Program Contact

Joshua G. Thomas
Child Abuse Death Review Unit Director
Bureau of Child Protection & Special Technologies
Division of Children’s Medical Services
Florida Department of Health
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A06
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Office: (850) 901-6346
Cell: (850) 354-3027


Robin Perry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Social Work
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
6322 Couch House Court
Tallahassee, FL 32312
Office: (850) 599-3456


Program Description

The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee was established in Florida in 1999 by statute (Chapter 383.402 F.S.). Case reviews began in 2000 and were expanded in 2004 to include all verified child abuse deaths. The State Committee is a statutorily independent group supported administratively by the Florida Department of Health. The program has an estimated annual budget of $90,000, which is funded by the Florida Legislature through the Department of Health. There is one full time Quality Improvement Coordinator for the State and Local Committees, along with support by the Florida Department of Health Child Abuse Death Review Coordinator.

Florida has both a state and local review committees.

State Committee Chairperson: Robin Perry, Ph.D.
The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee has 19 members defined in Florida Statute. The Committee meets quarterly or more often as needed.

Local Teams:
As of 2011, there are 20 local committees, plus the State Committee that provides coverage for Florida’s 67 counties. The duties of the local child abuse death review committees are to:

  • Review all deaths reported to the Central Abuse Hotline as suspected from child abuse and neglect.
  • Collect data on applicable child abuse deaths for The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee.
  • Submit written reports to the state committee as directed. The reports are to include information on individual cases, and steps taken by the local committee to implement necessary changes and improve the coordination of services and investigations.
  • Submit all records requested by The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee at the conclusion of its review of a death resulting from child abuse or neglect.
  • Abide by standards and protocols established by The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee in the conduct of child abuse death reviews.
  • Designate a committee chairperson who oversees activities and calls meetings of the committee when necessary.
  • Designate a member of the local committee, if there is not a state committee member on the local committee, to liaison to the state committee for the purpose of ensuring consistency in review protocols, to present case information when requested, and to request as needed on a case-by-case basis, that the state committee reviews the data of a particular case.

Committees are restricted to reviewing CAN deaths that are reported to the Department of Children and Families child abuse hotline. The local committees conduct reviews. The state committee analyze the data and prepares the annual report.

The purpose of the Florida Child Abuse Death Review is prevention.

Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all reviews. Florida utilizes the National CDR Case Reporting System database.

Annual Report
The State Child Abuse Death Review Committee does produce an annual report. This report is submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. It is also available upon request and is posted on the committee’s website.

Prevention Initiatives
Findings from the reviews have led to prevention initiatives including safe sleep, risk assessments of who is watching your child and drowning prevention campaigns.

Florida has a number of protocols in place including review meeting and confidentiality.

Training is offered to local teams and state agencies on the review process. Training is also offered for child death investigations, mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, SUID training, and assessing risk to children by many of the State Members.

Last Updated: January 2020