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The Child Fatality Review Committee (CFRC) was re-established by Senate Bill 118 in 2019. Child Fatality Review is grounded in the belief that a child’s preventable death is a community’s responsibility. A sentinel (unanticipated) event should raise a call to action. The primary goal is to learn what happened and prevent harm to other children in New Hampshire.

Under an Executive Order of Governor Stephen Merrill in 1996, New Hampshire began systematically reviewing the preventable deaths of New Hampshire children to identify and investigate risks and the service system responses. This Executive Order has successfully guided the work of the CFRC for more than 20 years.

The Committee membership is comprised of representation from the medical, law enforcement, judicial, legal, victim services, public health, mental health, child protection and education communities.

The objectives of the CFRC are:

  • Describe trends and patterns of child deaths in New Hampshire, including sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) and sudden death in the young (SDY).
  • Identify and investigate the prevalence of risks and protective factors among the populations of deceased children.
  • Evaluate the service and system responses for children and families and to offer recommendations for improvement of these services.
  • Improve the quality and comprehensiveness of child fatality data by enhancing and integrating information obtained from autopsies, death scene investigations., death certificates, police reports, medical records, and other relevant sources.
  • Enable state agencies, law enforcement, health care providers, and community-based organizations to more effectively prevent and investigate child fatalities.

Meetings

Annual CFRC Reports
After each review, the Committee identifies risk factors related to the death and makes recommendations aimed at improving systematic responses in an effort to prevent similar deaths in the future. The Committee publishes the recommendation and the agency responses to those recommendations in an Annual Report.

Resources

 

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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