During the 2011 Colorado legislative session, House Bill 1181 was passed which codified the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) and provided statutory authority through the addition of section 26-1-139 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statute outlines the guidelines regarding the CFRT’s purpose, structure, and reporting procedures.
In 2012, the statute was amended when Senate Bill 12-033 was passed, adding the review and public disclosure of non-confidential information of near fatalities and egregious incidents of abuse or neglect to the purview of the CFRT. These changes will allow the CFRT to gain a better understanding of the causes, trends, and system responses to child maltreatment and develop recommendations in policy, practice and systemic changes to improve the overall health, safety, and wellbeing of children in Colorado and mitigate future child fatalities.
Beginning August 1, 2012 all County Departments of Human/Social Services (DHS) agencies began reporting all egregious incidents, near fatalities, and fatalities suspicious for child abuse and neglect to the Child Protection Safety Specialist at CDHS, within 24-hours of accepting the referral for assessment. CDHS will post, on the CDHS website within 3 business days, the Public Notification indicating information regarding a qualifying incident was received, whether or not the child was living in their home or in an out of home placement, whether or not the case will be reviewed by the CFRT, and the child’s age and gender.
The CFRT will conduct in-depth case reviews of all incidents of egregious child abuse or neglect, near fatalities, or fatalities within 30 days of receiving the necessary documentation from the county DHS agency when the following three things are true:
1. The incident was substantiated for fatal or severe abuse or neglect.
2. The child or family had previous involvement with a county DHS agency that was directly related to the incident.
3. The previous involvement with the DHS agency occurred within two years prior to the incident.
CDHS will post the final Case-Specific Executive Summary Report, absent confidential information, on the website within seven days of finalization of the report.
The statute further requires on or before April 30, 2013, and each April 30th thereafter, CHDS prepare an Annual Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Report, absent confidential information, summarizing the reviews conducted by the team during the previous year. This report will be transmitted to the Governor, appropriate legislative committees, the Colorado State Child Fatality Prevention Review Team established in the Department of Public Health and Environment pursuant to section 25-20.5-406, C.R.S., and made available to the public on the CDHS website.
Links to additional information:
· CDHS Summary Report 2012
If you have any questions regarding the Colorado Child Fatality Review Team please contact Erin Hall.