Child Death Investigations: An Overview for the MDT

Course Description

Child Death Investigations can be complex and emotionally taxing cases for a multidisciplinary team. This presentation will focus on the benefits of an MDT-based approach to address common issues and challenges that arise in the investigation of deaths of the most vulnerable victims. Factual data will be referenced regarding the reduction in undetermined manner of death (or SIDS) findings with the increased implementation of child death investigation teams and expansion of education programs surrounding safe sleep. Discussions will include best practices of early investigative coordination, utilization forensic interviews and child advocacy centers for sibling/witness interviews, effective application of search warrants and subpoena powers, tips for medical record collection and review, and the power of a coroner/medical examiner-inclusive MDT.

Learning Objectives

1. Build skills and knowledge surrounding the basics of child fatalities including cause/manner of death distinctions and the importance of a thorough multidisciplinary team-centered investigation.

2. Create a framework for an investigative protocol highlighting the components of each MDT member including the coroner’s office/medical examiner.

3. Discuss methods to compile sufficient information through scene investigation, witness interviews, medical records and medical history, and technology-focused evidence to determine if a death merits criminal charges.

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