March 9, 2014

Child fatality review panels falling short


Associated Press

— A statewide panel tasked with probing child deaths in Georgia is struggling to provide answers on the deaths and how future fatalities may be prevented.  

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Sunday that a probe of 464 child death investigations by county review panels showed that no reports questioned mistakes by state social service agencies the children and their guardians had been involved with.

The newspaper reports some investigations also took more than twice as long as they’re legally allowed to.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Tain Kell is chairman of the statewide panel that oversees the smaller, county-wide fatality review boards. Tain says he supports a proposal in the state Legislature to transfer the panel’s operations from the Office of the Child Advocate to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.