CLEVELAND — Two United States senators have introduced the Child Abuse Deaths Disclosure Act, a bipartisan bill which would require states to report data on all child abuse-related deaths, while also developing recommendations to prevent those deaths in the first place.
The bill, introduced by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), would provide policy makers and public health officials with a clearer understanding of child abuse fatalities and allow states to collect information to better assess when and why child abuse fatalities occur.
The Child Abuse Deaths Disclosure Act, as stated in the bill, would :
• Require states to develop a multidisciplinary team to annually examine the circumstances of all child abuse related deaths and report case specific information to the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention. The taskforce would also be required to develop recommendations to prevent child abuse deaths and submit an annual report to state and federal officials to publish on a national public website.
• Require HHS to consult with state and local officials, child welfare practitioners, pediatricians, public health officials, and law enforcement to develop a national standard definition related to child abuse deaths or child maltreatment fatalities
• Promote training on child maltreatment fatalities for child death review teams to address disparities in treatment by officials or outcomes in child maltreatment fatalities based on race or culture and encourage best practices.
In 2017, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) estimated that 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect.
Sierra Giles, of Cleveland, the legal guardian of Rayvon Owens, whose sister Ta'naejah McCloud was a victim of child abuse and died, previously advocated for more legislation to protect children from abuse.
If suspect or know a child who is being abused or neglected, call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
More on News 5's coverage of child abuse cases:
Four-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett died from a stroke caused by a blow to the head. Her mother and her mother's boyfriend were sentenced to life in prison. More reporting here.
The remains of 4-year-old Eliazar Ruiz were found inside a bag buried in the backyard of a Cleveland home. His death was ruled a homicide. More reporting here.