About, History, and FAQs

About Colorado's Child Fatality Prevention System

The Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System (CFPS) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency team that makes prevention recommendations based on child fatality data in Colorado. Child fatality review teams conduct systematic, comprehensive, multidisciplinary reviews of all preventable childhood deaths to better understand how and why children die. Using a public health approach, child fatality review teams examine the trends and patterns of child deaths in order to make population-based recommendations to prevent other deaths and improve the health and safety of children.

On average, there are approximately 700 child fatalities (ages 0-17) that occur in the state of Colorado. About half of these fatalities are from natural causes among infants under than 28 days and are generally not reviewed. Currently, the Child Fatality Prevention System staff review the death certificates for the other 350 child fatalities a year. Comprehensive, multidisciplinary reviews are conducted by local review teams about 200 preventable child fatalities per year.


History of Colorado's Child Fatality Prevention System


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has conducted child fatality reviews at the state level since 1989. The Child Fatality Prevention System (CFPS) was codified in statute in 2005 (Article 20.5 of Title 25, Colorado Revised Statutes) as a multidisciplinary, statewide team with staff support housed at CDPHE in the Prevention Services Division’s Violence and Injury Prevention--Mental Health Promotion (VIP-MHP) Branch.

The 2005 statute required a State Review Team to review all preventable fatalities of children ages 0-17 years that occur in the state of Colorado. This public health review process is different from human service fatality reviews, which focus only on child abuse and neglect cases known to the county human service system. Public health reviews are conducted to identify trends across a variety of child fatality causes and make prevention recommendations for the future. 


In 2009, the State Review Team began using the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention's data collection website. This system currently contains complete data on child deaths reviewed from 2004-2014. 

The statute did not receive an appropriation until Senate Bill-255 passed during the 2013 legislative session. With these changes, all comprehensive reviews shifted from the State Review Team to the local level. This statute requires local public health agencies to establish or arrange for the establishment of a local, multidisciplinary child fatality review team. Currently, there are 48 teams covering all 64 Colorado counties. CDPHE provides coordination, oversight, funding, and comprehensive technical assistance to both the State Review Team and local (or regional) child fatality review teams. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System (CFPS) Frequently Asked Questions will provide information about:
  • Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System (CFPS) Overview
  • Prevention of Child Fatalities
  • State-Level Role
  • Training and Technical Assistance
  • Local Child Fatality Review Team Structure
  • Local Child Fatality Review Team Formation, Roles, and Responsibilities
  • Funding
  • Child Death Case Identification
  • Confidentiality and Record Storage
  • Child Fatality Review Process
  • Data and the National Center Data Collection Website
  • Legal
  • Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT)

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact the CFPS support staff.