Continuing Danger: Child Fatalities in New York City
At least four children die from abuse or neglect every day in the United States. In 2006, more than 1,500 children nationally suffered that fate. In 2004, 367 children died in homes already known to the public child welfare system. And even these grim statistics under-report the number of deaths of children known to child welfare systems (due to reporting anomalies, and because they do not include all states).
Although the total number of children who die from abuse and neglect is relatively small, cases that result in fatalities often shed light on systemic problems in public child welfare agencies — and the challenges facing vulnerable families.
Children’s Rights has issued two reports that take an in-depth look at child deaths in New York City from 1999-2001 and from 2003-2004. The purpose of the research was to understand the issues and factors associated with child deaths and the child welfare system’s involvement in these cases, both before and after the deaths. The reports make recommendations for improving child welfare system practices regarding safety and risk assessments, quality assurance activities and fatality review processes.