Community Services has launched its inaugural Child Deaths 2010 Annual Report – the first time an Australian child protection agency has publicly reported in this way on the deaths of children known to them.
The report outlines Community Services involvement with the families of the 139 children and young people who died in 2010, what was learned from reviews of their deaths, and what is being done to improve practice and reform systems.
“Child Deaths 2010 Annual Report provides a real opportunity to better inform the public and our partners about our role in protecting children,” explains Pam Swinfield, Assistant Director Community Services Child Deaths & Critical Reports (CDCR), which is responsible for completing internal child death reviews.
“The Government has pushed for a new level of accountability, and this is one of the ways Community Services is delivering.”
The report revealed that 52 children had died from illness or disease, 25 from prematurity and five from suspicious injuries. It also found domestic violence and parental substance abuse were the most common reported risk factors.
Six key themes that emerged from analysis of child deaths in 2010 are explored in the report:
“While accountability is an end in itself, we’ll also use the report as a key learning tool in the field. CDCR will also be working with the Implementation Advisory Forum and Community Services regional offices to implement learning from this report,” adds Pam.