Pilot CWS-R-SAP – v. 1 Current CWS, 12.1. Oregon Child Mortality by Type


Pilot Child Welfare System Redesign

Strategic Action Plan


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12.1. Oregon Child Mortality by Type


Oregon Child Mortality by Type Chart
Oregon Child Mortality by Type Chart

Please note that the years are not in proper sequence in the chart. Please use the color representing the year to locate the data.


The chart displays the number of child deaths by type and then by year within type. The data is from the annual Oregon Child Mortality statistics.[1]


The chart is used as a visual aid to demonstrate that, by only investigating child deaths due to homicide, the second group of columns from the left, omits a significant number of child deaths that could also have been homicides, but were covered up by the parents or the family.


The suicides by children, which are more prevalent than the homicides (except for 1 year), are often caused by the abuse or neglect they have suffered. Those children were left hopeless of any reprieve from their tortured lives. These are tragic lives who had not received the help they desperately needed. Don’t continue to ignore them – use their information to create better tools for recognizing suicidal children and/or to stop screening-out children who needed help but were among the 90%+ who did not get an assessment.


Oregon 2014 Child Fatality Review Report[2]

“Analysis of this data is used to inform prevention opportunities and identify ways to develop programs and policies that focus on meaningful changes.”


“In 2014, local teams determined that 78% of the injury deaths were preventable, 64% of the SUID deaths were preventable and 63% of suicides could have been prevented.”


“Injury was the cause of death among 86 children, which accounted for 24% of the total child deaths in Oregon. The leading causes/mechanisms of injury death were suffocation/hanging (26), motor vehicle crashes (17) and firearm (16). By intent, they were unintentional injury (51), suicide (23) and homicide (9).”


“Suicide and unintentional motor vehicle traffic incidents were the main causes of injury death among adolescents aged 15–17 years.”


Pattern of Injury Death Chart
Pattern of Injury Death Chart


Considerations in Reviewing Deaths due to Child Abuse and Neglect


Improvements to Agency Practices

Are high-risk families with newborns and young infants provided prevention services? Were prior inflicted injuries identified and reported? Did CPS conduct a full investigation and make appropriate referrals and recommendations?


Effective Prevention Actions

Training emergency room staff to improve their ability to identify child abuse injuries and improve reporting. Case management, referral and follow-up of infants sent home with serious health or developmental problems. Media campaigns to enlighten and inform the general public on known fatality-producing behaviors, i.e., violently shaking a child out of frustration. Crisis Nurseries for parents “on the edge” to leave their children for a specified period of time, at no charge. Intensive home visiting services to parents. Education programs for parents.[3]


[1] The National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention, Spotlight – Oregon2, annual Oregon Child Mortality Statistics, 2010-2017, https://www.ncfrp.org/cdr-programs/u-s-cdr-programs/spotlight-oregon/, accessed 9/5/2020

[2] Shen X, Greene A, Millet L. Childhood Fatalities in Oregon: 2014. Portland (OR): Oregon Health Authority; 2016 Jun.

[3] Shen X, Greene A, Millet L. Childhood Fatalities in Oregon: 2014. Portland (OR): Oregon Health Authority; 2016 Jun.


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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.


Jo Calk