Child deaths are often regarded as an indicator of the health of a community. While mortality data provides us with an overall picture of child deaths (by number and cause), it is from a careful study of each and every child's death that we can learn how best to respond to a death and how best to prevent another.
Recognizing the need to better understand why children die, the Ohio General Assembly passed Substitute House Bill Number 448 (HB 448) in July 2000, mandating Child Fatality Review (CFR) Boards in each of Ohio's counties (or regions) to review the deaths of children under eighteen years of age.
The ultimate purpose of the local review boards, as clearly described in the law, is to reduce the incidence of preventable child deaths. To accomplish this, it is expected that local review boards will:
Promote cooperation, collaboration and communication between all groups that serve families and children.
Maintain a database of all child deaths to develop an understanding of the causes and incidence of those deaths.
Recommend and develop plans for implementing local service and program changes; and advise the department of health of aggregate data, trends and patterns found in child deaths.
According to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) §3701-67-08, a joint annual report shall be prepared and published by Ohio Department of Health and Children's Trust Fund Board. The report shall also contain any recommended changes to law and policy that might prevent future deaths.