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    Beginnings and Purposes

    Texas’ first local review team was started in Dallas in 1992 through a one-year-duration pilot project funded by CJA and administered by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Service (TDPRS).  The Tarrant County Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) was the second team in the state to participate in the pilot project and receive CJA funding; organized in 1992, the team began reviewing child deaths in 1993.  In 2008, there were 53 operating child fatality review teams in Texas, most of which are hosted by hospitals, child advocacy centers and law enforcement agencies.  Tarrant County CFRT, partnered with the Denton and Parker County components of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner District, reviews deaths from those three jurisdictions.

    Ten purposes of a CFRT have been identified by the CFRTC:


    • To accurately identify and record the cause of every child death.
    • To collect uniform and accurate statistics on child deaths.
    • To identify circumstances surrounding deaths that could prevent future deaths and initiate preventive efforts.
    • To promote collaboration and coordination among the participating agencies.
    • To improve criminal investigation and prosecution of child abuse homicides.
    • To design and implement cooperative protocols for investigation of certain categories of child deaths.
    • To improve communication among agencies and the timely notification of agencies when a child dies.
    • To provide a confidential forum for agencies to meet and discuss common issues or resolove conflicts.
    • To propose needed changes in legislation, policies, and procedures.
    • To identify and address public health issues.