National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: Site Visits Report . Improved Child Fatality Reviews

05/01/2003

During 2002, there were two child deaths in Georgia. While the deaths did not occur in Brooks County, all counties were required to undertake case reviews in response to the deaths. CPS staff screened all active cases (n=74) and made home visits. Investigation and ongoing staff, as well as the supervisor were involved in these reviews. While such intensive visitation was difficult, there was a positive side to reviewing all cases simultaneously. First, by reviewing all cases by all workers, the supervisor was able to examine trends, such as the number of contacts and collateral contacts used and interactions with other agencies. This enabled the supervisor to identify and, in some cases, to provide training for weak areas. Second, the supervisor could review other trends and problem areas within the community. Third, the supervisor was able to identify five additional families who needed in-home services.

The child fatalities also resulted in a change in policy — keeping cases open until there is a resolution. Previously, a case was closed if the family moved out of the county. Given the movement of families across county lines, regional meetings have been established. Brooks County is participating in regional meetings with 17 other counties to discuss tracking and monitoring cases across county lines.

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