Prevention Recommendations

The ultimate purpose of child fatality review is to keep kids alive. By understanding how and why children die, our communities can take action to prevent other similar deaths. Local review teams should make sure that every child death that could have been prevented makes a difference in the lives of other children. The review of each child death concludes with a discussion of how to prevent another death in the community. Local teams can focus their discussion on short- and long-term interventions relating to policy, programs, and practice. Teams are not expected to design and implement recommendations; reviews are intended to catalyze community action. Teams should identify the best way to translate prevention recommendations into action. 

The key to good prevention is leadership at the local level. Local review team members can provide this leadership by serving as catalysts for community action. Prevention efforts can range from simply changing one agency practice or policy, to more complex interventions like intensive home visitation programs for high-risk parents.

Locals teams can utilize the CFPS Prevention Guidance to develop prevention recommendations across the social ecological model

To assist local review teams with the development of these efforts, local, state, and national programs are available. Such programs address specific prevention needs for the health, safety and well‑being of children and families. Available in both the public and private sectors, these programs can be sponsored by religious, community, professional, and/or government organizations. Some are short‑term projects with temporary funding; others are established programs with documented results and proven track records.

Individual agencies or local review team members can assume responsibility to work with existing or new prevention coalitions to enact change. Some communities have child safety coalitions, prevention coalitions or active citizen advocacy groups. Connect your local review team findings with these community groups to ensure results. In addition, assist these groups in accessing state and national resources in the prevention areas targeted by your community.

A short list of prevention categories include:
  • Safe Infant Sleep
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Suicide Prevention and Counseling
  • Firearm Safety
  • Crime Victims' Assistance
  • Gang Prevention and Intervention
  • Substance Abuse Counseling and Education
  • Drowning Prevention
  • Child Car Seat Safety
  • Teen Driving Safety
  • Bicycle Safety
  • Fire Safety
  • Prenatal Care
  • Parenting Skills
  • Infant and Child Day Care Programs
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs
  • Poison Control
  • Consumer Product Safety 

Focusing on prevention is how your team will find meaning and purpose over the long haul.  The CFPS support staff developed tools using the public health framework for prevention to help you identify preventive action that can be taken at all levels of the social ecology.  These tools will lead you through the process of formulating effective recommendations, identifying key individuals, and following up on recommendations for preventive action.  Prevention tools may be found under the “Prevention Efforts” tab.

The reviews can lead to many initiatives, some involving short-term, easy-to-fix problems and others requiring long-term, extensive planning efforts. However, due to the small number of deaths in many rural counties, important trends may not be apparent to the local teams, and only become evident when statewide data are compiled by CFPS support staff. The CFPS State Review Team will develop recommendations for legislation, administrative agency policy and practice, and public education based on the collective experiences and recommendations from local review teams. On an annual basis, the CFPS State Review Team will develop a report of policy and systems-level recommendations for the Colorado General Assembly.

As part of the funding available to develop and implement local child fatality review teams, there is funding available to implement prevention strategies based on the recommendations from local child fatality review team discussions. CFPS support staff and local child fatality review teams will work collaboratively to analyze data trends and patterns, interpret the data, select evidence-based prevention strategies, and implement community-based prevention strategies.

Do you have prevention efforts that you'd like to update us on? Go to the Prevention Tracking page to fill out a quick form.