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Child Fatality Study

Past Projects
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Child Abuse Fatality and Near-Fatality Reduction

Each year, between 1,500 and 2,000 children in the United States are killed by their caretakers. Many of the children who died come from families that had prior contact with the child welfare system, providing an opportunity for intervention before it is too late. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had seen a recent increase in statewide fatalities and near-fatalities due to child abuse and neglect. In cases of fatalities or near-fatalities, Act 33 mandates reviews and recommendations provided to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Field Center conducted statewide research to illuminate patterns, risk factors, and protective factors related to Pennsylvania Act 33 cases. The Field Center and state agencies utilized the findings from this study to make specific recommendations to inform statewide policy and practice to prevent child fatalities. The study may also provide other states with a framework on how to examine and address child fatalities in a local context.