Membership of a local CFRT includes statutorily-enumerated community professionals including the following disciplines:
Child Protective Services (CPS) - CPS members provide detailed information about family dynamics, history and social factors, and can report on any prior referrals of abuse or neglect as well as CPS services provided to a family.
Health Care Providers - Physicians and medical specialists can explain medical issues and interpret events from the perspective of having seen and treated thousands of living children. Public health entities can facilitate and coordinate preventive services and promulgate public awareness initiatives.
Law Enforcement - Law enforcement members provide information on criminal investigations of child deaths under review and are well-trained in scene investigation and interrogation techniques.
Legal and Judicial System Officers - Prosecutors can share information about criminal and civil actions involving parties related to a death review, and can provide legal information regarding charging options or explain what a case requires in order to be prosecuted successfully.
Medical Examiner - The Medical Examiner’s Office is the single entity that receives information regarding every suspicious or unnatural child death in a community, and lays the groundwork for a review by presenting basic information regarding the death and its cause.
Mental Health Professionals - Mental health professionals provide insight into psychological issues related to a child’s death.
Support Services Providers - First responder personnel from fire departments and emergency medical services agencies can report on their observations regarding the behavior of people at the scene of a child death as they are typically the first professional personnel to arrive. They can also describe how the child was found initially and tell about how materials and evidence may have been altered during the medical treatment phase. Other local support services providers, such as specialized services agencies and child advocates (e.g., Shaken Baby Alliance, SIDS coalitions, SafeKids teams, etc.), often bring vital information to the death review process.
Hundreds of CFRT members from around the state obtain additional training at a conference hosted annually by the State of Texas and various partnering agencies. CFRT-specific training sessions include topics such as the following:
Texas has broadened and strengthened the case data reporting system, implemented and maintained by the state initially, by establishing a relationship with the National Child Death Review (NCDR) Data Collection System, based within the Michigan Public Health Institute and overseen by the National Maternal and Child Health Center for Child Death Review. This new system allows Texas case data to be entered into a dynamic nationally-standardized form and yields not only local and state statistical data, but allows for comparison of CFRT data from other states. Information and statistical data from NCDR can be obtained via the following link:
Hosting of the Tarrant County Child Fatality Review Team at the medical examiner's office took place from its formation in 1992 until January 1, 2016, when administrative responsibility was transferred to the Tarrant County Public Health Department. This move brings the team in alignment with the emerging conception of child fatality review being affiliated with local public health officials so biostatistical trends can be identified quickly and appropriate prevention measures made in a timely manner utilizing the public health response model.
For further information, please contact the Tarrant County Public Health Department at 817-321-4700.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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