Child Death Review Team

Child Death Review Team

The ICAN Multi-Agency Child Death Review Team is comprised of representatives of the Department of Coroner, Los Angeles Police and Sheriff’s Departments, District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Office of County Counsel, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Health Services, County Office of Education, Department of Mental Health, California Department of Social Services and, representatives from the medical community.

California law requires that all suspicious or violent deaths and those deaths in which a physician did not see the decedent in the 20 days prior to the death be reported to the Department of Coroner. The Coroner is responsible for determining the cause of death, to be listed on the death certificate as either: homicide, suicide, accident, natural, or undetermined.

The Department of Coroner refers all cases it has received for children age seventeen and under to ICAN, including fetal deaths, and ICAN staff reviews these cases to determine which ones meet Team protocol. This process first involves the exclusion of all natural deaths. Thereafter, cases that meet at least one of the following criteria are selected for review:

  • Homicide by caregiver, parent or other family member
  • Suicide
  • Accidental Death
  • Undetermined death

Specific cases are identified for in-depth review by the Team in the Team meeting setting. Such cases are most often high profile in nature and/or cases for which a Team member has requested the Team’s multi-disciplinary perspective. Generally, two to three cases are reviewed at each month’s Team meeting. Due to the high volume of cases that meet Team protocol, not all deaths receive this detailed review by the entire Team, which often requires several hours of Team time per case. This annual report of the ICAN Child Death Review Team provides information on all children’s deaths that meet Team protocol and occurred in Los Angeles County during 2010. A detailed analysis of quantitative and demographic data of children killed by caregivers, youth suicides, accidental deaths and undetermined deaths is provided. The report also includes information on 3rd party homicides of youth 17 years and younger for the fourth year. These homicides are where the perpetrator was not a family member or caregiver.

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