BILL SUMMARY For CHILD FATALITY PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS
INTERIM COMMITTEE EARLY CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL READINESS
Date Aug 8, 2018
Location SCR 357
Child Fatality Prevention Recommendations - Committee Discussion Only
Kate Jankovsky, Child Fatality Prevention
System Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, came
to the table to begin her presentation. She provided background information
on the Child Fatality Prevention System, and discussed the importance of
using a public health approach, shared protective factors. and data in
order to pinpoint certain trends in child fatalities.
Ms. Jankovsky reviewed the department's
recommendations for preventing child maltreatment, which include behavioral
health promotion, youth suicide prevention, primary seat belt laws, paid
leave for families, evidence-based home visitation, quality affordable
child care, and education on firearm safety. Ms. Jankovsky answered
questions from the committee on paid family leave, and why youth suicide
and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates are on the rise in Colorado.
She discussed further the need for a primary seat belt law in Colorado.
Ms. Jankovsky spoke about the department's
data quality recommendations, which include requiring the use of suicide
and SIDS death investigation forms in all counties, and stated that public
data is now available on the types of child fatalities across the state.
Allison Gonzales, Manager of the Administrative Review Division in
the Department of Human Services (CDHS), began her portion of the presentation.
She provided background info about the CDHS Child Fatality Review
Team, which is made up of representatives from a variety of disciplines,
who review incidents of fatal, near-fatal, and egregious abuse or neglect
cases. She provided an overview of the 2017 incidents that were reviewed
by the child fatality review team.
Ms. Gonzales answered questions about improving
service delivery to children and families, and about how to mitigate the
stress level and work load of caseworkers dealing with these types of cases.
She spoke about the recommendations provided by the Child Fatality
Review Team, which can be divided into individual policy findings and larger
systemic recommendations. She discussed a partnership between the
department and the medical community to train emergency and urgent care
medical personnel to screen for abuse and neglect.
Ms. Gonzales explained that the CDPHE Child
Fatality Prevention System State Review Team and the CDHS Child Fatality
Review Team are tasked with making joint recommendations for the prevention
of child fatalities. She stated that the number one 2017 recommendation
is to raise awareness and provide education to child welfare providers
and community agencies on safe firearm storage in order to prevent child
deaths involving firearms. The presenters answered questions from