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June 2009Vol. 10, No. 5Guidelines for Multi-Agency Investigations of Severe Child Injury

A newly revised manual provides best-practice standards to help community agencies and hospitals with investigations into children's severe injuries. Multi-Agency Identification and Investigation of Severe Nonfatal and Fatal Child Injury: Guidelines for Networking, Communication, and Collaboration advocates for the systematic review of severe child injuries (i.e., those requiring hospitalization) by community agencies and hospitals. This type of review requires collaboration among different agencies for the formation of multidisciplinary teams and gives medical practitioners a central role.

The guidelines use lessons from child fatality teams and other multidisciplinary investigation teams to outline best practices and models for conducting reviews. Chapters include:

  • "Best Practices for the Medical Identification of Severe Nonfatal Injury," which is targeted toward medical and social service professionals providing pediatric services
  • "Model for Hospital and Community-Based Severe Nonfatal Injury Review," which offers a framework for developing review systems
  • "Fundamentals of Investigation of Severe Nonfatal and Fatal Child Injury," which provides 10 steps for best practices
  • Resources

Professionals can use the guidelines to improve cross-agency networking and information sharing, promote data collection and case review, and encourage greater use of multidisciplinary teams in investigating child injuries and developing policies to prevent such injuries.

The guidelines were written by the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), ICAN Associates, and California Emergency Management Services. The manual is available for download on the ICAN website: (1.63 MB)