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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 152501 Find in a Library
Title: How Can We Tell When a Child Dies From Abuse? Missouri's New Law Will Help Answer That Question
Journal: Public Welfare  Dated:(Fall 1991)  Pages:5-11
Author(s): M J Stangler; C Kivlahan; M J Knipp
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Missouri has improved its methods of investigating child fatalities and determining which ones are due to child abuse by enacting and implementing comprehensive child fatality legislation that is unique in several ways.
Abstract: As a result of this legislation, child fatality review panels are mandatory in all 115 counties and convened by the county prosecutors. All deaths of children to age 15 are reported to the county coroner for a decision regarding a child fatality review. Institutions or individuals who fail to report child fatalities to the coroner, and coroners who fail to report suspicious fatalities, are subject to misdemeanor penalties. The review panel must be activated with 24 hours of a suspicious death. The State has consistent data collection forms, which are sent to the Department of Health for linkage with birth and death certificates. An autopsy takes place for all children under age 1 with a potential diagnosis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The success of this program depends on quality training of all professionals involved in this system. It is hoped that this approach will become a model not only for fatalities but also for injury control. Case examples, figures, and illustrations
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Child fatalities; Death investigations; Missouri
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