This seventeenth annual report, presented to Parliament by the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee, provides a summary of the Committee’s data analyses, reviews of child deaths, and activities undertaken to prevent the death or serious injury of children and young people.
The Committee observed the lowest number of child deaths on record consecutively in 2019 (81 deaths) and 2020 (73 deaths). However, in 2021, 104 children and young people died in South Australia. At the time of writing, information on causes of death for about one quarter of the 2021 deaths was not available due to COVID-19-related delays in systems from which the Committee collects information. Consequently, it is not yet possible to identify potential causes of the increase in deaths in 2021.
During the 2021–22 reporting period, the Committee continued to review child deaths in South Australia and to make and monitor recommendations for intervention and prevention on a range of issues, including:
- provision of specialist care to children and young people with poorly controlled, severe or unstable asthma
- development of effective across-agency responses to the critical medical care needs of children and young people
- the need for co-ordinated and collaborative service approaches to mitigate the risks of severe domestic squalor
- changes to standards for providers of education and training to young international students
- the oversight of informal placements of Aboriginal children and young people
- the management of child deaths and palliation.
Under the auspices of its strategic action plan, the Committee has continued to improve its knowledge and understanding of issues that impact children and young people, build its strategic alliances both within the state and nationally, and develop and implement an improved database and reporting system.