Title 42
State Affairs and Government

Chapter 73
Child Advocate Office

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-73-2.3

§ 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 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 daycare 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.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 342, § 3[4]; P.L. 2016, ch. 368, § 3[4]; P.L. 2019, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 70, § 1.