DCF Adds New Tool to Child Fatality Prevention Website

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2015

DCF Adds New Tool to Child Fatality Prevention Website
Recognizing Sunshine Week with improvements and data sharing on prevention website

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is recognizing Sunshine Week with continued enhancements to the department’s Child Fatality Prevention website, www.MyFLFamilies.com/childfatality.

“The only way to prevent future tragedies is to be transparent about the past. We are publically examining how the department can improve practice and we are engaging the community to partner with us to end all preventable child fatalities in Florida,” Secretary Mike Carroll said. “We are committed to being open and accessible to the public because we cannot do this job alone.”

The website now contains reports resulting from the Critical Incident Rapid Response Team (CIRRT) investigations. CIRRT’s were created by the Florida legislature and went into effect Jan. 2015 to rapidly determine the need to change policies and practices related to child protection and child welfare (Ch. 39.2015, Florida Statutes).

Map of Florida showing new heat mapping tool.A new heat map feature is now available identifying areas in the state affected by fatalities of a particular casual factor, such as drowning, unsafe sleep or inflicted trauma. This feature will help DCF and partners focus prevention efforts in local communities to target the cause of fatalities.

Since the website launched last June, more than six years of fatality data has been added. Data can be sorted and viewed by county, year, child’s age, causal factor and prior involvement. The department updates the site weekly with information from the Florida Abuse Hotline and DCF field staff. Supporting documents detailing additional factors in a case are posted after the case is closed following a review by one of six regional child fatality prevention specialists.

Florida is the largest state to release child fatality data through a public interactive website. The site is publically accessible and contains information on all child fatalities reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline alleged to be a result of abuse or neglect.

The website includes information about DCF’s prevention campaigns relating to the leading causes of child fatality in Florida—unsafe sleep, drowning and inflicted trauma. These campaigns provide useful information for parents and caregivers and avenues for communities and individuals to get involved in preventing these tragedies.

To view the website and learn more about the child fatality data available visit: www.MyFLFamilies.com/childfatality

Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, (850) 717-4450