215645 Child fatalities due to abuse and neglect in a large urban county

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Lorrie Considine, RN, BSN , Community Health Services, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Parma, OH
Andrea Arendt, RN, MPH , Epidemiology, Surveillance, & Informatics, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Parma, OH
Background Over the past two years, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) has experienced a disturbing increase in the number of child fatalities due to abuse and neglect. In 2008, there were 6 fatalities in which abuse or neglect was listed as a cause or contributing factor. There were 3 fatalities due to physical abuse, 1 due to medical neglect, and 2 due to failure to protect. Preliminary figures for 2009 show there were 9 child fatalities due to abuse or neglect including 8 cases of physical abuse and 1 case of medical neglect. Methods The Cuyahoga County Child Fatality Review Committee is a multidisciplinary, interagency group that meets monthly to review sudden, accidental, unexplained deaths. The group's main purposes are to quantify and categorize child fatalities; identify significant factors that contribute to child mortality; and take actions to reduce the number of child fatalities. Plans are in place to form an ad hoc committee addressing deaths due to abuse and neglect. This will include a review of best practice models of prevention. Results Results are pending. Data from 2009 case reviews of child fatalities will be presented including cause of death, perpetrator demographics, risk factors, and systems involvement. Recommendations and actions by the committee will also be presented. Discussion In order to address child maltreatment, a growing public health issue, the scope and nature needs to be accurately defined. The Child Fatality Review Committee represents a best practice approach to identifying and preventing child deaths due to abuse and neglect.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe child fatalities due to abuse or neglect in a large urban county. 2. Identify a best practice approach for addressing child fatalities due to abuse and neglect as well as other causes.

Keywords: Children, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinate the Child Fatality Review committee for Cuyahoga County and was instrumental in collecting data presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.