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National Center on Child Fatality Review| History

Each year in the United States over 3,000,000 children are reported as being suspected victims of child abuse or neglect. According to the National Center on Health Statistics, more children under the age of five die each year from child abuse or neglect than from falls, choking on food, suffocation, drowning, or fires/burns.

In 1977, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors designated the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) as the official LA County agent to coordinate services for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

In 1978, ICAN Associates was recognized as LA County’s first inter-agency public/private partnership for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Also in 1978, Dr. Michael Durfee convened a group of professionals to analyze suspicious and preventable child deaths. Dr. Durfee's pioneering work soon became a central part of ICAN. This association has resulted in much greater public awareness of child abuse and neglect-related severe injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles County , as well as in national and international communities.

In 1996, ICAN Associates, Inc. received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to establish the ICAN National Center on Child Fatality Review (NCFR). The mission of NCFR is to develop and promote a nationwide system of Child Fatality Review Teams to improve the health, safety and well being of children and reduce preventable child fatalities and severe injuries. NCFR’s Mission is accomplished through the establishment, support and expansion of a national network of multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, local, regional and state Child Fatality Review Teams.

One of the primary vehicles to accomplish the NCFR mission is the Website. The NCFR Website offers users a variety of services, such as:

  • Cutting edge information about death and severe injury review and prevention
  • Searchable directories of individuals and organizations involved in fields related to child fatality review
  • Upcoming training events and the new CDR Curriculum and Training Manual
  • Virtual library of documents and reports
  • Information and data about child fatality review activities in each state
  • Links to related Websites
  • Listservs linking child fatality review professionals from the United States and abroad in an ongoing online dialog.

NCFR and its Website, like the field of child fatality review itself, continues to grow and evolve as more is learned about the needs of the professionals who review the tragic deaths of children and the communities they serve.

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