2009 California Penal Code - Section 11174.32-11174.35 :: Article 2.6. Child Death Review Teams

PENAL CODE
SECTION 11174.32-11174.35

11174.32.  (a) Each county may establish an interagency child death
review team to assist local agencies in identifying and reviewing
suspicious child deaths and facilitating communication among persons
who perform autopsies and the various persons and agencies involved
in child abuse or neglect cases. Interagency child death review teams
have been used successfully to ensure that incidents of child abuse
or neglect are recognized and other siblings and nonoffending family
members receive the appropriate services in cases where a child has
expired.
   (b) Each county may develop a protocol that may be used as a
guideline by persons performing autopsies on children to assist
coroners and other persons who perform autopsies in the
identification of child abuse or neglect, in the determination of
whether child abuse or neglect contributed to death or whether child
abuse or neglect had occurred prior to but was not the actual cause
of death, and in the proper written reporting procedures for child
abuse or neglect, including the designation of the cause and mode of
death.
   (c) In developing an interagency child death review team and an
autopsy protocol, each county, working in consultation with local
members of the California State Coroner's Association and county
child abuse prevention coordinating councils, may solicit suggestions
and final comments from persons, including, but not limited to, the
following:
   (1) Experts in the field of forensic pathology.
   (2) Pediatricians with expertise in child abuse.
   (3) Coroners and medical examiners.
   (4) Criminologists.
   (5) District attorneys.
   (6) Child protective services staff.
   (7) Law enforcement personnel.
   (8) Representatives of local agencies which are involved with
child abuse or neglect reporting.
   (9) County health department staff who deals with children's
health issues.
   (10) Local professional associations of persons described in
paragraphs (1) to (9), inclusive.
   (d) Records exempt from disclosure to third parties pursuant to
state or federal law shall remain exempt from disclosure when they
are in the possession of a child death review team.
   (e) (1) No less than once each year, each child death review team
shall make available to the public findings, conclusions and
recommendations of the team, including aggregate statistical data on
the incidences and causes of child deaths.
   (2) In its report, the child death review team shall withhold the
last name of the child that is subject to a review or the name of the
deceased child's siblings unless the name has been publicly
disclosed or is required to be disclosed by state law, federal law,
or court order.

11174.33.  Subject to available funding, the Attorney General,
working with the California Consortium of Child Abuse Councils, shall
develop a protocol for the development and implementation of
interagency child death teams for use by counties, which shall
include relevant procedures for both urban and rural counties. The
protocol shall be designed to facilitate communication among persons
who perform autopsies and the various persons and agencies involved
in child abuse or neglect cases so that incidents of child abuse or
neglect are recognized and other siblings and nonoffending family
members receive the appropriate services in cases where a child has
expired. The protocol shall be completed on or before January 1,
1991.

