Chapter 056
2019 -- H 5430
Enacted 06/28/2019

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Serpa, Casimiro, Ackerman, Fellela, and Lyle
Date Introduced: February 14, 2019

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 42-73-2.3 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-73 entitled "Child
Advocate Office" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     42-73-2.3. Child fatality reviews.
     (a) The department of children, youth and families shall notify the office of the child
advocate verbally and electronically within forty-eight (48) hours of a confirmed fatality or near
fatality of a child who is the subject of a DCYF case and shall provide the office of the child
advocate with access to any written material about the case.
     (b) The child advocate, working with a voluntary and confidential child-fatality-review
panel, whose members may vary on a case-by-case basis, shall review the case records of all
notifications in accordance with § 42-73-2.3(a) subsection (a) of fatalities and near fatalities of
children under twenty-one (21) years of age, if:
     (1) The fatality or near fatality occurs while in the custody of, or involved with, the
department, or if the child's family previously received services from the department;
     (2) The fatality or near fatality is alleged to be from abuse or neglect of the child and the
child or child's family had prior contact with the department; or
     (3) A sibling, household member, or day care provider has been the subject of a child
abuse and neglect investigation within the previous twelve (12) months, including, without
limitation, cases in which the report was unsubstantiated or the investigation is currently pending.
     (c) The child-fatality-review panel shall assess and analyze such cases; make
recommendations regarding such cases; and make recommendations for improvements to laws,
policies, and practices that support the safety of children. Each report shall be made public within
thirty (30) days of its completion.
     (d) The members of the child-fatality-review panel, established in accordance with this
section, shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions of § 42-73-10.
     (e) The child advocate shall publicly announce the convening of a child-fatality-review
panel, including the age of the child involved.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.