The Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel, “the Panel”, was created in 2012, for the purpose of conducting comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities suspected to be the result of abuse or neglect. Kentucky Revised Statutes 620.055(1) established the multidisciplinary panel of twenty professionals from the medical, social service, mental health, legal, and law enforcement fields, as well as other professionals who work on behalf of Kentucky’s children. The Panel reviews cases referred from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) conducts their own investigation into the fatality or near fatality and determines whether to substantiate abuse or neglect. The Panel conducts an external review of these cases regardless of whether the DCBS substantiated abuse or neglect. The Panel may also review cases referred from other sources if the fatality or near fatality is suspected to be a result of abuse or neglect perpetrated by a parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision. As a part of this external review, relevant information may be requested from a variety of sources and may include autopsy reports, medical records, law enforcement records, and records held by any Family, Circuit, or District Court. The purpose of these retrospective reviews is to identify systemic deficits and to make recommendations for improvements to prevent child fatalities and near fatalities due to abuse and neglect. This annual report is to be published and submitted to the Governor, the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and the director of the Legislative Research Commission for distribution to the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee by December 1 of each year as specified in KRS 620.055(10). On October 29, 2018, the Panel informed its statutorily required recipients that it would delay its report for sixty (60) days in order to publish an adequate report based upon the information received. Throughout 2018, the Panel met seven (7) times including a two-day session in November.1 Cases reviewed were from state fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017). The Panel reviewed 134 cases comprised of 51 fatalities and 83 near fatalities. Of the 51 fatalities, 10 of the cases were reported to DCBS as near fatalities which ultimately resulted in a fatality. Eight (8) of those cases were referred to the Panel from the Department for Public Health. For a greater understanding of the Panel’s work, all interested citizens are encouraged to read this report and to visit the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s website (http://justice.ky.gov/Pages/CFNFERP.aspx) for prior years’ reports and case summaries.