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Fatal Child Abuse and Neglect Reconciliation Audit

As part of the FCANS Program, the EPIC Branch conducts an annual Reconciliation Audit using several statewide databases and the cooperation of local CDRTs to establish more accurate information on fatal child abuse and neglect. The audit is the source for the California State Child Death Review Council's (SCDRC) official estimate of the number of CAN fatalities.

Brief Summary of Methodology: Three (now four) state databases (DHS Vital Statistics Death Records, Department of Justice Homicide Files and Child Abuse Central Index, and the recently added Department of Social Services Child Welfare System/Case Management Services) are used to identify all CAN fatalities reported to the state. From these sources, county CDRTs receive a list of CAN deaths to "reconcile" with their case reviews. They are asked to respond to the following series of questions and the results are collated and analyzed by the FCANS Program staff:

  • Was the CDRT aware of this child death?
  • Did the team review the case?
  • Did the team consider the case a homicide?
  • Did the team categorize the child death as a child abuse or neglect fatality?
  • If not, why not?
  • Did the team review other child deaths that were considered CAN fatalities?

In addition to serving as the basis for the SCDRC's fatal CAN count, the audit is intended to allow local CDRTs to monitor participating agencies' reporting to the existing mandated reporting systems and to encourage local teams to improve their participating agencies' reporting compliance. The audit thus provides a quality control mechanism of the state's current data systems.

For more information on the fatal child abuse and neglect reconciliation audit, contact us at epic@cdph.ca.gov.

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Last modified on: 2/7/2008 3:05 PM