DFCS Releases 2014 Child Fatality Analysis

January 27, 2016

ATLANTA – The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) on Wednesday released its annual analysis of child deaths occurring within five years of an agency involvement.

The 2014 Child Fatality Analysis is the third annual report DFCS has released providing an in-depth review of the cause and manner of death of children who died in 2014 and whose families had been the subject of a report or investigation of maltreatment in Georgia within the past five years.

“The primary purpose of the report is to examine and make Georgia citizens aware of the multidimensional circumstances surrounding unexpected child deaths,” said DFCS Director Bobby Cagle. “We want to improve outcomes for families while they are in our care and learn what services may be necessary after our involvement has ended.”

The DFCS analysis was released as part of the statewide Child Fatality Review 2014 Annual Report released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Child Fatality Review encompasses all child deaths in the state for 2014.

The DFCS analysis continues to identify child death trends with children related to sleep-related deaths and congenital or contracted illnesses, especially among children under the age of two.

Specific findings:

  • Young children who are under the age of two are the most vulnerable population, accounting for more than half (56 percent) of the reported deaths in the 2014 DFCS analysis.
  • Sleep-related deaths continue to be the leading cause of preventable deaths; 53 percent of all deaths in the 2014 DFCS analysis were sleep related.
  • Fifty-eight percent of sleep-related deaths in the 2014 DFCS analysis involved children whose caregivers had an alleged history of substance abuse.

Proactive Efforts Identified for DFCS Include:

  • Implementation of the Blueprint for Change strategy intended to strengthen service delivery.
  • Strengthen Georgia’s response to child abuse and neglect through the adoption of the research-informed child welfare practice model Solution-Based Casework as a foundation to develop Georgia’s Practice Model.
  • Improve care for medically-fragile children through targeted training for case managers and foster parents working with medically-fragile children.
  • Strategic utilization of $5.8 million in new funds to strengthen and improve foster parent recruitment, retention and training as well as agency communication with foster parents.

To access the DFCS 2014 Child Fatality Analysis, visit: https://dhs.georgia.gov/sites/dhs.georgia.gov/files/CY2014_Child%20Fatality%20Analysis%20Report.pdf

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