Senate Approves Baker Bill to Improve Review of Child Deaths

Better reviews could prevent fatalities and aid investigators.

Dallas – The state Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker aimed at increasing child safety in Pennsylvania. The bill would implement a child death review program to coordinate local teams to examine the circumstances surrounding deaths of individuals under the age of 21.

Through the program, the Department of Health would be responsible for developing protocols for child death reviews, coordinating the collection of data, and providing specialized training. Information regarding the frequency and causes of child injury and death, as well as prevention strategies, would be offered to agencies, health and child care professionals, and the general public.

“Although there are volunteer child review teams across Pennsylvania, our state is one of only four in the entire country without a formal program,” Baker said. “These comprehensive evaluations can assist us in taking action to prevent future deaths, help with investigations and prosecutions, and protect siblings and other children in homes where a death was found to be criminal.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact: Brian Grove
(570) 675-3931

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