October 20, 2021

State explores ways to improve child fatality review system

Article origination Indiana Public Media
A legislative study committee is exploring ways to improve the system for studying child deaths. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

A legislative study committee is exploring ways to improve the system for studying child deaths.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana lawmakers want to improve the system for reviewing child deaths.

Most counties have child fatality review teams responsible for helping the state identify trends and possibly prevent future deaths.

These mostly volunteer teams typically include a coroner, a pediatrician or family practice doctor and representatives from the local health department, Indiana Department of Child Services, a local school district, the prosecutor’s office, the mental health care community and first responders. 

But there’s not much standardization across the state. And that can lead to incomplete data. 

Micha Burkert, Indiana Department of Health legislative director, said seven new hires at the state level could assist local teams.

“It would be around $441,000 to get that staff here at Department of Health,” Burkert said.


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Those hires could help with data entry, standardization and even setting up teams in counties that still need them.

Legislators are reviewing that recommendation as part of a study committee on child services.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2021 Indiana Public Media. To see more, visit Indiana Public Media.

 

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