Panel frustrated in effort to review child deaths

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A state panel has been able to review only a small percentage of Indiana's 1,000-plus child deaths a year due to a lack of funding and statewide rules for reporting the deaths.

The State Child Fatality Review Team examined only 56 of the child deaths in Indiana that happened during the state's 2006 fiscal year. Team chairwoman Doctor Antoinette Laskey says that means the panel is likely missing opportunities to save lives.

The group is limited to reviewing deaths already identified by the Department of Child Services as being the result of abuse or neglect. That leaves most deaths from accidents and undetermined causes unexamined by the team.

Child fatality teams in other states review a much larger percentage of deaths to look for statewide trends and then work to develop prevention programs.

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