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October 2005Vol. 6, No. 8Investigating Child Fatalities

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released a new title in its series of Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse, Investigating Child Fatalities. The guide uses the term "child fatality investigation" to mean the inquiry made by law enforcement into the death of a child when investigators believe that child abuse or neglect may have caused or contributed to the fatal injury.

The purpose of the guide is to provide practical information to law enforcement officers, child protective services investigators, prosecutors, child fatality review team members, and other professionals involved in these cases. The guide explains how child fatalities differ from other homicide cases and offers specific guidelines for conducting the investigation, documenting the investigation, questioning suspects, and testifying in court. The guide is available for download at (PDF - 482 KB).