The fifteenth annual report of the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee is now available to read in full.
Notably, in 2019, the number of deaths of children and young people was the lowest recorded for fifteen years.
Issues raised in reviews the Committee has undertaken in 2019–20 reflect its concerns for those children and young people who are most vulnerable, including the need for collaborative inter-agency practice to reduce the risk of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly in vulnerable families.
The Committee continues to pursue effective ways to influence service systems and share the knowledge and understanding gained from its analyses and reviews of child deaths. In the coming months, the Committee will release a series of interactive blog posts which will supplement the analyses presented in this report, and facilitate activities aimed to prevent child deaths and serious injuries.
The Committee extends its sympathy to all those families, friends and the communities who have lost a child. We trust that this report will assist the efforts of those who work to keep children and young people safe.
This fourteenth annual report of the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee provides a summary of the Committee’s reviews and analyses of child deaths and serious injuries, and the steps it has taken to make and monitor the implementation of findings and recommendations arising from them.
This includes analyses showing that between 2005 and 2018:
- deaths due to drowning, a deliberate act by another person, and fire-related deaths all peak in the one to four year age group
- transport-related incidents are the most common cause of death for young people aged 15-17 years
- twenty-eight percent of children who have died, or their families, had had contact with the child protection system in the three years prior to their deaths.
In the reporting period for this Report, three in-depth reviews were submitted to the Minister for Education:
- a review into the death of a young Aboriginal child prompted recommendations about the ways in which the child protection system holds itself responsible and accountable for a child’s safety.
- a review into the death of a child with disabilities who was in the care of the State, found that generally, systems had worked well to provide this child with a good quality of life.
- a second review into the death of a child with disabilities who was receiving services from multiple agencies, found that each agency worked diligently to try to improve the quality of this child’s life, but that these efforts did not meet this child’s complex needs.
The 2018-19 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee’s thirteenth annual report was tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Education, Hon John Gardner on 13 November 2018.
Figures presented in the Report document the discrepancies in the rate of child death between the regions of South Australia.
Since 2005, more than one in every thousand children in the Far North region died before the age of 18. This is three and a half times higher than the State average.
Also of note is the rate of death of Aboriginal children in South Australia, which is almost four times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal children.
The 2017-18 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
In its twelfth Annual Report, the Committee has reported that the rate of child deaths has, on average, slowly decreased since 2005. However, higher rates of death are still occurring for children living in the State’s most disadvantaged areas and for Aboriginal children.
Several of the Committee’s in-depth reviews have focused on young parents whose infants have died and led to recommendations about:
- The importance of timely cross-border information-sharing.
- The need to support young people under guardianship through the provision of appropriate, trauma-informed services and the extension of guardianship arrangements beyond 18 years.
- The provision of ante-natal, birthing and parenting support services for young people.
The Committee has recommended the appointment of a strong and influential advocate for Aboriginal children and young people.
The Committee has provided the Minister for Education and Child Development with a list of the fundamental building blocks for services for children with disability that include respect for the centrality of the child, stable care, active case management, the presence of an advocate and end-of-life planning.
To enhance the safety of children, the Committee has recommended changes to the Plumbing Code that could help prevent serious scalding accidents and an infant safe sleeping campaign that provides information, support and access to portable infant safe sleeping devices.
The 2016-17 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2015-2016 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2014-2015 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2013-2014 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2012-2013 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2011-2012 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2010-2011 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2009-2010 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.
The 2008-2009 CDSIRC Annual Report is available for download.