State Spotlight - Minnesota

Last updated:  February 2012

Ruth Clinard
Child Mortality Review Consultant
Minnesota Department of Human Services
444 Lafayette Road North
PO Box 64943
St. Paul, MN 55155-0943
Phone: 651-431-4696
Fax: 651-431-7522
Email: ruth.a.clinard@state.mn.us

Tools
Reports
Mortality Statistics Program Description

Administration

Minnesota’s Child Mortality Review Program was established in 1989 by legislation. The program is federally funded by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Safety and Permanency Division has authority to conduct child death reviews under state statute. One state employee staffs the program

Teams

Minnesota has both state and local teams.

State Panel: (Chairperson - Child Mortality Review Consultant)

The Minnesota Child Mortality Review Panel is comprised of 28 members and meets 6 times a year. The Child Mortality Review Panel examines up to ten cases at each meeting. The Panel makes recommendations to improve the state and local systems that protect children.

Local Teams: (Chairperson - county or tribal child protection supervisor)
There are 89 Local Child Mortality Review Teams including two American Indian tribal teams.

Reviews

The Minnesota Child Mortality Review Program reviews deaths and near fatal injuries resulting from maltreatment or suspected maltreatment; manner of death classified on the death certificate as homicide, suicide, accident or undetermined and the child was a member of a family that received social services within one year prior to the death; deaths and near-fatal injuries that occurred in a facility licensed by the Department of Human Services; and natural deaths classified as SIDS or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. The team reviews cases of all of the above in which the age is less than 18 years old.

Purpose

The purpose of the Minnesota Child Mortality Review program is quality assurance and prevention of future deaths or serious injury of children by making recommendations to improve the systems that protect children from maltreatment.

Data

Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all state reviews. Minnesota Child Mortality Review has access to information from state vital statistics. Death certificate data is reviewed by the state consultant and sent to the county and tribal social service agencies to determine the deaths where the family previously received social services. Data from state reviews is entered into the National Center for Child Death Review Case Reporting System.

Annual Report

Minnesota prepares a multi-year report on child death and near-fatal injures. The report is distributed to the Commissioner, Child Mortality Review Panel members and other Department of Health and Human Services administration and the 89 local Child Mortality Review teams. A five-year report for the years 2005 to 2009 is expected to be published in 2011.

Prevention Initiatives

The Minnesota Child Mortality Review Panel has partnered with other agencies or organizations to promote infant or child safety messages. Recommendations for reviews have identified policy areas that required improvement through training, policy amendment or legislative changes. Data analysis has identified factors that increase risk of harm that have been incorporated into training for child protection workers. Local reviews have resulted in changes to local policy or practice and better collaboration between local agencies.

Protocols

Minnesota Child Mortality Review has authority to conduct reviews through Minnesota Statutes section 256.01, subdivision 12. Additional guidelines for mortality reviews are described in the Minnesota Administrative Rule 9560.0232, Subpart 5.

Training

Training is provided to local teams and panel members on an annual basis.. Training is aimed at multi-disciplinary teams. Technical assistance is provided to counties regarding local reviews whenever needed.