Marcie Jefferys from Children’s Defense Fund, Safe Passage board member Canan Karatekin and ED Rich Gehrman met last week with managers from state Department of Human Services to discuss the Child Fatality Report. This biannual report was issued several months back after a hiatus of five years.
The good news is… what looked like a possible uptick in child fatalities is due to catching up with a backlog. Also, the Department made a creative change in their process that allows them to review more cases and identify trends more easily.
The bad news is… it took three reasonably alert people hours of going through conflicting state reports, a couple of months to set up a meeting, and an hour-long discussion deep in the weeds of DHS statistical methods to figure out that child fatalities are not in fact trending upwards.
The conclusions… this report needs to be issued at least biannually and written in a way that legislators and the public can understand trends and identify policy issues. Safe Passage and CDF will work together to accomplish this.