Wisconsin’s Child Death Review (CDR) Program was established in 1998. There are no statutes or rules promulgated for CDR in Wisconsin. The state CDR Council is housed within the Department of Health Services (DHS) with additional funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Children’s Justice Act grant program. Wisconsin is a member of the Midwest Coalition on Child Death Review.
Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin was created as the comprehensive CDR state program and grew significantly through a three year grant funded by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Wisconsin Partnership Program (2008 – 2011). This grant was awarded to Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin (Alliance), in partnership with the Injury Research Center at the Medical Center of Wisconsin. Efforts under Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin include: development of local CDR teams in Wisconsin counties, support legislation for CDR activities, and increased data collection and analysis. Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin: Child Death Review Team Guidelines provides counties with step by step assistance on how to organize and implement a CDR team. Additional technical assistance related to data collection and prevention is also available to teams. Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin continues today under partnership and contractual agreement between DHS and Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin with funding from Title V MCH, the Wisconsin Department of Justine Children’s Justice Act and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wisconsin also participates in the CDC funded SUID and SDY projects. These projects are carried out through a partnership between the Alliance and the Wisconsin DHS. The goal of these projects is to ensure all sudden and unexpected infant and child deaths are comprehensively reviewed by local teams to ensure comprehensive data is collected to inform prevention efforts.
Wisconsin has a state CDR Council and local CDR teams.
State team: The mission of the state CDR Council is to prevent child deaths and injury in Wisconsin through local multidisciplinary reviews, leading to community prevention. For purposes of the Council, reference to child includes fetal, infant, children and youth. The CDR Council will only review cases when a local team is not in place where the death occurred, or a local team requests a review. Case reviews conducted by the state CDR Council are done so in a deidentified manner. The Council is comprised of 24 members and meets four times per year.
The CDR Council (Council) seeks to:
- Facilitate the development of local/regional child death review (CDR) and fetal infant mortality review (FIMR) teams.
- Identify training needs and make training resources available to local teams, statewide professional organizations, advocacy groups and others.
- Respond to local requests and provide any necessary technical assistance and support.
- Review infant and child deaths upon request of a local CDR team, or when a county does not have a team.
- Educate the public regarding the incidence and causes of fetal, infant and child deaths, including recommendations that identify needed policy change or action to prevent future deaths.
- Provide information to the legislature, state agencies and local communities on the need for modifications to law, policy or practice.
- Utilize prevention-focused data analysis to facilitate the above purposes.
Local CDR teams are county-based. There are 53 local CDR teams in Wisconsin. There are 8 Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) teams in Wisconsin.
Local CDR teams acknowledge and review sudden and unexpected deaths of infants and children. Most local teams complete reviews for infants and children ages 0-18. CDR teams are encouraged to follow the model proposed in Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin: Child Death Review Team Guidelines. This model is based on the Maternal Child Health (MCH) National Center for Child Death Review framework.
Local FIMR teams review fetal and infant deaths that meet the FIMR criteria. All Wisconsin review teams are working toward increasing communication and collaboration.
The primary purpose of the Wisconsin CDR program is to prevent future deaths. Local CDR Teams strive to uncover the risk factors and circumstances contributing to the death of a child. Local teams utilize the information to target prevention activities.
Wisconsin urges all local CDR and FIMR teams to enter data into the National MCH CDR Case Reporting System. Technical assistance is available to local teams to assist with database training, access and data analysis.
Wisconsin released Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUID) Report in 2017 to share 2015 SUID data. An updated SUID report was released in 2019.
Several local CDR teams are partnering with community organizations to implement prevention activities.
Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin: Death Review Team Guidelines have been developed and are available online at http://www.chawisconsin.org/documents/IP3KKAGuidebook.pdf. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting Karen Nash at (414) 337-4567 or email@example.com.
Annual statewide training occurs every fall, bringing together most local review teams. This training focuses on improving quality of reviews, sharing new information and networking. Regional and local trainings are held yearly.
Last Updated: February 2019