11174.34.  (a) (1) The purpose of this section shall be to
coordinate and integrate state and local efforts to address fatal
child abuse or neglect, and to create a body of information to
prevent child deaths.
   (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the California State
Child Death Review Council, the Department of Justice, the State
Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health
Services, and state and local child death review teams shall share
data and other information necessary from the Department of Justice
Child Abuse Central Index and Supplemental Homicide File, the State
Department of Health Services Vital Statistics and the Department of
Social Services Child Welfare Services/Case Management System files
to establish accurate information on the nature and extent of child
abuse or neglect related fatalities in California as those documents
relate to child fatality cases. Further, it is the intent of the
Legislature to ensure that records of child abuse or neglect related
fatalities are entered into the State Department of Social Services,
Child Welfare Services/Case Management System. It is also the intent
that training and technical assistance be provided to child death
review teams and professionals in the child protection system
regarding multiagency case review.
   (b) (1) It shall be the duty of the California State Child Death
Review Council to oversee the statewide coordination and integration
of state and local efforts to address fatal child abuse or neglect
and to create a body of information to prevent child deaths. The
Department of Justice, the State Department of Social Services, the
State Department of Health Services, the California Coroner's
Association, the County Welfare Directors Association, Prevent Child
Abuse California, the California Homicide Investigators Association,
the agency or agencies designated by the Director of Finance pursuant
to Section 13820, the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and
Neglect/National Center on Child Fatality Review, the California
Conference of Local Health Officers, the California Conference of
Local Directors of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, the
California Conference of Local Health Department Nursing Directors,
the California District Attorneys Association, and at least three
regional representatives, chosen by the other members of the council,
working collaboratively for the purposes of this section, shall be
known as the California State Child Death Review Council. The council
shall select a chairperson or cochairpersons from the members.
   (2) The Department of Justice is hereby authorized to carry out
the purposes of this section by coordinating council activities and
working collaboratively with the agencies and organizations in
paragraph (1), and may consult with other representatives of other
agencies and private organizations, to help accomplish the purpose of
this section.
   (c) Meetings of the agencies and organizations involved shall be
convened by a representative of the Department of Justice. All
meetings convened between the Department of Justice and any
organizations required to carry out the purpose of this section shall
take place in this state. There shall be a minimum of four meetings
per calendar year.
   (d) To accomplish the purpose of this section, the Department of
Justice and agencies and organizations involved shall engage in the
following activities:
   (1) Analyze and interpret state and local data on child death in
an annual report to be submitted to local child death review teams
with copies to the Governor and the Legislature, no later than July 1
each year. Copies of the report shall also be distributed to public
officials in the state who deal with child abuse issues and to those
agencies responsible for child death investigation in each county.
The report shall contain, but not be limited to, information provided
by state agencies and the county child death review teams for the
preceding year.
   The state data shall include the Department of Justice Child Abuse
Central Index and Supplemental Homicide File, the State Department
of Health Services Vital Statistics, and the State Department of
Social Services Child Welfare Services/Case Management System.
   (2) In conjunction with the agency or agencies designated by the
Director of Finance pursuant to Section 13820, coordinate statewide
and local training for county death review teams and the members of
the teams, including, but not limited to, training in the application
of the interagency child death investigation protocols and
procedures established under Sections 11166.7 and 11166.8 to identify
child deaths associated with abuse or neglect.
   (e) The State Department of Health Services, in collaboration with
the California State Child Death Review Council, shall design, test
and implement a statewide child abuse or neglect fatality tracking
system incorporating information collected by local child death
review teams. The department shall:
   (1) Establish a minimum case selection criteria and review
protocols of local child death review teams.
   (2) Develop a standard child death review form with a minimum core
set of data elements to be used by local child death review teams,
and collect and analyze that data.
   (3) Establish procedural safeguards in order to maintain
appropriate confidentiality and integrity of the data.
   (4) Conduct annual reviews to reconcile data reported to the State
Department of Health Services Vital Statistics, Department of
Justice Homicide Files and Child Abuse Central Index, and the State
Department of Social Services Child Welfare Services/Case Management
System data systems, with data provided from local child death review
teams.
   (5) Provide technical assistance to local child death review teams
in implementing and maintaining the tracking system.
   (6) This subdivision shall become operative on July 1, 2000, and
shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated
for its purposes in the Budget Act.
   (f) Local child death review teams shall participate in a
statewide child abuse or neglect fatalities monitoring system by:
   (1) Meeting the minimum standard protocols set forth by the State
Department of Health Services in collaboration with the California
State Child Death Review Council.
   (2) Using the standard data form to submit information on child
abuse or neglect fatalities in a timely manner established by the
State Department of Health Services.
   (g) The California State Child Death Review Council shall monitor
the implementation of the monitoring system and incorporate the
results and findings of the system and review into an annual report.
   (h) The Department of Justice shall direct the creation,
maintenance, updating, and distribution electronically and by paper,
of a statewide child death review team directory, which shall contain
the names of the members of the agencies and private organizations
participating under this section, and the members of local child
death review teams and local liaisons to those teams. The department
shall work in collaboration with members of the California State
Child Death Review Council to develop a directory of professional
experts, resources, and information from relevant agencies and
organizations and local child death review teams, and to facilitate
regional working relationships among teams. The Department of Justice
shall maintain and update these directories annually.
   (i) The agencies or private organizations participating under this
section shall participate without reimbursement from the state.
Costs incurred by participants for travel or per diem shall be borne
by the participant agency or organization. The participants shall be
responsible for collecting and compiling information to be included
in the annual report. The Department of Justice shall be responsible
for printing and distributing the annual report using available funds
and existing resources.
   (j) The agency or agencies designated by the Director of Finance
pursuant to Section 13820, in coordination with the State Department
of Social Services, the Department of Justice, and the California
State Child Death Review Council shall contract with state or
nationally recognized organizations in the area of child death review
to conduct statewide training and technical assistance for local
child death review teams and relevant organizations, develop
standardized definitions for fatal child abuse or neglect, develop
protocols for the investigation of fatal child abuse or neglect, and
address relevant issues such as grief and mourning, data collection,
training for medical personnel in the identification of child abuse
or neglect fatalities, domestic violence fatality review, and other
related topics and programs. The provisions of this subdivision shall
only be implemented to the extent that the agency or agencies
designated by the Director of Finance pursuant to Section 13820 can
absorb the costs of implementation within its current funding, or to
the extent that funds are appropriated for its purposes in the Budget
Act.
   (k) Law enforcement and child welfare agencies shall cross-report
all cases of child death suspected to be related to child abuse or
neglect whether or not the deceased child has any known surviving
siblings.
   (l) County child welfare agencies shall create a record in the
Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) on all cases
of child death suspected to be related to child abuse or neglect,
whether or not the deceased child has any known surviving siblings.
Upon notification that the death was determined not to be related to
child abuse or neglect, the child welfare agency shall enter that
information into the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System.

11174.35.  The State Department of Social Services shall work with
state and local child death review teams and child protective
services agencies in order to identify child death cases that were,
or should have been, reported to or by county child protective
services agencies. Findings made pursuant to this section shall be
used to determine the extent of child abuse or neglect fatalities
occurring in families known to child protective services agencies and
to define child welfare training needs for reporting,
cross-reporting, data integration, and involvement by child
protective services agencies in multiagency review in child deaths.
The State Department of Social Services, the State Department of
Health Services, and the Department of Justice shall develop a plan
to track and maintain data on child deaths from abuse or neglect, and
submit this plan, not later than December 1, 1997, to the Senate
Committee on Health and Human Services, the Assembly Committee on
Human Services, and the chairs of the fiscal committees of the
Legislature.


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