National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

Help. Hope. Support.

Donate Today

Find Out How You Can Help

2018 Annual Report of Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities in Indiana. Calendar Year 2018. Includes special section covering July 1, 2017-December 31, 2017

Indiana Department of Child Services – 2019

This report focuses on child deaths that directly resulted from caregiver maltreatment or neglect during Calendar Year 2018. Each year, dozens of Hoosier children die at the hands of their caregivers. In the majority of these cases, the victims had no prior substantiated history with the Indiana Department of Child Services; and yet, in many cases, such maltreatment – whether by neglect or physical abuse – remains preventable through increased community awareness and education. The Indiana Department of Child Services believes the release of data surrounding these incidents helps to shine a light on the needs of our communities. How might a first-time parent have reacted in a stressful situation had that parent received better education about early childhood needs? If a caregiver struggling to cope with the challenges of child-rearing had better access to mental health treatment, might a loss of life have been prevented? This report seeks to start those conversations. This report uses data from the DCS database, which categorizes fatalities by the major category of death and provides detailed information about cause of death to offer a clearer picture of the types of abuse and neglect that ultimately resulted in the loss of a child. The Indiana Department of Child Services completes a review of all child fatalities that fit the following circumstances: • Children under the age of 1: The child’s death is sudden, unexpected or unexplained, or there are allegations of abuse or neglect • Children age 1 or older: The child’s death involves allegations of abuse or neglect DCS assesses the fatality in question to determine if abuse or neglect has occurred, and therefore, the allegation should be substantiated. Historically, the DCS Child Fatality Report has utilized data on deaths reported during the state fiscal year. In 2019, Indiana law was revised to require the report cover the calendar year for easier year-over-year comparisons.* Through analysis of the report, DCS identifies common risks for abuse- and/or neglect-related fatalities. This information aids in the development of prevention, educational and service programs. The data is also used to evaluate, review and modify DCS policy, practice and procedure when warranted. The data assembled in the report is collected from multiple sources, including DCS, law enforcement, death certificates, coroners’ reports and autopsy findings. Each fatality is reviewed at both the county and state level. A team of professionals from the county where the death occurred determines whether it was a result of abuse or neglect. Following the local county’s recommendation as to whether the abuse or neg