and improved agency responses to investigations, delivery of services, and prevention;
- improved response of the criminal justice system to child homicides;
- design and implement cooperative, standardized protocols for the investigation of certain categories of child deaths; and
- identification of and expanded efforts in legislation, policy, and practice to improve child health and safety in order to prevent deaths.
Mail to: Teri Covington