Program Contact

Jenn Grabar
Child Protection Services Assistant Program Administrator
ND DHS – Children and Family Division
600 East Blvd. Avenue Dept. 325
Bismarck, ND 58505
Phone: 701-328-1863
Fax: 701-328-3538


Program Description

The North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel was established in 1995 by statute. Case reviews began in 1996. The program is housed out of the Department of Human Services. There is no annual budget and funding for the program is in kind. One staff person on the state level spends 20% of her time working on the CFR project.

North Dakota has a state level review team.

State Team: (Presiding Officer – Marlys Baker, Administrator, Child Protection Services, North Dakota Department of Human Services)
The panel has 14 team members who meet quarterly.

All child deaths are reviewed. However, all deaths are not reviewed with the same level of intensity. An in-depth comprehensive review is done on all sudden, unexplained and unexpected deaths. The panel also reviews all child abuse and neglect near deaths. The panel reviews deaths of children who are less than 18-years-old.

The purpose of the North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel is to identify circumstances that contribute to children’s deaths and to recommend changes in policy, practice and law to prevent children’s deaths.

Data is collected on all reviews. This is not required by legislation or policy. The CFR data is stored in Microsoft Access and is analyzed by the research unit within the Department of Human Services.

Annual Report
The CFR Panel does produce an annual report. The report is distributed to panel members, state attorneys, coroners, law enforcement and others by request. The report is also published on the North Dakota Department of Health website.

Prevention Initiatives
The North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel recommends changes in policy, practices and law to prevent child deaths.

North Dakota has state law and program policy in place which directs the function of the Child Fatality Review Panel.

On-going training is not offered. However, an orientation to the review process is provided to new team members.

Last Updated: January 2018